Clear Eyes, Full Movie Theaters
Published on: May 29, 2012 | Written by: Karen Howell
Let me start by saying that I have much love for Tim Riggins, Taylor Kitsch, and Tim Riggins. I sincerely hope that Taylor’s career is everything he wants it to be. Seriously. I want him to do well. Unfortunately, 2012 has not been too kind to him. According to Box Office Mojo, John Carter, which had a production budget of approx. $250 million, has made $72.1 million domestically, and Battleship, which had a production budget of approx. $290 million, made $25.3 million in its opening weekend. (To be fair, both of these films have done much better internationally, with John Carter bringing in $200 million and Battleship bringing in $215 million.) I don’t blame Disney for spending so much money on John Carter. Two-plus hours of a shirtless, leather-clad Tim Riggins? Seems like a no-brainer. I also didn’t mind seeing him in uniform in the Battleship trailers. But have I seen either of these films? No. Will I watch them eventually? Probably. When? When they become TNT New Classics.
Since Taylor deserves better support from his fan base (me), I’d like to propose a few potential remakes and/or sequels for his agent’s consideration. These films will ensure that he is taken seriously as an actor and that his torso will grace the big screen for years to come.
Forrest Gump. For’st won Tom Hanks an Academy Award. As a wise Robert Downey Jr. once said, “'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain’t retarded.” Surely the same formula could work for Taylor. Thanks to Riggins, Taylor has proven that he can effectively handle: a Southern accent; trouble in school; an absentee father; football glory; unwanted encounters with drug users; a bar featuring live, nude women; a friend in a wheelchair; and landing the hot chick… Basically, picture everything Forrest did the first time around, but now picture him doing it with his shirt off. Sold.
Shawshank Redemption. Andy Dufresne didn’t win Tim Robbins an Oscar…but Tim has won one since then and has been nominated for another. I know, I know. What would Taylor know about playing an inmate? Oh, yeah, that’s right. Landry got away with burning a perfectly good station wagon (and killing someone), while Riggins went to prison for some petty chop something or other. Thanks to said chop shop, Taylorknows what it’s like to play “I’m stuck behind bars when someone else should be doing the time.” As far as Andy’s friendship with Red, Riggins was kind of friends with Smash, even though Smash never gave him any posters or rock hammers. There are a few things working against Taylor’s Riggins: founding and organizing a library; appreciating opera; teaching GED courses; giving the guards tax tips; setting up the warden’s kickback scheme… BUT Riggins would no doubt be able to sweet talk the guards into providing beer for a “re-tar the roof” party, and he does know what it’s like trying to rejoin the workforce after being paroled. #Buddys
The Blind Side. Tim McGraw’s portrayal of Sean Tuohy didn’t win him any awards. However, the film was nominated for Best Picture, and his performance was well-received by critics. (Time out: If you want a guaranteed celebrity response on Twitter, tweet something critical of Sean Tuohy or Michael Oher. Leigh Anne will promptly respond and tell you to be nice. Not that I know first hand. Time in.) What’s that, Taylor? That little kid S.J. looks familiar? Perhaps that’s because he once said “You’re Tim Riggins!” Well if you remember him, you should also remember what it was like to hook up with his mom. See? Taylor would be a natural.
Varsity Blues. Jonathan Moxon. The role that won James Van Der Beek an MTV Movie Award. Okay, so, playing Mox might not help Taylorbe taken more seriously as an actor, but as far as fans go, its a sure thing. Really, there’s only one question that needs to be asked: Would a girl actually be willing to don a whipped cream bikini to win the heart of one Tim Riggins? Yes, yes…a million times, yes. (In hindsight, it wasn’t smart to Google “whipped cream bikini” at work.) Without a doubt, Taylor can convincingly utter those five little words: “I don’t want your life.” I also have no problem picturing him participating in the health class discussion on synonyms for body parts. (For what it’s worth, I would cast Herc as Tweeder. Also, did you know: Jesse Plemons, aka Landry, played Paul Walker’s little brother in Varsity Blues.)
GoodFellas. Playing a mobster = instant street cred (unless your mobster nickname is Big P****). Robert De Niro played a gangster in GoodFellas, Casino, The Godfather: Part II, Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables, Analyze This, and Analyze That. To date, he’s won two Academy Awards and has been nominated four other times. (Time out: I always get De Niro and Al Pacino confused. Just realized that when I was talking to a friend about this article, I said something about how good De Niro was in Donnie Brasco. Wrong. But I do like the idea of Pacino and De Niro getting together and hanging out in their track suits. Time in.) Given his history with copper wire theft, drug dealers, chop shop rings and party promoting, I’ve got to think that Riggins had mob ties. At least prison gang ties.
The Social Network. You know what’s cooler than playing one guy in a movie? Playing two guys in a movie. Armie Hammer wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award for playing the Winklevoss twins, but the movie was nominated for Best Picture and he got a Screen Actors Guild nomination out of it. (He also went on to play Leonardo DiCaprio’s love interest in J. Edgar…every young man’s dream.) Worse case scenario: Armie accuses Taylor of stealing his idea. (This time around, Zuckerberg will get punched in the face. Maybe tackled. )
Rain Man. Dustin Hoffman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Raymond Babbitt. Robert Downey Jr. also weighed in on this one: “‘Rain Man,’ look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho'. Not retarded.” Riggins won’t helpTaylor bring any math experience to the table. However, Taylor knows what it’s like to play a guy being taken advantage of by his crazy, loose cannon brother. I think Taylor could handle it. Definitely. Definitely could handle it. Definitely.
Braveheart. Mel Gibson won several Academy Awards for Braveheart. And then he went crazy and started getting people pregnant and getting drunk and calling people racial and anti-Semitic slurs and getting drunk and leaving angry voicemails and getting drunk and making movies about beavers. (Maybe the focus here should be on Pacey Witter’s portrayal of William Wallace. Though it didn’t win him the Miss Windjammer pageant, he did get the girl in the end (after having hooked up with a teacher along the way).) If Taylor doesn’t play Gump or Rain Man, his next best bet is to go the foreign accent route. And, more importantly, Braveheart would provide plenty of opportunities for him to take off his shirt.
Step Up. Finally, I know it would be intimidating to try to fill the K-Swisses of one of the finest actors of our generation, but someone has to…wait for it…step up.