Devoted fans of Friday Night Lights have been in withdrawal since the heart-stirring drama went off the air in 2011. Rumors have swirled ever since about the possibility of a big screen reunion. But Kyle Chandler—who earned a best-actor Emmy for his role of Coach Eric Taylor—lays them to rest: “It ended so well, it ended beautifully,” he says. “And I was more than happy for it to end when it did, because you couldn’t have gone much further.”
Chandler, who stars in the new Netflix series Bloodline (premiering March 20), has remained close with his castmates and crew from FNL. Though the show was ostensibly about a high school football team, the rich characters and the depiction of Coach Taylor and his wife Tami’s (Connie Britton) domestic life are what really charmed viewers. Those facets generated some of Chandler’s best memories from the show. “Whenever Connie would come in and basically tell me I was wrong or call me an idiot or shake her head about why she ever married me—I loved that,” he says.
Their onscreen chemistry was undeniable, a fact that he attributes to he and Britton’s similar sensibilities: “I knew I could fall backward and she’d catch me before I hit my head, and she knew the same thing.”
Chandler also enjoyed the collaborative spirit that went into filming—especially during Taylor’s signature pep talks to his football team. “I liked giving those locker-room speeches,” he says. “This sort of collective energy would happen. It was a little scary going into them because I don’t know what made that magic happen. But it was some sort of outside force—the Clear Eyes, Full Hearts came into the room, and allowed everyone to go to Brigadoon.”
For more on Kyle Chandler and Bloodline pick up this week’s issue on newsstands.