Foolish Director Attempts to Destroy the Indestructible Coach Taylor


Sometimes, when I need to psych myself up for something big, I’ll go on YouTube and search out Coach Eric Taylor’s pre-game pep talks from Friday Night Lights. I even did it before interviewing for my job here at Jezebel. That‘s how deeply Coach and FNL are embedded in my brain and nothing — nothing — could change that, especially not some hot shot indie director named James Ponsoldt, no matter how hard he tries.

Ponsoldt directs Coach Taylor, actually known as Kyle Chandler, as an alcoholic absentee father in The Spectacular Now, a movie currently the subject of a bidding war at Sundance. Of Chandler, Ponsoldt says:

“I’m a huge fan of Kyle’s and have been for years. Nowadays, really great one-hour television competes in many ways with really great dramatic films. There’s fantastic writing on shows like Friday Night Lights … and in many ways, I think an audience gets so intimately connected to the characters because they’re in their living rooms every week for five years. I feel like Kyle as Coach Taylor is sort of a throwback to a Gary Cooper, or a Henry Fonda, or a Jimmy Stewart: this profoundly decent bedrock of a great father and a great coach. And I was so excited to cast that guy as a raging narcissist and a horrible father! I wanted to just destroy all of your feelings about Coach Taylor. And I hope I succeeded!”

Foolish man, you could no more succeed at destroying our feelings about Coach Taylor than you could at destroying Tim Riggins’ love of Texas.

Sundance: Kyle Chandler’s Mission to Destroy Coach Taylor [Vulture]

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin