Casting Tim Riggins as David Koresh in Waco, the forthcoming six-part television event series from Paramount Pictures, is kind of genius.
The actor Taylor Kitsch, who is best known for his portrayal of Tim Riggins—the brooding, beautiful Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights—was very convincing as a sad, tortured high school football player from West Texas. Soon we’ll see how he does as Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidian cult, which met a fiery end after a 51 day standoff with the FBI in 1993. Over 75 people were killed in the fire that consumed the Branch Davidian compound, including FBI agents, many children and Koresh himself.
What’s most unsettling about this trailer is Kitsch’s uncanny resemblance to David Koresh. People reports that Kitsch went into the role knowing very little about the story, but dove into “four-plus months” of research. He also dropped 30 pounds, learned to sing and play the guitar and spent hours and hours with tapes of Koresh’s taped conversations with FBI negotiator Gary Noesener, who will be played by Michael Shannon in the series.
For those who primarily associate Waco with shiplap and Chip and Joanna Gaines’s seemingly-impenetrable marriage, this series will likely change that (back) right quick. It premieres in January on something called the Paramount Network, which I now understand to be what Spike TV is calling itself in the new year.