Despite ratings low enough to keep season renewals in suspense every year, “Friday Night Lights” became a star-maker for an impressive number of actors over the years. Taylor Kitsch landed roles in high profile blockbusters like “John Carter,” “Battleship” and “Lone Survivor.” Adrianne Palicki has co-starred in everything from “John Wick” to “Agents of SHIELD.” Michael B. Jordan snagged roles in breakout hits like “Chronicle,” “Fruitvale Station,” plus the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot and “Rocky” spinoff.
Yet Kyle Chandler may have benefitted the most from his time in Dillon, TX. The show’s star was the only actor to win an Emmy for his work on the show, and he capitalized on that accolade — as well as a newfound and well-defined fandom — in a big way. After “Friday Night Lights” ended in 2011, Chandler landed film roles in projects with Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Ben Affleck (“Argo,”) Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and J.J. Abrams (“Super 8”).
Still, despite the immense talent he’s found in the film world, the most important — or “biggest” — piece of advice he ever received was on the set of “Friday Night Lights” from Peter Berg, the actor-turned-director who developed the series for television.
“The biggest thing I ever learned […] it was Pete Berg [who] gave it to us,” Chandler said in a recent interview with Indiewire. “When we did ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Pete Berg set that show up in such a way that he demanded that the actors challenged the writers and that the writers challenged the actors and that the directors and the actors challenged [each other] and he created that sport of… do battle. Do creative battle. And that’s something that even all the actors on the show when the show was over, we all said to each other, ‘We’ve got to keep this alive in ourselves because it’s so powerful.’ There was an ownership from all the actors on that show that was really powerful. So I try to take that everywhere.”
In our full interview with Chandler, he also spoke of treating acting as a “contact sport.” Speaking of the talented cast on “Bloodline,” he said, “I mean, you’re only as good as the person you’re working with, and there’s a lot of great talent on the show. You’re playing every day. They call it a play, and that’s what you’re supposed to do, have fun and play. It’s professional playing. And it’s competitive. It’s full contact acting.”
But that wasn’t all the advice Coach had for his players.
“And the other thing that I’ve learned, is that there’s no planning and you never know what the hell is going to happen. You can plan everything you want and go into the set to do something and by the time you get there it’s a whole different scene. You get that anxiety, and now I’m starting just be like, “Well, I’ll look it over. We’ll just have to see what happens when we get there, you know?” Be prepared all you can but be more prepared to just throw it out the window and have to work on the spot. That’s a good lesson, I think.”
We think so, too. Thanks Coach.