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Old 02-14-2018, 01:41 PM
  #166
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Originally Posted by worthyoflove (View Post)
Having just read the books, watched the documentaries. I think they really should have touched on more about why the Branch Davidians had all the guns past just that first little shot of Steve and Wayne going to the gun show in Austin. And why the government was so concerned about them, past just the guns (even though the ATF had no right to use the child abuse accusations in their reasoning for going in).
I agree. And they should have touched more on the statutory rape stuff too. I mean they brought it up, but they downplayed it. I recently read that some girls were as young as 10 or 12, although I don't know if it's true or not.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:00 PM
  #167
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12 is accurate. Rachel's sister (who Julia Garner plays) was 12 when he married her. Very very young and even in Texas, with parents permission, illegal. Which they do touch in on the show, that that was their area of weakness. I think 14 was the age of consent to get married in Texas with a parents permission, at that time. But even if he had permission, she was too young and they weren't legally married or it's considered polygamy because he was already married to Rachel.

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‘Waco’: Taylor Kitsch on the Challenging Transformation to Become David Koresh

Waco, the six-part Paramount Network TV event, tells the story of David Koresh (brilliantly played by Taylor Kitsch), the Branch Davidians, and the 51-day stand-off that resulted in the deaths of nearly 80 men, women and children. Government recklessness, religious fanaticism, conspiracy theories and cover-ups all muddied the waters, when it came to understanding what really happened on Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, between a small religious community, the ATF and the FBI. From creators John and Drew Dowdle, the series also stars Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo, Melissa Benoist, Paul Sparks, Julia Garner, Shea Whigham, Andrea Riseborough, Rory Culkin and Camryn Manheim, among others.

While at the TCA Press Tour presentation for the Paramount Network, Collider got the opportunity to sit down with actor Taylor Kitsch for this 1-on-1 interview about the experience of playing David Koresh, whether he ever doubted the decision to take on the role, how he needed the help of a therapist to leave the role behind, getting the scripture and sermons right, his view of Koresh, the challenging physical transformation that he went through, and the toughest day on set. He also talked about whether he’d do more television, what he looks for in a character, and working on his feature directorial debut.

Collider: How was the experience of making Waco in living in the shoes of David Koresh?

TAYLOR KITSCH: I loved doing it. I loved exploring these relationships, with one wife to another, and hearing how good it was going with [Michael] Shannon. It was an awesome experience.

Did you ever have a moment where you just wanted to run for the hills, as far as you could get from this role?

KITSCH: Before I hit camera, yeah. Three weeks out, I had a small panic attack. I was three months and a week into prep, so I was just starting to be like, “I need an outlet for all this energy and information I’m taking in.” The month before, I was like, “I’ve just gotta ****ing take a day off from not reading about 79 people dying.” It’s heavy when you read it, day in and day out, so I decided to take a couple of days off. That helped, but I don’t know if it cured it. I didn’t want to run. I just had to take deep breaths. I needed one big one, right before we’d go.

How hard was this to leave behind when you were done?

KITSCH: It was no joke. I have a great therapist, and she helped me a lot. I had to get therapy to come out of a movie I did, called The Bang Bang Club, and I knew I was going down that same route, but I didn’t know it was going to be worse than that one, especially because you’re prepping for four months, and then you’re shooting for three. That’s seven plus months that you’re in that mind-set, or formulating that mind-set. It took awhile to situate myself back into whatever normalcy is and back into the public. You live in this bubble. All my weekends consisted of was learning scripture and sermons, and running lines.

How challenging was it to make the scripture and the sermons seems so natural?

KITSCH: You have to have a foundation under it, for sure. It was just repetition and research, and four months prep of feeling grounded in it, so there’s not an ounce of second-guessing or self-doubt, which I’m very proud of. I don’t come from that. It’s what we do [as actors], but this is an extreme. There’s not many guys, if ever, that existed like David Koresh. It was an undertaking. This is a once in a lifetime role for me. So many people know of the story, but don’t know the story. Once you start to humanize these people that were actually in that house, and on the ATF/FBI side, it starts to really get ingrained within you.

How did you feel about David Koresh, at the end of the shoot, compared to when you went into it? Did you think of him very differently?

KITSCH: Yeah, because I had this whole process. I still have a relationship with David Thibodeau and Gary Noesner, and the other actors. Personally, you’re balling your eyes out when you’ve gotta go do that death scene. It’s an end to a huge chapter in your life. This beautiful thing that you got to be a part of is coming to an end and there’s just so much emotion in all of that, and that this actually happened and it ended this way. Even seeing the kid actors that are playing the kids, those are really grounding moments when you’re doing a scene where they’re gone. There’s 21 kids under the age of 15 that passed. I’m sympathetic to those families and those kids. You get waves of anger, too, of the injustice of it all.

