Taylor Kitsch on ‘Waco’ | Rolling Stone


“Hi, how are you? Justin, good to meet you.
Thanks for coming in.” “So, I mean, the question of whether Koresh was crazy, or
whether he was just this conman and had a whole group of people conned, do you
think that he really believed, truly, in what he was saying?” “The biggest struggle
I had was was the why, you know? If I’m gonna play anybody, let alone someone like this and how enigmatic this cat is. You have to try and marry yourself
emotionally to him, and his belief system and everything else that goes with that,
you know? And there’s some things that I just can’t comprehend, you know? I don’t
understand the Book of Revelation, and the Seven Seals, and the end times, and the
multiple wives and the young kids. I think like, he grew up with no sense of
control, no sense of like, self or purpose, really. When that abuse kind of
went all the way until he moved away at 14, you know, and you memorized the Bible by 17 and then you create this environment, that you have
absolute control over. I just want to show as much as I can of who he was,
because he was more than what was sensationalized during the…
obviously. I’m really proud of that, you know, that look and there’s a shot, that
very infamous video, where he’s sent it to the FBI, ‘You come to my door with guns and all this, dammit I’ll meet you at the door any time.'” “So 1993, and you were, you were 12. Yeah, so what was your awareness of that story then?” “I think it is just seeing the last visuals of the compound up in flames,
and I don’t even know if I’m making that up. Like, I do remember that, and not
having any comprehension of what was really, where Waco was, where Texas was.
I was in my, you know, small town in Canada.” “I also wonder whether you can
really understand his followers, because it’s easy to say, these are stupid
uneducated people, they didn’t know better. But, so what is that about” “Thibodeau’s book, and not to plug it, but it’s, it helped. Because his book asked these
questions that I had too, of like why would you go on a bus to Waco, live with
no running water, no AC. You’re like in the middle of nowhere, on an anthill. I
came to the conclusion of just, purpose. You know, it’s huge for me and I think
it’s a lot of millions and millions of people every day kind of struggle to
find that. You want to wake up to something, and
that’s what Dave gave you.” “One of the interesting things about the story and
about the the miniseries is, it’s about this cult, it’s about Koresh, but it’s
also about the FBI. It’s also about government, and the question of
incompetence and this handling, and to this day there’s still kind of an open
question about whose fault is it. Do you have an opinion on that, like
what really happened?” “I do. I mean, it’s just like, I think, you know, Dave was
answering to God, and they were answering to their bosses, as well in Capitol Hill,
you know?” “There’s something that feels really trenchant about it, not that the
country necessarily full of cults, but there’s a sense that the entire
government is incompetent, number one, and number two there’s so much paranoia,
there’s so much cultural division. There’s people kind of retreating to
their corners, so I wonder if that if that was something that was on your mind?”
“It’s definitely relevant, you know, 25 years later. I think we know what they
want us to know, a lot, a lot of the time. And that was no different 25
years ago.” “So, you learned guitar?” “I did, yeah. I play one to four hours a day now. My
Martin acoustic is my baby. Yeah, I love it.”
“So…” “Are you gonna pull a guitar out right now?” “No no no, and sing a song for us now!”
“So I’m learning, really close to ‘The Weary Kind,’ picking that one out, and
‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ Shit, what’s that Johnny Cash one… ‘When a Man Comes Around.’ It’s pretty easy, but it sounds so fun. And I saw
Springsteen last night.” “Oh cool, you saw the Broadway show?” “Yeah.” “Would you say he’s your number one favorite artist, or…” “Of all time, yeah, top
three. Freddie Mercury, for me, was awesome. But, I mean, I still love like Johnny Cash and those guys. Sturgill Simpson, right now
and… David Gray, Metallica.” “So I have to ask you, I know everyone bothers you
about ‘Friday Night Lights,’ and this kind of that the legend follows you.” “Like
a movie or something?” “Yeah.” “I’ll never do one, ever.” “How come?” “We
left it perfectly, in my humble opinion. I’m 36 now, I don’t want to play
Riggins grown up. That wouldn’t be scary for me at all.” “Right, and this way scary.” “Oh my god, yeah. I almost pulled out a month and a half
before.” “Oh, let’s talk about that, you almost pulled out, how come?” “Yeah, just, I think I was too deep. You spend eight hours a day in this thousand
square foot apartment in Austin, and playing guitar, reading about this
tragedy every single day, it just started to really weigh on me. I had no outlet, and I was just probably scared shitless and panicked.” “Yeah. And you
weren’t eating…” “Didn’t get sleep that day and just,w as vulnerable, and was like, ‘Hey, I
want to know the process of the repercussions if I pull out right now,
because I don’t know if this is a story I want to tell.’ “Okay, I don’t want to tire you out anymore but that was awesome.” “All good, good questions by the way. Thank you.” “Thank you so much.” you

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