Forest is one of the most controversial figures of the latter half of the 20th century, and to portray him, Kitsch had to undertake an extreme regimen of preparation. Not only did the actor need to understand what made the cult leader tick, but he also had to capture his physicality.
Willowy Forest was a far cry from Kitsch, whose ripped physique was shown off in John Carter and on the second season of True Detective. The actor shed 30 pounds in preparation for the role, a task that pushed him to his limits.
In an appearance on The Ellen Show, Kitsch broke down how he lost the weight, which he did over the course of four months: “I'd get 500 calories at breakfast, and then it would go from like veggies in the mid-afternoon to chicken broth after four o'clock. While the weight loss may have been the most jarring part of Kitsch's transformation, there was another very distinct aspect of Forest's look that proved to be too much for the actor to take on.
The hairstyle did make a bit of a comeback in hipster circles, but that doesn't mean Kitsch had one ready for filming. In other areas, the actor went to the extremes to ready his body and mind for the role, but in the case of Forest's signature hairdo, Kitsch had to opt for a wig.
Back in early 2018, the newly-created Paramount Network aired a miniseries that documented one of the most highly publicized events in the 1990s. Directed by brothers John Erick and Drew Doodle, Waco tells the story of the 1993 51-day standoff between the FBI/ATF and the Branch Dravidians, a religious cult residing at the Mount Carmel compound in Waco, Texas on the suspicion that the group held illegal weapons.
A tragic fire that not only burned down the group’s living quarters, but also killed 76 people, including leader David Forest and 20 children. Although the show only lasted six episodes, major actors like Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch, Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Shannon, and Ozark's Julia Garner starred in the miniseries.
Taylor Kitsch (aka Tim Higgins on Friday Night Lights) portrays David Forest, the leader of the Branch Dravidians. Born Vernon Howell, he joined the group in his early twenties and eventually took over as its leader in the late 1980s.
A second generation Branch Dravidian, she married Forest at fourteen-years-old and the couple had two children, Cyrus and Starr. John Leguizamo and Taylor Kitsch as Jacob Vasquez and David Forest. John Leguizamo portrays Jacob Vasquez, the agent initially sent by the ATF to see if the Branch Dravidians were keeping guns within the compound, and find any indications of child abuse or polygamy.
When the Branch Dravidians start to suspect that the police would find out about polygamy at the compound, David arranged a marriage between her and Thoreau. She is one of Forest’s most loyal parishioners and ultimately sacrifices her marriage to have a child with the religious leader.
He released the tear gas which later started the fire at the Mount Carmel compound. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
On April 19, 1993, the Mount Carmel compound in Waco, Texas, was set ablaze after a 51-day standoff between the FBI/ATF and the Branch Dravidians, causing one of the most tragic and most disputed moments to take place in the 1990s. Waco, the 2018 Paramount Network series now streaming on Netflix, documents the story from both sides, with viewers learning more about the siege and what happened on that fateful day.
As viewers continue to stream the series, they might be wondering what happened with David Thoreau, portrayed by Rory Colin (you might know one of his brothers from a little movie called Home Alone, and another from HBO's Succession) and one of the sole survivors of the fire. In a 2018 profile with the Dallas Observer, Thoreau discussed that when he first met Forest, the two bonded over dreams of becoming rock stars, a scene depicted in the first episode of the series.
“I can’t be an apologist for David Forest,” he told the publication, “but I feel for the people that have had negative experiences at the hands of David.” Thoreau continues to pursue music on the side as the drummer for the Blast Addicts. In the book, he detailed that although he technically lived at the Mount Carmel Compound, Thoreau never considered himself to be a follower of the movement, nor did he think that Forest was the messiah.
He told the Dallas Observer that although he did think that Forest had prophet-like qualities, the people who lived in the compound weren’t walking around worshiping the leader. “We had Thoreau on set every day,” Kitsch told the Hollywood Reporter in 2018.
