THE MEASURE OF A MAN: A SIT DOWN WITH TORY KITTLES

Tory Kittles is a man you want to know. Easy on the eyes, with an enigmatic presence moving you to unearth more, Kittles returns for Season 2 of the USA hit drama, Colony. We caught up with the Florida native to dig a little deeper.

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HYDROGEN MAGAZINE: You are Florida born, but where do you call home?

TORY KITTLES: LA is home now, but I always carry Lawtey, the place where I grew up, with me. It’s small town America. Good people.

HM: How did acting become the path your life would take?

TK: I was reading a newspaper and saw an ad looking for actors, extras. I called the number and ended up being an extra on the Keenan and Kel show. That’s when I was bit by the bug, as they say, on that set. It was like a light turned on.

HM: What was the first gig you got where you thought, “Okay, I can actually make a living doing this…”

TK: I think I was naive enough to think that about my first job, Tigerland. It wasn’t until a few years later and I was the door guy at my buddy’s bar when the realization occurred to me, that it wasn’t going to be that easy. Now, I just feel extremely fortunate to be a part of a show that’s such a success.

HM: Who are some of your biggest influences?

TK: I find inspiration in other artists, all kinds. Musicians. Writers. Painters. Other actors, filmmakers. People who dare to follow their dreams and those who support the dreams of others.

HM: Favorite film performance ever…

TK: There’s way too many great performances to single out one. But if I’ve got to, in this moment, I’m thinking it’s a toss-up between “bad muthafucka Jules” Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction….and “Gator the crackhead” Sam Jackson in Jungle Fever. Very different. Both masterful. But ask me the same thing tomorrow and it’ll probably be different.

HM: First impressions of Hollywood…

TK: It’s a land of illusion, a place where dreamers go to make dreams happen. I still believe that. There’s this idea that’s being propagated lately, that Hollywood is some elitist, detached from reality place, where everyone has millions of dollars and mansions. Sure that may be true for some, but for the vast majority of the people who also make up the heart and soul of this town, that is completely false.

The reality is that most people who work in showbiz are struggling to make enough money to pay their rent consistently or qualify for their union’s insurance; the same struggles that are happening all around the world. I disavow these notions to separate us. There’s commonality in all.

HM: If you could go back and give some advice to your younger self on navigating this industry and making hard choices, what would be your words of wisdom?

TK: Enjoy the moments. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey. You’re not going to make all the right moves. You’re not going to say all the right things. But if you stay in the game long enough, sometimes you’ll win, even if it’s by default.

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HM: Let’s talk about COLONY, which has just returned for season 2 on USA. Let’s go back. How did the role of Broussard come your way and what were your first thoughts on the character?

TK: I read and loved the script-it started there. But, really, credit goes to the magnificent April Webster (casting director) who thought of me and brought me in to meet Ryan and Carlton. She’s the person who really teed me up. All I had to do was not blow the meet.

HM: In the season 2 premiere, we go back before the Arrival and get to know a bit more about the characters and how they connected. How has Broussard’s military past both helped him and been a source of difficulty for him?

TK: I think his military training has given him the tools he needs to survive, and at times even thrive, in regards to battle. But those same traits have hardened him in ways that have made him accessible only on a surface level. There’s a depth in him waiting to be revealed.

HM: What’s your take on Broussard and Katie’s dynamic?

TK: Some relationships you intellectualize and some come straight from the gut. I think with Katie, the latter is the case. He trusts her, for reasons that maybe he can’t even explain.

HM: What can we expect from Broussard moving into season 2?

TK: Broussard is moving into a very uncomfortable space: celebrity. He’s being heralded for his accomplishments within the resistance but, because of that, his face is now everywhere. It’s uncharted territory for him; dangerous territory because it’s forcing him to change his strategies and move away from tactics that have been successful for him in the past. Celebrity is forcing him to evolve. It’ll be interesting to see where that evolution takes him.

HM: What’s the method to your madness? How do you approach playing Broussard and other characters you take on?

TK: It always begins with the scribes, what the writer’s intentions are within the narrative. What I try to do is find ways to support that, illuminate that, color it. Each character is always the hero of their own story, just like in life, but within the world of a screenplay, the rules are set for that specific world and each story has its own specificities, so each character is different.

I tend to start with a theme which, most times, is musical. Sometimes I create it, other times I find it elsewhere, or it finds me. And then I just try to open myself up to what the moment is asking for, raising the stakes as high as possible without getting caught breaking the rules.

HM: What’s Broussard’s best trait and his worst?

TK: Loyalty. Loyalty.

HM: When you are off the clock, what do you like to get into?

TK: Trouble.

HM: If you could have dinner with three people, past or present, who would they be and why?

TK: JFK, MLK, and Steve Jobs. We could talk about making humanity mainstream again. We could figure out ways to peddle goodness instead of greed.

HM: What’s the master plan?

TK: No master plan but the objective is to get better, every day, in all aspects of life and living. Time is a gift, gotta enjoy it while you can. Other than that…don’t take it all so seriously….nothing’s forever.

‘COLONY’ AIRS ON USA, THURSDAYS, 10/9c.

PHOTOGRAPHY: CATIE LAFFOON

SHOW STILL: ISABELLA VOSMIKOVA/ USA NETWORK

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