Taylor Kitsch talks 'John Carter,' other films, hockey

Thu, Mar 8

Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch doesn't mind that people still ask him about his five years playing Tim Riggins on the NBC TV show "Friday Night Lights."

"That's part of who I am," said Kitsch, who played the lead in 2006-11 after moving from British Columbia to New York to model in 2002. "It was an amazing opportunity for me and I'm proud of it."

Kitsch is hoping people soon will be talking about his three current projects, starting with this week's opening of the Disney movie "John Carter." (Check out the extended clip.)

Kitsch plays the former Confederate captain John Carter, who is transported to Mars and is engaged in the conflict of the planet's various nations.

"I loved the challenge of this movie. I love how this is a character-driven story. It's truly an escape for me," said Kitsch, who played hockey as a teen before getting injured but still loves working out. "This is going be a huge year for me, no doubt about that."

That's because right after "John Carter," Kitsch stars in "Battleship" -- directed by "Friday Night Lights" director Peter Berg -- in May, and then "Savages" -- directed by Oliver Stone -- in July.

"I've been working for two years on these movies and they will all hit in five months. It's quite insane," Kitsch said. "But what are you going to do? When Oliver Stone calls, you answer. When Peter Berg calls, you pick up."

Kitsch thinks his age has helped him handle Hollywood these days.

"Being 30, I can understand all that is thrown at you, with the parties and everything. If I were 17 or 18, I probably couldn't handle all of this," Kitsch said. "Talking with Hugh Jackman on 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' he just told me to keep it simple and stay on the tracks. And get a good sense of who you are."

Anything else?

"This is ESPN, right?" Kitsch said. "How about showing me some more hockey! You need to run more highlights! When I rest in between shoots, I love to watch it!"