Taylor Kitsch

Taylor Kitsch

Battleship is just one of the blockbusters that Taylor Kitsch has starred in so far this year when it blasted onto the big screen earlier this summer.

The movie is released on DVD & Blu-Ray on Monday and the actor talks about the movie and working with director Peter Berg.

- You have a longstanding relationship with Pete Berg. How long ago did you speak about doing something like this?

When I was doing John Carter in London he approached me, so it has been a lengthy process.

He was very open in the process of writing to where I wanted to bring Hopper, and I am very grateful to him for that.

- How have you enjoyed the transition from TV to film?

Obviously, you have so much more time to prep in these films. TV would be loads of scenes in a day especially on Friday Night Lights, which is all I know in the TV world. The direction is never different.

I am not going to act any different. I prefer film personally but that is subjective. I have just been raised that way. I just love film. I have been in these movies and I love taking my time in the process and really mapping things out. I love that.

- What has been the biggest challenge with this movie?

I think finding that balance, the tone. Hopper goes through an amazing arc. The guy goes to hell and back and just finding that balance between when the humour is necessary and when it is time to play him crushed, when finally someone is taken from him.

To find that balance has been a big thing and I have learnt from John Carter too that any film of this size is just a marathon. It is about energy conservation. It is huge.

- Did the success of Friday Night Lights have a major effect on your everyday life?

Not really. It is a cult show and people are very impressed with the work that we have done. But I think I have been lucky that it is not that big a show because you don’t want to get pigeonholed.

You are respected as an actor and that is what every actor wants before you venture into these big films, so we have the best of both worlds.

We have the respect within the industry and we also get known but not to the point where they say, ‘Oh, that’s Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights’ and that’s all they see.

- Did you prepare much physically for the Battleship role?

Absolutely. First of all you are representing the Navy and second I am not going to be this fat-ass walking around the ship. It is very physical and in my personality I like to stay fit so it wasn’t too much of a stride.

I just wanted to be in shape but not too big. I think a lot of the challenge was the verbiage of the Navy.

That is a very hard thing for me or for any actor to really wrap their head around because you have to learn it so thoroughly that it has to become unconscious and that takes an incredible amount of time and energy.

- Did you do a specific Battleship boot camp?

Pete and I went down and spent some time on the ships, obviously being in Pearl Harbor for a bit was big. That was the majority of it, going down and being on the ships and seeing how these guys react to different ranks.

We did this scene with real Navy personnel where we were getting medals when everything was over, from the Admirals down to the first year Ensign and I tell you, man, they look at your shoulder or your rank. It is an incredible thing. It is really intriguing.

- Which were the craziest stunts?

In the beginning Hopper is trying to engage with something unknown in the water and I get blown back about 30-feet into the ocean and that was pretty good. That was a lot of fun. I’ve done so much wirework with this and John Carter. Really it is insane.

- What have been the most exciting aspects of making Battleship?

Being engaged with the Navy has been something really big. They have been so welcoming. I don’t know if it is going to be in or out of the film but one of my best days on this film was being on second unit doing the flooding simulator.

They have these two-storey things with four or five different rooms which had cameras on and they were pulling men out. That doesn’t get more real. It really doesn’t.

- Do you like to do your own stunts?

As many as I can. Literally, though, they won’t let me. Even if I want to, they won’t let me.

- How much did you know about the Navy before you joined the movie?

Not a lot. Personally, in prep, you just drown yourself in it. And I think just trying to pick their brains is important. That is the biggest thing.

People in the Navy speak with a very strong sense of affirmation and knowledge. They are smart people. They know what they are about. That was a big thing for me personally to portray. Obviously, Hopper is a mess when you first meet him though!

Battleship available on 20th August on Blu-Ray Ultraviolet, DVD and digital download