63 "Friday Night Lights" Facts Every Panthers Or Lions Fan Needs To Know
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't forget these details.
1. Taylor Kitsch, like his character Tim Riggins, was homeless for a while and would crash at a friend's house for a few weeks at a time before finding another place. Wonder if he ever met a real-life Becky?
2. Gracie Belle Taylor was played by triplet sisters: Cailin, Madeline, and Jocelyn Landry.
3. During Coach Eric Taylor's famous speech at the state game halftime during the Season 1 finale, Kyle Chandler was extremely under the weather. Connie Britton — who played Tami Taylor — remembers him having strep throat, while Chandler said he had a bad cold...and doesn't remember filming any of that scene.
4. Matt Lauria was a track star in high school and bragged about being able to run really fast. But during his first take on his first day on set, he face-planted, unfamiliar with running on astroturf.
5. When Jason Street (Scott Porter) was injured in the pilot episode, he was not given scripted lines. When the EMTs come over to help him, executive producer Peter Berg told him to just say what he was feeling in that moment. Porter said, "Thank you."
6. Jesse Plemons (Landry) and Porter never had a scene together — with the exception of Jason once attending a Crucifictorious concert — despite being good friends in real life.
7. Riggins' nickname for Jason, "Six," wasn't written in the script. The first time Riggins visits Jason in the hospital, he calls him "Six" and it caught on.
8. Coach and Tami were supposed to have a sex scene in Season 1, Episode 2, but Chandler was so uncomfortable with it that the scene was cut and the two never had a sex scene for the remainder of the series. We're not sure why he was uncomfortable, it's CONNIE BRITTON!
9. Britton did not like the storyline when Landry and Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) murdered a man who was attacking Tyra. "I mean, that's not a hard question," said Britton, when asked what her least favorite storyline was.
10. Kitsch was supposed to turn in his state championship ring when filming wrapped, but he tucked it into his shirt and took it home with him.
11. It took 25 minutes for Kitsch and Porter to compose themselves enough to film their goodbye scene in New York. They both were crying so hard that they filmed the scene in one take and just used that.
12. The show is based on the book Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. But it wasn't the first show inspired by the book. In 1993, a show called Against The Grain aired for one season and the quarterback character was played by Ben Affleck.
13. Britton didn't need to prep much for her role. She had already played Coach's wife in the film Friday Night Lights, which was based off the same book as the TV series.
14. The show's producers were worried at first that Chandler was too pretty to play the part of Coach Taylor. But he showed up to one of their first lunch meetings on a motorcycle and was "clearly hungover." Their fears were put to rest.
15. When Berg offered Britton the role of Tami Taylor, she said, "Are you fucking kidding me? You think I'm going to spend 10 years sitting on a hard-wood bleacher getting splinters in my ass and cheering on Kyle Chandler? You're out of your mind." Berg came back to Britton with a more complex character, and she agreed to sign on. Yet another WWTTD life lesson.
16. Ever wonder why Lyla (Minka Kelly) was so good at taking care of her injured boyfriend, Jason? Perhaps it was because Kelly worked as a nurse in real life before her acting career took off.
17. Casting directors liked Kitsch for the part of Riggins because not only did he drink beer in his audition tape, he drank Lone Star beer from the great state of Texas.
18. The Riggins house was as disgusting as it looked. The house had mold and people were getting so sick from it that a doctor had to be brought on set.
19. When Coach Taylor moved over to East Dillon in Season 4, almost an entirely new cast had to be formed. Everyone who auditioned to attend East Dillon High School had to read with Kitsch. If they could keep up with Riggins, they got the part.
20. After shooting the last scene in the series finale, the cast and crew had some beers and then played a game of flag football.
21. The show didn't use sets. Most scenes were filmed around Austin, Texas. The pilot was filmed at Pflugerville Texas High School and all subsequent football scenes were filmed at Del Valle High School. And the houses were all rented.
22. Remember all-state running back Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles)? In real life, Charles was terrible at football.
23. Dillon, Texas is a real town; it's just not where the show was filmed.
24. Before filming began, Chandler and Britton decided to drive from Los Angeles to Austin together to get to know one another. The writers were terrified by the idea, convinced by the time they got to Texas they'd be having an affair. But they were wrong!
25. Before Friday Night Lights, Porter was offered the role as an understudy on a Disney musical but didn't take the part because he couldn't get a clause in his contract saying he could leave for a TV role.
26. Though the final scene of the series finale is Eric and Tami on the new football field, the last scene the cast and crew actually shot was Tim and Billy (Derek Phillips) building the house on Tim's land.
