When actor Taylor Kitsch talks about getting his muscles back, he’s not referring to his body. He’s speaking of once again assuming the role of small-town ex-football star Tim Riggins on “Friday Night Lights” after having played film roles while on hiatus.
“We got back on our feet during season three,” Kitsch says. “I’m excited to get some muscles back and give Riggins another go.
“I know Riggins has an incredible following and is an important part of the show, so I hope I can keep playing him.”
NBC begins airing the show’s fourth season at 7 p.m. Friday, May 7. These same episodes were shown on DirecTV during the fall and winter.
Kitsch isn’t going to take for granted that he’ll always be part of “Lights.” As the series ages, it’s trying to do so gracefully by allowing characters to graduate from high school and move on. The partings may be hard for loyal fans, but needed to keep the show’s realism.
And with that, new characters are introduced.
Original cast member Zach Gilford, whose character, Matt Saracen, graduated last season, will be back for several episodes this time before leaving the story altogether.
“We all knew going in that this would be a revolving door of characters,” Gilford says. “People graduate high school and move on.
“They told us, ‘More than likely you’ll be on the show two or three years and move on and new people will come in.’ “
In the case of Tim and Matt, both popular characters will struggle with a loss of identity after high school. After being small-town superstars because of their high school football skills, the two now have to contend with the real world.
Matt has a girlfriend still in high school, and is dealing with his ambitions, family problems and personal loss. Tim has no direction and has to start building a life.
“Matt has a lot of pressure on him, not just because he’s the quarterback, but because he has a lot going on in his home life, too,” Gilford says. “He’s been an interesting character to play because he’s never been your typical little high school football star. He’s always been more than that.”
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