Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Jun 13, 2013

Why Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler Can't Agree on the Friday Night Lights Movie

Friday Night Lights, Connie Britton, Kyle Chandler
This is so Mr. and Mrs. Coach. Always disagreeing!

When we asked Connie Britton, she of perfect-hair and flawless personality, about the chances of a Friday Night Lights movie, she revealed that she and her onscreen husband Kyle Chandler are not on the same page when it comes to continuing the Dillon saga.

"When they asked the question at the [Austin Television Festival] panel I kind of looked over at Kyle, because I feel like he and I are sort of on different sides of the fence with the movie idea," she told us at the Fragrance Foundation Awards. "I think it's gonna be up to more than just us, actually. But we'll see. It'll be fun, I think."

VIDEO: Connie says she'd "love" to see a FNL movie

Oh, Connie. You are so humble. There cannot be a Friday Night Lights film without Eric and Tami. Period.

But at least we got a preview of what a reunion movie would be like when Chandler surprised fans at the Austin Television Festival and showed up for a panel honoring the departed NBC series. Needless to say, the crowd went wild.

"It was just a beautiful reunion. We have such a love for that show," Britton gushed.

To hear more from Mrs. Coach, including info on her new film with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, watch our exclusive interview below!

Jun 10, 2013

'Friday Night Lights': Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton Reunite With Cast At ATX Festival

"Friday Night Lights" may have ended before its time, but fans were transported right back to Dillion this weekend at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, which played host to a cast reunion that brought stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton back together to reminisce about the show's stellar run.

Joining Chandler and Britton (Coach and Mrs. Coach) on the panel were Gaius Charles (Brian "Smash" Williams), Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity), Louanne Stephens (Grandma Lorraine Saracen), Matt Lauria (Luke Cafferty), Scott Porter (Jason Street) and writer/producer David Hudgins.

friday night lights kyle connie

Chandler and Britton's appearance at the festival was kept secret from fans until they emerged on stage, and their arrival was met with teary eyes, full hearts and a standing ovation from the crowd.

Throughout the panel, the pair demonstrated that their characters' affectionate rapport was still going strong in real life, even after two years apart, with Britton offering wifely corrections to Chandler's anecdotes and Chandler making wry asides, just like an old married couple might.

Hudgins (who was moderating the panel) kicked things off by asking the duo about their on-screen marriage, which was often a combination of their "intense, loving side" and "giving each other shit."
Chandler began, "Connie and I, the whole on-screen marriage happened the first day we met downtown. We were going out to lunch -- "

"Dinner," Britton interjected. "He always gets this wrong."

Seemingly with practice, Chandler continued undeterred, "And it was, I think, within the first five minutes that ... sometimes you meet someone and it's like, 'Oh, OK! We're in good shape now,' and within the first five minutes we realized ... we were gonna have a good time, and in the next 10 minutes we realized the acting styles were gonna work, and within the next half hour, we were excited to begin. And the greatest thing between Connie and I, I think we'd both agree, is that when we're working together, we're both fools, we like to play the fool, but no matter what, we would always let the other person ... fall as far as you wanted to, but you knew the other person would grab you. And in the acting, that's perfect because that's the timing and everything. So you always felt safe making the biggest fool you could of yourself, so we could always turn back around to the sentimentality or the humor of it."

Britton agreed, adding, "Right from the beginning, it felt like we could trust each other, which was crazy, but we did. I think the other thing that felt really important from the beginning was, we shared the same values about what we wanted that marriage to be, which we shared with the writers. We really wanted that marriage to be about two people who were committed to being married to each other, through thick and through thin, as opposed to having affairs and all of those dramatic things that happen on other TV shows ..."

Was that a not-so-veiled dig at Britton's current role on "Nashville" (which has reportedly had some backstage drama)? "Some people might call that 'story,'" Hudgins humorously pointed out.

"Yes, some people might," Britton laughed.

Hudgins noted, "It was certainly a challenge in that marriage because there was the idea that no matter what happened and how much we tested Coach and Tami that they would never get apart, which is a challenge from a writing standpoint -- but it sounds like you felt like it worked."

