You know him as Broussard, the mysterious, stoic, and tough-as-nails Resistance op in USA Network's Colony, but actor Tory Kittles could not be a more open and easygoing guy in real life! USA Network chatted with Kittles about a whole range of topics, from his first big break to his ongoing Twitter feud with co-star Peter Jacobson (Alan Snyder). Here's what we learned!
On his many, many jobs before acting
"I tried speech therapy because I had a speech impediment when I was a kid. I tried marketing. I tried business. I tried communication. I was fixing appliances for Sears, I was bartending at the Orlando Airport, and I was working at an agency -- actually, at the extras agency where I got the first acting job I ever had."
On his first TV gig
"I picked up a newspaper and it said 'Actors - Extras' and I called this number and this agent sent me on an extra job. It was the Kenan & Kel show, which was shooting at Universal Studios in Orlando. Just being on that set, it was like everything clicked. I knew that this was what I was going to do, and in hindsight now, those things that I was studying all helped me in a way as an actor because, as an actor, you use so many different parts of yourself. So everything that I had studied prior to becoming an actor, it all came around eventually in some way, shape, or form.
On that first "big break"
"I got cast in a Joel Schumacher movie called Tigerland. I had a very small part, but he just kept adding me more into the movie, and then one day, he comes up to me, he says, "Why don't you write a song for the film?" Now, he didn't know that I wrote!"
On writing the song "Looking for Charlie"
"We were filming Tigerland on a base that my grandfather was stationed at during World War II, which is just outside of the small town I grew up in called Lawtey, FL. I can't say that I had some super insight. I just knew that we were in this time period of 1971, and I started imagining what it felt like for a solider and the things that you would miss while you're away from your family. I went back to Joel,and I said, 'I think I got something,' and I sang it for him, and he was like, 'Great, we're going to film it.' So he did! He filmed it, he put it in the movie, and then he said, 'What are you doing after this is over?'"
On handling rejection
"Young actors ask me all the time, 'What's your advice?' and it's impossible to tell anyone because everybody's course is different and it's very specific to their own journey. The thing is, you have to be very resilient and diligent because your life is filled with no. I can count thousands of auditions that I've gone on that I didn't get. You put down your blood, your sweat, your tears and then it doesn't go your way, and you think that it's the end-all be-all, like, 'Man, if I just get that job, it's going to change my life,' but it never really works out the way that you think it's going to work out. But if it's for you? It always ends up working out, and I don't know how to explain it in a way that makes sense. I can just say that if this is for you, it works out."
On his becoming Broussard
"I never would have thought that I would be playing this character Broussard on this show Colony the way that they rolled it out. Even when I read the pilot, I didn't think that this character was going to be what it's become. That's a credit to Ryan Condal and Carlton Cuse and Wes Tooke and a lot of our people in the writers' room."
On what he admires about his Colony character
"I don't think he's boisterous or he needs to brag about his accomplishments. I think the audience sees him as a guy that they can trust because they believe that he'll get the job done. And I think that they see he's a guy that, if he's going to ask you to walk through fire, it's not going to be alone. He's going to go through that fire with you."
On Broussard's relationship to Katie
"Sarah Wayne Callies and I actually got together before we shot the pilot to talk about what the backstory is here between these two characters. We had this idea that they met prior to the Arrival because she runs this bar, he's a soldier, and she's married to a soldier. So she gets his sensibility. We explored that idea, so I think there's some subtext going on within those scenes between us, but whatever we came up with, it didn't quite match up with what the writers' intentions were, so I still think that there will be a lot of unraveling in terms of their relationship or what the audience will discover."
On his ever-changing appearance
"I'm that guy who, if I'm at the grocery store, I get stared at because people go, "I know I know you, but I don't know how I know you." I do love that. I love being able to disappear into a role and people not be able to go, "Oh, that's Tory Kittles." I can just blend into whatever the writers' intentions are. I think that my job is to service the story, as opposed to servicing myself, and so if I'm doing that correctly -- if I can get to that level of disappearing and it doesn't always work -- then I feel like I'm doing something right."
On his (good-natured) Twitter feud with Peter Jacobson
"I really do not like that guy. He's the worst human being. [Laughs] No, no, no. Peter is one of the smartest, funniest people on the planet. I don't even know how this thing started, our Twitter battles that we have every week, but it's great because we just go back and forth. He's game, he's up for it, and I do really love him, but it's that love-hate relationship? The fans are taking sides, and because Broussard was absent for a couple of episodes, I think he's thinks he has a leg up on me right now because of something about screen time. But as I told him, it's not how many moments you have, it's what you do within those moments!"
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.