John Carter Star Taylor Kitsch Spills on His Killer Bod, Fears, and What It’s Like Working with Rihanna

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We told you that Taylor Kitsch would be one to watch in 2012. And now, he’s about to show you why. With three upcoming movies that we’re dying to see — John Carter, Battleship, and Savages — Taylor might just have what it takes to be this year’s “it” guy. So you could imagine our delight when we got the chance to chat up the former Friday Night Lights star about, well, everything that’s coming up for him.

So just sit back, relax, and read up about how to snag Tay Kitsch in real life, why Rihanna is “fine” to work with, and how he keeps that rockin’ six-pack. Swoon.

Teen: In John Carter, your character lands on Mars and doesn’t speak the language of the Tark people. Did you ever struggle with another language in real life?
Taylor Kitsch: Yeah, I was raised in such a small town that we literally didn’t have a second language in the school. So once I moved out of that town, we didn’t even engage in that. So I think French would probably be one I struggled with huge because everyone else had such a head start.

Teen: You’re shirtless for probably more than half the movie. When you were a teen, were you shy about taking off your shirt at all?
Taylor: Yeah, I still am! It’s a different sense of vulnerability when you’re like that. You know, it’s just a matter of convincing yourself it’s the character and you prep enough that you just embody that character.

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Shirtless

Teen: Did you have to change up your workout routine?
Taylor: Oh yeah, it’s incredibly disciplined, what I had to do for the film. Without a doubt. It was dieting, training, 4:30am workouts. It was an eleven-month regimen, start to finish.

Taylor Kitsch, Men's Health

Teen: Even when you’re in a routine, are there certain foods you can’t avoid, even though you know you should?
Taylor: I think everyone has that. I’ll definitely, when I’m not working, love a good greasy pizza. Something like that. But it’s definitely just a balance. I don’t eat it every day, but sometimes I’ll have a huge over-the-top big sandwich. I like popcorn and sweets at the theaters.

Teen: Your character loses the love of his life on Earth. What’s the greatest thing that you’ve ever lost? A person, a pet, maybe a special keepsake?
Taylor: I’ve been lucky enough to not have to deal with the mourn of someone truly close to me. So maybe a pet. There’s a ring I used to wear around my neck that represented my family that I lost in Hawaii while shooting Battleship. It was in my trailer. That was tough, but I don’t know that that was the biggest thing. If that’s the only thing, I’ve been pretty lucky.

Teen: Definitely! In one scene, you have to fight this giant, scary white ape. In real life, are you scared of any kind of animals?
Taylor: Well, I just went to Africa and the spiders there are no joke. So without a joke, those things… I would just run the other way. They’re not like spiders here. I was living in their jungle in South Sudan, and living in a hut. When you wake up and you see those things right next to you, nothing gets you out of bed faster.

Teen: Your love interest in John Carter is kind of the proverbial “damsel in distress,” but she’s also adventurous and strong. Would you say that’d be your type in real life?
Taylor: Yeah, absolutely! I think passion and drive are big things. A strong woman’s a great quality to look for in a woman.

Teen: Ok, so how can this type of woman get your attention?
Taylor: Be yourself. Don’t try to get out of your own zone to impress anyone. Just be yourself and let it happen organically.

Teen: You’ve worked with tons of actors, but also singers like Rihanna and will.i.am in some of your movies. Do you think you’ll take up singing at all professionally?
Taylor: I wish I could. I truly do wish I could. I’m just terrible, I really can’t sing. I’m not a great singer. I wish I could do something like that.

Teen: We just gotta know, what was it like to work with Rihanna (in Battleship)?
Taylor: I think it was a great call on her behalf to work with a director, [and] not to take a huge heavy role. I didn’t work all the time with her, but when I did, she was fine. I don’t know her well enough to say what she’s like personally, but on set she was quite grounded. You come and it’s your first set to be on, so you’re out of your element. So she was just trying to sponge it in.

Battleship won’t drop for a while, but John Carter comes out March 9! Are you planning to watch Taylor kick butt on Mars? And what do you think of his body?! Tell it all in the comments below…

Check Out Our First Interview with Taylor Kitsch!