Taylor Kitsch might be known best for his role as Tim Riggins on the television series "Friday Night Lights" but the 30-year-old star is about to raise his profile with his role in the upcoming film "John Carter."
Based on the first novel "Princess of Mars" in the 11-volume book series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, "John Carter" tells the story of a former Confederate captain named John Cater who is transported to Mars. Willem Dafoe plays Tars Tarkas, a leader of an alien race and Lynn Collins plays Princess Dejah, Carter's love interest. The book series was, in part, the inspiration for "Star Wars."
OnTheRedCarpet.com correspondent Tony Cabrera caught up with the cast at D23 Disney Expo on August 20.
Kitsch talked about what it was like shooting on location in Utah, which was used as a stand in for Mars. "We shot on this incredibly desolate, dry lake bed and there's a scene where John wakes up on Mars and that as an actor to be able to just work off your surroundings and everything, obviously to be alive and just in front of you is just ... it helps quite a bit," Kitsch said.
The film's director, Andrew Stanton accompanied Kitsch, Collins, and Dafoe on stage at the Expo to present four new clips from the movie.
"This book was written at the turn of the century and I wanted it to feel like how people perceived the world then, so it would feel like a period piece," Stanton told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "Like a film about a culture that we just didn't know about. So it would have all that kind of historic authenticity and to me, that would take it from being kind of this simplistic fanboy film and have a little bit more gravitas to it."
Dafoe also talked to Cabrera about his character, which he explained was "a nine foot tall Martian, warrior, king."
"You're going to see me definitely towering over Taylor Kitsch," Dafoe added. "Nine feet tall is something. I did the whole movie on stilts."
The actor explained that working on stilts was "a skill that you learn and that really kind of the key to finding the physical expression of the character."
As for Collins, the actress said her struggle was trying to play such a strong character. "I think for the first three weeks there was definitely this strange element of shooting a movie and going 'Okay, how do you play iconic terms like the feminine warrior, the masculine heart, the feminine body but scientific mind,'" She said. "Like all of these strange concepts trying to marry them into one."
She continued, "Until somebody told me, very quickly on, 'Just relax and be yourself. The words are going to do it for you, the costume is going to do it for you and you're going to click into it.' And about a month in I clicked."
Check out the trailer for "John Carter" below.
Reporting by Tony Cabrera, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).