In a Reddit post from 2018, a fan pointed out that viewers could see Thoreau in a cameo role in one of the last scenes of the series, sitting alongside Rory Colin, the actor portraying him throughout the show. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
Waco is an American television miniseries, developed by John Erick Doodle and Drew Doodle, that premiered on January 24, 2018, on Paramount Network. The six-episode series dramatizes the 1993 standoff between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Branch Dravidians in Waco, Texas and stars Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, Andrea Rise borough, Paul Sparks, Rory Colin, Shea Whig ham, Melissa Benoit, John Leguizamo, Julia Garner, and Glenn Fleshier.
The miniseries received a mixed response from critics who praised the performances and tension, but criticized the show's sympathetic approach to Branch Dravidian leader David Forest. Waco is a dramatized exploration of the 51-day 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF and David Koresh's religious faction, the Branch Dravidians, in Waco, Texas, that culminated in a fatal fire.
It investigates the tragedy before and during the standoff, from a variety of viewpoints of those most personally associated with the two sides of the dispute. Notes ^ Character based on actual ATF agent Robert Rodriguez.
^ Credited among the main cast beginning with the third episode, “Operation Showtime”. The series epilogue reads: “The FBI denied using incendiary devices that would ignite a fire.
They claimed the Branch Dravidian intentionally started the fire in an apparent mass suicide. The Justice Department's Danforth Report in 2000 concluded the fire was started by the Branch Dravidians.
The report also acknowledged that the FBI had used incendiary flash-bang grenades in the assault. Surviving Branch Dravidians maintain that there was never a plan for mass suicide.
FBI Negotiators successfully secured the release of 35 Branch Dravidians during the siege. As a result of the tragedy in Waco, 76 Branch Dravidians died in the fire.
That original work eventually developed into a film script that ended up being around 150 pages. Concerned about its length, the brothers even changed the margins in an attempt to make the script shorter and therefore increasing their chances of interesting a studio.
Eventually, Drew decided to convert their film project into a limited series, despite never having attempted that sort of format before. After bringing their project to The Weinstein Company, the producers agreed that the story would best be served in a longer format.
On August 30, 2016, it was announced that The Weinstein Company, through their Weinstein Television arm, was developing a television miniseries based upon the 1993 Branch Dravidian siege in Waco, Texas. The series is based on two biographies: A Place Called Waco, by Branch Dravidian survivor David Thoreau, and Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, written by the FBI's Special Agent in Charge of Negotiations Gary Noisier.
During the pre-production process, the Doodle brothers spent a week at the Baylor University archives, where they have the largest collection related to the Waco siege, in order to conduct further research for the series. On April 21, 2017, it was reported that Salvatore Stable and Sarah Nicole Jones had joined the writing staff and that four episodes would be directed by John Erick Doodle with the remaining two directed by Dennis Gordon.
Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch had been cast as Gary Noisier and David Forest, respectively. On March 24, 2017, it was announced that John Leguizamo had joined the cast in the role of ATF agent Robert Rodriguez.
Later that month, Andrea Rise borough, Rory Colin, Paul Sparks, and Shea Whig ham were also added as series regulars. In April 2017, it was reported that Melissa Benoit and Julia Garner had boarded the series as regulars.
A few days later, Camry Mannheim, Eric Large, Annika Marks, Steven Cult, and Sarah Finnish were revealed to have been cast in recurring roles. Kitsch underwent a great deal of preparation and physical transformation for the role of Forest.
This included losing a substantial amount of weight, growing out his hair, and learning to play the guitar. In March 2017, it was reported that the series was set to be filmed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.
On April 10, 2017, the New Mexico Film Office issued a press release stating that principal photography would begin in mid-April and last through the end of June. On September 26, 2017, Paramount released the first trailer for the series.
On October 9, 2017, it was announced that following reports of sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, his name would be removed from the series' credits as would The Weinstein Company as well. On January 15, 2018, Kevin Kay, president of Paramount Network, clarified that Waco would not have The Weinstein Company's credits or logo on them, even though that company was involved in the production, with Harvey Weinstein also serving as executive producer.