27. When Minka Kelly auditioned for the role of Lyla, director Pete Berg told her to do it as if she was on heroin. After she read a scene, he looked at her and said, "No, no, no, that's coke."
28. Kelly originally read for the role of Tyra, but Berg decided she would be better as the sweet girl.
29. The football field grass at the high school was actually astroturf.
30. Chandler played high school football for two years, but was a self-described "bench-warmer."
31. Despite loving living large in Texas, Kitsch isn't even American — he's Canadian.
32. The same building was used in Season 4 and Season 5 for the Panthers locker room and the Lions locker room. They just painted one side red and one side blue.
33. Most of the locations the show filmed in, like restaurants, churches, and jewelry stores, were filmed exactly as they were and most of the people working behind the counters were the people who actually worked at those places in real life, rather than extras.
34. Jason Street's character was inspired by a real person, David Edwards. Berg was in attendance at the football game where Edwards broke his neck.
35. Porter never had the opportunity to meet the person his character was based on, but he met his father.
36. Porter also spent time with people who had injuries similar to Street's, like an 18-year-old who was bucked in his first pro bull-riding event.
37. Gilford said his face had to be almost entirely cut out of all the scenes he had with Plemons in Season 1 because Plemons is so funny he couldn't stop laughing in each take.
38. The man who attacked Tyra was referred to as "Mike the rapist" on the call sheets.
39. The scene when Mindy (Stacey Oristano) has a breakdown about being pregnant and flips out on Billy was written by Chandler after he had a similar situation with his wife.
40. Aldis Hodge is nothing like his character, Voodoo Tatum. In real life, he is really sweet and plays the violin.
41. Britton, Palicki, and Oristano are good friends in real life and would have Friday Night Lights viewing parties where they would drink wine and watch new episodes.
42. Kitsch told BuzzFeed that he, like Riggins, unwinds after a long day with whiskey.
43. Chandler's favorite scene in the show was when he kicks Matt out of the house after finding him sharing a blanket with his daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden).
44. Also, Britton improvised the line "You're an idiot" in response to the blanket fiasco.
45. Brad Leland was perfect to play booster Buddy Garrity because he really understood the passion for football in Texas. He played high school football in Plano, Texas, and his team won the Texas state championship his junior year. Like his on-screen son, Brad had a cast on his foot during the state championship game and had to watch from the sidelines.
46. No one was more excited to film the state championship in Texas Stadium than Grandma Saracen (Louanne Stephens). Stephens is a HUGE football fan.
47. In the scene where Jason and Tim are physically fighting about the affair after a quad rugby match, Porter accidentally broke a cameraperson's foot.
48. Before Season 4, the students of East Dillon High School all went out to dinner with Britton and Chandler. At dinner, Chandler channeled his inner Coach and gave a pep talk about how they all needed to understand what a special thing they were going to be a part of by joining the show.
49. Buddy Jr. (Jeff Rosick) was supposed to be a great football player. But after his first play on the field, everyone is jumping up and down near the bleachers and a lineman on the field jumped on Rosick's ankle and actually tore his achilles tendon, so his injury had to be written into the script.
50. In Season 5, Coach and Vince (Michael B. Jordan) are having a talk in Coach's office and Coach is frying bacon on a hot plate. That wasn't scripted. Chandler would fry bacon on set for breakfast in the mornings and one day they decided to throw a hot plate into his office.
51. Showrunner Jason Katims knew from the beginning of the series that he wanted it to end with Tami and Coach leaving Dillon.
52. According to Katims, a new face was brought in to coach the new Panthers super-pack team. Sorry, Mac!
53. Tim was rarely shown really in jail during Season 5 because he was working on a movie and couldn't make both filming schedules work.
54. There were two endings shot: There was the one that aired, which showed Tim and Billy sitting on Tim's land, and the alternate ending had Tim and Jason on the land.
55. Buddy Garrity had a commercial for his car lot.
57. The scene when Matt drunkenly goes to see his dead father in the casket was shot in a real funeral home.
58. There were no scene rehearsals or set blocking, allowing each actor to really make the character their own.
59. Britton improvised the line about putting her husband's career first for "18 years." It had not previously been specified how long the Taylors had been together.
60. Plemons was the best football player on set, despite not even being on the team for the first two seasons and appearing to be terrible at the sport when he was on the field.
61. The scene where Landry and Tyra kill her attacker was shot a few different ways. One way had Landry smacking the rapist with the pipe while the man is attacking Tyra. The version that aired had Landry smack him as he was walking back to his car.
62. Chandler never liked the Panther blue or the Lion red. He pushed really hard for the T-shirts and hats to be black.
63. Britton doesn't know who she is if she's not Tami Taylor. Amen.