"Oh yeah, I think, not only did it work -- and I remember you writers saying in the course of the seasons, 'This is challenging from a writing standpoint' -- but I think that the audiences appreciated it so much because, oddly, that was a rare thing to see on television," Britton said. "And I think that's what most people are trying to do out in the world, is live a life where they're doing the best they can with a partner and making it work. We were really true to that."

friday night lights kyle connie

During the panel, notable clips played that highlighted each actor in attendance, allowing the stars to discuss their memories of filming and the relationships that made the show so resonant. One of the most memorable scenes shown was Coach Taylor's rousing eleventh-hour speech to the Panthers in Season 1 finale "State," which resulted in a surprising story that highlighted Chandler's dedication to the role.

"I was in Texas Stadium while we were shooting, and we had pulled out a lot of stops to be able to shoot in Texas Stadium, and on the day that scene was shot, [Kyle] was sick as a dog -- didn't you have the flu?" Hudgins asked the star.

"He had strep throat," Britton confidently answered.

Chandler recalled, "I had a cold that day, and I started feeling very strange, and by the time we got up there, I was a mess ... I don't remember much of that. I was just a mess."

"He was hallucinating and he was a big baby," Britton teased.

"And that's why the scene turned out so well," Chandler laughed. "But seriously, about that scene ... there are so many pieces that make that work; the editors on the show were so incredible, everyone was giving it 110 percent ... it just all worked. It was a compilation of so many things that came together."

Chandler then referenced something that fellow panelist Porter said at a wrap party, but inadvertently called him "Jason" (his character's name) in the process.

"His name is Scott," Britton corrected slowly, in perfect "Tami Knows Best" tone.

friday night lights kyle connie

"Notice though, the way he's looking at me, he called me Jason and I was just like 'Yes?'" Porter said with a laugh, nodding obediently at Chandler.

"Pfft, that's Jason," Chandler insisted. "Anyway, he said, 'The reason this show works so well is because everybody had ownership of the show -- we all owned a piece of this show from the beginning, from [creator] Pete Berg to the writers to the producers, we all pulled together and we all had ownership, and that's, I think, one of the biggest reasons this show was so successful.'"

Unwilling to let Chandler completely deflect attention away from his determination to finish the Season 1 finale scene in question, Hudgins added, "I want to make sure I'm clear about the fact that Kyle was sick on that day because a lot of actors, if they're not feeling well, they don't show up and you can't shoot the scene -- it's a hardship on production. On that particular day, it would've been a killer, and so Kyle gutted it out. We were looking for you between takes and I found you in the bathroom throwing up, and you came out and did the scene anyway." Can't lose, indeed.

8 More Facts We Learned From The "Friday Night Lights" Reunion Panel

Chandler used to cook breakfast for the crew: Hudgins asked Chandler about a specific scene in Episode 10 of Season 5 with Coach and Vince (Michael B. Jordan) in which Coach Taylor was cooking bacon in his office. "It started out with the kitchen scenes in the Taylor house [that] I would cook breakfast for the crew. We'd get there early, wouldn't have anything to do, so I'd start cooking packs of bacon and I made toast and I put cheese on it and I was handing bacon sandwiches to everyone," Chandler explained, before describing the circumstances of that particular scene. "[The director] wanted bacon in the scene and I thought that was great, so we just put a hot plate in the middle of the scene -- it had a 'Sopranos' feel," he said with a laugh. Hudgins added, "I can tell you, back in LA, we were like, 'What does this mean? Is it a sign? Is Kyle unhappy?'"

The cast's awesomeness isn't limited to Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton: Leland knew that Stephens was a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys, so during the filming of "State," he got her a personalized autograph from Julius Jones, the Cowboys' running back -- telling the story got Stephens (and much of the audience) visibly choked up. (See below.)

Matt Lauria faceplanted in front of real football players on his first full day on set: After promising the stunt-coordinator that he could run "really fast," having been a track star in school, Lauria got to set, had never run on astroturf before, and fell over when trying to shoot his first major scene.

friday night lights kyle connie

Connie Britton is still proud of the "sex talk" scene between Tami and Julie (Aimee Teegarden): "My mom talked to me about sex and I hid behind the chair in the living room," she said with a laugh. "Certainly I've had people come up and say, 'I've rewatched that scene so I could figure out how to talk to my child about sex.' It does create a big sense of responsibility in a way. It makes you think about the voice you're putting out into the world. I think it's a testament to the writers on our show: Because of the way that our show was set up, we got to tell great stories like that, stories that resonate on a base, human level ... Gosh, we were so lucky to be able to play those moments and have the writers be able to delve into those areas."