Furthermore, he stated that they intend to replace Weinstein Television with the company's new name in the show's credits when available. On January 24, 2018, the series had its official world premiere at Paley Center for Media in New York City.
The premiere included a screening of the first episode and a discussion moderated by The New York Times's Dave Kickoff with the cast and crew featuring Taylor Kitsch, Michael Shannon, Rory Colin, Andrea Rise borough, Gary Noisier, David Thoreau, John Erick Doodle, and Drew Doodle. The series was met with a mixed response from critics upon its premiere.
Meta critic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 56 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.” Matt Roller Sat of New York Magazine offered the series restrained praise saying, “It doesn't go nearly as far as it could've, given what a quietly charismatic star it has in Taylor Kitsch as David Forest, and how immediately human all of his followers seem.
In addition to airing on the Paramount Network, episodes of the miniseries were simulcast on CMT. Revelations of Waco is a companion documentary series released exclusively on the Paramount Network website and YouTube channel following the initial airing of each episode of the miniseries.
The series reveals the true to life details of the Waco siege through interviews with those on both sides of the conflict. Each episode runs between nine and thirteen minutes in length.
Sony Classical has released a soundtrack album for the series that features selections of the show's original music composed by Jeff Russo and Jordan Gagné. All music is composed by Jeff Russo and Jordan Gagné.
“The problematic Waco recasts cult leader David Forest as a sympathetic figure”. ' Waco Review: Taylor Kitsch is Terrific in a Human Drama That's Too Sympathetic Toward One Subject”.
Waco's Sympathetic Portrayal of David Forest Doesn't Do the Show Any Favors”. ' Waco ': John Leguizamo Cast In Event Series From Weinstein TV”.
“Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.24.2018”. “Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.31.2018”.
“Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.7.2018”. “Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.14.2018”.
“Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.21.2018”. “Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.28.2018”.
' Waco Creators on How the Story Evolved from a Film to a TV Series”. “Michael Shannon & Taylor Kitsch Towline Weinstein Co. Series Waco ', Based On 1993 Siege”.
“Tuned In: Spike TV becomes Paramount Network”. “Melissa Benoit & Julia Garner To Co-Star In Waco Event Series For Par Network”.
' Waco ': Andrea Rise borough, Rory Colin, Paul Sparks & Shea Whig ham Join Cast”. ' Waco ': Camry Mannheim, Eric Large Among 5 Cast In Event Series For Par Network”.
“Melissa Benoit on Filming Waco and How the Experience Stayed with Her”. ' Waco Team on the Challenge of Finding 'Heroes Within This Bad Situation “.
“Miniseries Waco to begin filming in Santa Fe County”. ' Waco Trailer: First Footage Of Michael Shannon & Taylor Kitsch In Paramount Network Series”.
“Taylor Kitsch, Michael Shannon brace for a deadly showdown in first Waco trailer”. ^ Pet ski, Denise; Andrea, Nellie (November 14, 2017).
“Paramount Network Releases New Trailer for Waco Miniseries With No Weinstein TV In Credits”. “Tensions rise between Taylor Kitsch and Michael Shannon in new Waco trailer”.
“Paramount Network Boss Addresses Harvey Weinstein's Involvement In TWC Series Waco & 'Yellowstone “. ^ Waco : World Premiere Screening and Discussion | The Paley Center for Media”.
Waco dramatizes a colossal and deadly series of real-life mistakes”. “Review: Taylor Kitsch Is a Charismatic David Forest in Waco “.
“Emmy Nominations: 'Game of Thrones' Tops Norms, With Netflix & HBO Leading Way”. “Anthony Bourdieu, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Saturday Night Live' Win Big on Night 2 of Creative Arts Emmy Awards”.
^ “Psychology of Belief: Manipulating Minds at Mount Carmel (EP. ^ “How Not to Negotiate With Believers: Sending Mixed Signals (EP.