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Coming off of its highly successful and critically lauded first season, the creators and cast of “Justified” were invited for a special screening and Q&A at the Chinese Mann Theater on June 10, 2010. Attending were executive producers Graham Yost and Elmore Leonard, along with director Michael Dinner and cast members Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins.
It was a night of high excitement and jubilation as the pilot episode was specially screened before Emmy voters and fans alike. While the fans were clearly ecstatic, it was hard to say who was more happy to be there: Walton Goggins who plays Boyd Crowder on “Justified” or Elmore Leonard, world renown author of the short story “Fire in the Hole” that inspired the television series, for both beamed throughout the presentation with obvious glee and pride. More sedate and calmly sipping his wine was star Timothy Olyphant who also clearly relished the lavish praise the show has earned.
During the Q&A, Elmore Leonard was quick to share that when he first read the pilot script, his immediate thought was “god, this is really good!” He also said he was not displeased by the fact that they changed the original story ending either, as the choice to not kill off Boyd Crowder has turned out to be one of the more captivating continuing storylines of the entire series. The wayward former White Supremist turned religious convert and evangelist is a role of a lifetime and Walton Goggins was relished every moment portraying such a complex and intriguing character.
Timothy Olyphant also commented that while the show is thought to be violent, it is not as violent as it could be. It is not about leaving a trail of dead bodies everywhere his character Raylan goes. It is about showing characters who are capable of violence, yet the audience never knows exactly when they will strike. For example, Raylan never pulls his gun unless he has too.
There is also the fascinating dynamic of familial tensions throughout the series as both Raylan and Boyd must conquer the long shadows and influence of their fathers. Raylan chose to embrace his destiny as a lawman and Boyd has vacillated between criminal endeavors and religious zealotry. But in the end of the first season, it was all about Raylan and Boyd working together to survive. Their bonds of friendship clearly eclipsing any negating their daddy issues and their polar opposite career paths.
Walton also shared that he loved the season finale which was both satiating yet teasing as it portrayed two sides of the same coin. It sets up “Justified” nicely for the second season which promises to peel back more layers on these complex, stimulating characters and the difficult choices they are forced to make.
“Justified” airs on FX and will return for its second season later this year.