Scott Porter broke a camera operator's foot during filming: During the scene in which Jason Street punches Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) for sleeping with his girlfriend Lyla (Minka Kelly), Porter broke a camera operator's foot by accidentally flipping a heavy bench over on it while playing a moment of high emotion. "She finished the scene, and she's the one who got that end shot where Jason is just crumpling in on himself ... that was her angle; she has a broken foot and she's just shooting it. There was an ownership on this show, but there was also a trust, from top to bottom," Porter observed.

The lines between fiction and reality often blurred during shooting: After seeing the clip in which Smash goes to tell Coach that he got into college on a football scholarship, Gaius Charles reflected on "what a victory that was for them and their relationship and for the audience that followed their story." Chandler agreed, "Those scenes like that ... you don't see many shows that allow silence ... It really allows us as the actors to be with each other. That's one of the most intimate scenes we ever did on the show together. I have to be honest -- for me, it wasn't Coach up there; it was me saying goodbye to Gaius. To see that again, that does get you ..." Then, to make light of the moment, Chandler playfully added, "I was so happy to see him go!"

One of Jason's most iconic lines was ad-libbed. After a career-ending injury in the pilot episode, the grace that Jason Street demonstrated while being taken off the field by the EMTs was one of the most poignant moments of the series, and it wasn't even scripted. Since "FNL" was Porter's first role, he recalled, "Pete [Berg] took me out to dinner and was like ... 'I want you to just say whatever comes to your mind at all times in this pilot and let's see where it goes.' And I was laying on the field and the entire stands were full, the entire cast was there, and the EMTs come out and go to put me on a stretcher and I said 'thank you' to the EMTs and it wasn't scripted. And they picked me up and put me in the ambulance, and Pete came over to me, and Pete is just so intense, and he goes, "Thank you ... fuck yeah!" It's a moment that, every time I see it, it's such an emotional moment, but I smile 'cause that was the beginning of this amazing road for me. I never would've gone there without Pete and that moment."

Don't expect a "Friday Night Lights" reunion movie any time soon. There's been plenty of talk about a movie revival of the series, which both Britton and Chandler have weighed in on, but Hudgins doesn't want to get your hopes up: "I will say that we can dream the dream; there have been talks about making a movie of the series. The producers, Pete and his partners are very passionate about it. I don't think there's any plans for it to move forward right now. But you never say never."

Would you watch a "Friday Night Lights" movie revival? Does seeing Britton and Chandler together again bring back fond memories? Weigh in below!

Jun 8, 2013

‘Friday Night Lights’ Reunion: Connie Britton And Kyle Chandler Surprise Fans At ATX Television Festival [PHOTOS]

AUSTIN, Texas -- “Friday Night Lights” fans were in for a wicked treat at the ATX Television Festival this weekend. Attendees were pleased with appearances by David Hudgins, Scott Porter, Gaius Charles, Matt Lauria, Louanne Stephens and Brad Leland, and they were surprised with a special guest appearance by Coach and Mrs. Coach: Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler!

Britton, who now stars on ABC’s “Nashville,” took the stage with Chandler at the “Cast Diaries” panel, and it was pretty bittersweet. The “Friday Night Lights” cast reunited at the first-ever ATX Festival last year, but both stars were unable to attend. Festival co-founders Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson were able to keep their appearance this year a secret, and the result was a totally enthusiastic crowd. The ATX Festival workers made sure to capture the audience’s reaction as the surprise guests walked out on stage (which led to an immediate standing round of applause) and shared it via Vine. Click here to watch the awesome Vine audience reaction.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t just everyday television viewers who were happy about the reunion. Mae Whitman of “Arrested Development” and “Parenthood” jumped in on the action, being the first person in the audience to address the “Friday Night Lights” panel. (Whitman actually worked with Lauria on “Parenthood.”)

Mae Whitman Photo: Twitter Mae Whitman of "Parenthood" and "Arrested Development" was the first to ask a question at the "Friday Night Lights" panel. 
Friday Night Lights Photo: Twitter Pictured is the "Friday Night Lights" panel at ATX.