How challenging was it to go through such a physical transformation for this role?

KITSCH: It’s no fun, at all. It was huge for me. The look was huge, as an actor. I love to change it up. I love that challenge, with the walk, the cadence, the clothing, and everything. He was a small guy. During the siege, they couldn’t eat, and there was no water or electricity. It would just look so silly, if I looked super-healthy or really fit, walking around on what’s supposed to be day 50 and looking great. It was a no-brainer for me to do it, but what sucks is that you need the energy to do two to three hours a day of guitar, singing lessons, scripture writing and character breakdown. It was tough because I didn’t have a ton of energy. I was at 600 to 800 calories a day, so your brain just starts to shut down. That was a hurdle.

What would you say the toughest day was, on set?

KITSCH: His death scene sucked. It was tough. It was just so emotional and it became so real. There were moments, during the whole thing, where you’d be like, “I can’t believe this ****in’ went down.” We would talk it to death. No one knows what happened, in those last beats. He was shot in the head, at close range. The way the gun was positioned, people were convinced that it was someone else, and Steve was right next to him. You try to talk it out and marry yourself, emotionally, to what it was. It turned out beautifully and heavily. That was one of the heaviest days. When Dave calls his mom was also a big moment for me. That’s Vernon Howell. That’s a kid. That’s a guy who’s totally stripped away and thinks he’s gonna die. What prophet calls his mom?

Not to get specifically political or get into specific political viewpoints, but did this and everything you learned change how you feel about government, politics and religion, in general?

KITSCH: No really, crazily enough. It’s such an extreme, and the more you learn about how complex this all was, with Gary Noesner having to answer to someone, a new President and Attorney General, the ATF who need more funding, and all of these people posturing in the house. The ATF had just ****ed up Ruby Ridge, so they were over-compensating to make themselves worthy of a new round of funding to validate their existence. There were all of these crazy variables that came into play, after that first siege on Waco, with that 15-minute shoot-out. Obviously, that’s not the starting point you want to have, when you want to get someone out of their house. You don’t start by literally blindly shooting people in the house, over a $50 warrant that Dave didn’t renew. That was their green light. It was ****ing crazy! It just didn’t have to happen this way. The end result was 51 days, at $186,000 a day for tax payers.

Did getting to live in a character for a little longer give you the desire to do another TV series, or would you only want to do something for a limited amount of time?

KITSCH: I’m not gonna sign on for a two-year contract. No. True Detective was awesome. I love that we had six episodes with them because you need it. As an actor, I’m spoiled because, in a two-hour movie, you maybe get 20 minutes of screentime to get a performance. I’m totally up for an eight-episode arc, or something. That’s where the great material is going to.

What do you look for, in a character?

KITSCH: I’m always looking to transform. The bar is really high. I feel this is the best work of my career, and I had such an amazing time. I’m very proud of it and very confident about it, so I’m just excited to see what else I can do. But you’ve just gotta be patient and wait, and fight for those jobs when they get exposed. With so much material out there, you’re just waiting for the right one to swing. I don’t think I want to go that heavy again, right now. I’d probably go a bit insane, if I’m not already. If there’s a ****in’ great comedy, I’d be all over it. It’s just finding that right thing that feels right, and the collaborators and directors are great. I know the Dowdles are writing something for me, and it would be amazing to go to work with them again. It’s becoming a lot more about the process than the endgame. It always has been.

It’s been a couple years since we heard that you were going to write, direct and star in Pieces, as your feature directorial debut. Are you still hoping to make that happen?

KITSCH: Yeah, no doubt. I hope to do it at the end of this year, in the last quarter. I wrote the script and had financing, it’s just a matter of days. We were going to do it in November, but that would have been shoe-horning it, in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I don’t know who I was kidding. When you start to actually produce it and break it down, with days in and days out, there was just no way. You can’t do it right in 16 shooting days, with crazy location changes. There was just no way. It’s not like we’d be on stage for 16 days. So, I pushed it and I’m really glad that I did. I wasn’t in a good headspace, anyways, to do it. Hopefully, we can get that done, by the end of this year.

Waco airs on Wednesday nights on the Paramount Network.
Waco: Taylor Kitsch on the Challenge of Becoming David Koresh | Collider
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:51 PM
  #168
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Great article.