'Texas Forever!': 10 things we learned from the 'Friday Night Lights' reunion

Image Credit: Jack Plunkett

On Friday night in Austin, Tex., some of your favorite Friday Night Lights cast members gathered at sunset to drink Shiner Bock in a parking lot and reminisce about the glory days. This was not a dream. It was a stellar event put on by the good folks at the ATX Television Festival who’d organized a free outdoor screening of the season 1 season finale. (The next morning the thrills kept coming, as stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton surprised fans by dropping in unannounced on the FNL cast panel.) But on Friday, the show belonged to actors Scott Porter (Street), Gaius Charles (Smash), Louanne Stephens (Grandma Saracen!), Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity), Stephanie Hunt (Devon), Katherine Willis (Mrs. Street), Matt Lauria (Luke Cafferty), and Lamarcus Tinker (Tinker), who spoke with EW exclusively about their most treasured memories of working on the greatest show ever. Here are 10 of the best:

1. Scott Porter on Taylor Kitsch’s audition tape for Tim Riggins: “The camera turns on and you just see a leg.Then you see Kitsch sit back in a chair and he just looks into the camera. There’s a tall-boy next to him and he reaches down, grabs it, puts it on one leg, cracks it open with one hand, drinks the whole tall-boy, puts it down, grabs the second one, cracks it open with one hand and goes [in Canadian accent] ‘This is Taylor Kitsch, reading for Riggins.’ And then he begins the scene by the pool where he says ‘Texas forever’ for the first time.”

2. FNL creator Peter Berg wasn’t going to let his cast ever feel beat up by the ongoing threat of cancellation: “I opened my door one day and there were boxing gloves hanging in my trailer from Pete,” remembers Charles. “Which was him saying we were going to fight, we were going to keep going. His slogan was ‘Nobody pushes us around.’”

3. The scenes that made the cast laugh hardest: “Any time Landry and Matt were together,” says Stephens. “Going shopping for clothes, or just throwing the football out front.” “Jesse Plemons face, any moment, ever,” says Leland.

4. Speaking of Jesse Plemons. He had arrived in Austin last night. Why wasn’t he here telling good Landry stories? “He’s babysitting my friend’s baby,” says Hunt, who played Crucifictorious member and Landry’s brief, never-going-to-happen love interest Devon. Plemons, Hunt, and Crucifictorious drummer Caleb Landry Jones still hang out regularly in Los Angeles.

5. One more Plemons regret: “On this show it wasn’t about the actors you most loved working with, but the regret of ones you don’t,” says Porter. “I never had a scene with Jesse Plemons. I was in a scene once where he was performing but we never spoke a line to each other. Which is weird because he and I are still so close. We live five minutes from each other in Los Angeles and we hang out still to this day.”

5. Leland begged for Buddy Garrity to get some girlfriend or wife action for two years to no avail. He hasn’t gotten over that.

6. Speaking of action, a half-naked Buddy Garrity once jumped into bed with Coach and Tami: “Kyle and Connie were in bed together shooting an intimate scene,” says Leland. “So they’re having this romantic interlude and during the take the director let me run in there and jump in bed with them. And I only had on a pair of gym shorts, and it was a hot night and I was probably sweaty. It grossed Connie out so bad. She started yelling ‘Ewwwww, get him out of here!’”

7. The same extras, or “background artists” as Brad Leland says they referred to them, who filled the Dillon bleachers and the Alamo Freeze and the diner for five seasons were in the audience for the screening.

8. Best thing Taylor Kitsch brought to the show (besides biceps, beautiful tortured face, everything): “Street’s nickname ‘Six’ wasn’t on the page,” says Porter. “That was Kitsch. When he walked into the hospital room in season 1 and finally comes to see me for the first time? Instead of saying what was on the page he said ‘Six’ and it stuck.”

9. Leland kept three pairs of Buddy Garrity’s $750 prescription Oakley sunglasses, but Porter has the best FNL loot: “I have both my home and away jerseys, signed by everyone on the show. I have a football signed by everyone who ever played football on the show that I won at an auction And I have my state championship ring, which is apparently one of six in existence. Everyone else had to turn theirs in at the end of the day but I had mine hanging on a leather necklace and just tucked it under my shirt.”

10. The time Kitsch and Porter cried saying goodbye. “In the scene where Riggins and Six were saying goodbye in New York, and Riggins was getting ready to say ‘Texas Forever’ and head off in the cab, it took us 25 minutes to even attempt a take because we were just bawling. Taylor, I couldn’t believe it, was just like ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, hold on…’ And then it got me going. It took us 25 minutes to get it together and then we did it in one take and he got in the cab and left.”
I couldn’t find that scene on YouTube but I did find this, which is even better.