Very small thing here.. but they aren’t hitting the pronunciation of all their words correctly. There was one last week, and two tonight. Prophesied. They said a version of it twice, and twice it was incorrect. I can’t remember last week’s right now. Oldest minion and I are cringing.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:56 PM
  #169
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Do you mean they aren't pronouncing words right accent-wise?

Did anyone else watch tonight's episode? Thoughts?

After today's shooting, I can't take anymore guns tonight. When I get off work, I plan to sit in front of the TV, find cartoons to watch, and eat a bunch of mini Reese's. I can't wait.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:20 PM
  #170
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I caught a part of it. I see that it was more of a Michael/Paul heavy episode which I'm excited to see. I was waiting for a more Michael heavy episode.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:45 AM
  #171
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Gary Noesner was the one answering questions on Twitter tonight.


Maybe Taylor will do one of the final two episodes!

I ended up watching after all. As great as Taylor and Michael are in this, Paul is really killing it in this miniseries! Of all the Branch Davidians, Steve is the one I think is the most developed and the one I have the most sympathy for.

I can't believe we're at episode 4 already and the events haven't even hit day 10 yet I believe (I lost track which day it ended on.) Maybe it's because I already know what happens, but it's starting to feel tedious. It's like, OK, OK I get it, the FBI and ATF royally screwed up. Maybe it should've been a movie instead. Or maybe it just felt that way because there wasn't as much Taylor this week.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:40 AM
  #172
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No. I mean they flat out mispronouncing the words.

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Do you mean they aren't pronouncing words right accent-wise?
Taylor doing the Twitter would be great!
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:14 PM
  #173
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I would love if he took over the twitter account, maybe next week if he's in New York.

I still haven't watched the whole thing but I love Paul in this, he's my favorite thing about this series outside of Taylor. I'm excited to see the entire episode.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:27 AM
  #174
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So I finally watched the entire thing this morning. I really liked this episode, it felt like it slowed down a little bit and gave us more insight to both sides. It was beneficial to have Koresh kind of "on the bench" in this episode to get a better look at the Davidians and what they're going through.

I can't help but watch this and think that this could have been a much longer series, almost in a Orange is the New Black format where they spend an episode with each character because all their stories are so interesting. I'm so excited to see the Steve/David showdown because it's coming. I had no idea there was so much animosity between them. In the book it's only hit on very briefly about David fathering Judy's baby.

Waco officially passed Versace in key demo and stayed steady while most other series fell last Wednesday.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:41 PM
  #175
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Drew and Gary have some nice things to say about Taylor, per usual. I love that everyone that works with him always speaks so highly of him.



Last edited by worthyoflove; 02-21-2018 at 05:49 PM
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:04 PM
  #176
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Awww. I'm so proud of our boy.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:15 PM
  #177
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I'm excited to be able to watch the whole thing live tonight finally.

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Old 02-21-2018, 09:02 PM
  #178
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Oldest minion is appalled with the government side of this. Her Daddy would be proud.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:12 PM
  #179
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I feel like the last two episodes the series has really found the right pace. I still can't believe that next week is the last episode.

You're really starting to see the more sinister part of David here. Convincing some of these people to stay. I mean, clearly, there are some that are staying out of loyalty, love, or fear of David but there are some that genuinely want to leave, and him shaming them out of it or "you'll have to answer to God". Thibedeaou for sure leaves if he can take Michelle and Serenity with him but they're David's. His ego would never allow something that was "his" leave that compound.

That last scene was pretty awesome though.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:46 PM
  #180
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Originally Posted by SouthernSweetieTX (View Post)
Oldest minion is appalled with the government side of this. Her Daddy would be proud.
Good for her. I know some people think its a one sided story but it's really not. Gary Noesner and Robert Rodriguez are telling a similar story "against" the government. Scary.

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I feel like the last two episodes the series has really found the right pace.
You're really starting to see the more sinister part of David here. Convincing some of these people to stay. I mean, clearly, there are some that are staying out of loyalty, love, or fear of David but there are some that genuinely want to leave, and him shaming them out of it or "you'll have to answer to God". Thibedeaou for sure leaves if he can take Michelle and Serenity with him but they're David's. His ego would never allow something that was "his" leave that compound.
I agree. The first three episodes were a bit boring for me. These last two have really held my attention. And I am finding David to be a horrible person, no sympathy from me anymore. If I was Thibs, I would have taken Michele and Serenity and left. Technically, he's married to her legally, not David. What happened (in real life), to the two people that left last night?

Did the guitar/singing in the window scene really happen? I feel like that would have been all over the news.
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