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Walton-Goggins.net

Your only news source for all things on actor Walton Goggins.

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Vanity Fair: TV’s Favorite Villain, Walton Goggins, On Braces, Pratfalls, and ‘Vice Principals’

Vanity Fair: TV’s Favorite Villain, Walton Goggins, On Braces, Pratfalls, and ‘Vice Principals’

V.F.com: Hi! How are you?

Walton Goggins: It’s good being back in California. I’ve been in North Carolina for like two months as a prisoner of war. Fuck, man! It’s been very . . . Wow. God, what a tough experience. We’re not here to talk about that. How are you?

I’m great! I’ve seen the first six episodes of Vice Principals!

Wow, the first six? Fantastic. Season 1 is about who these people are, and Season 2 is why they are who they are. It’s tough to be that fucking mean. Lee Russell is way meaner than Boyd Crowder. He comes around.

You’ve always been hilarious on Justified, and Sons of Anarchy but would you consider this your first full-blown comedy?

I do, yeah, even though Danny, and Jody, and David Gordon Green would say that they only make dramas that happen to be funny. Once you look at this in the spring semester—because it really is a fall semester and a spring semester, and it’s one story, it’s one piece with different movements to it. It’s pretty fucking dark in a satiating way, and, hopefully, I think it’s funny.

Were you nervous at all to dive fully into the comedy genre?

I was studying Vice Principals while I was doing The Hateful Eight, and I got on a plane the day that we wrapped. After a 24-hour day I went straight to the airport and jumped on a plane, and landed in Charleston, and at ten o’clock at night went home and got my hair dyed. I got my tips done until one o’clock in the morning, and started work at six o’clock the next morning.

I was as intimidated as anything I’ve ever done, and in some ways probably more so because the idea of improv-ing with Danny McBride was—fuck, man—I just couldn’t sleep at night. He’s so smart, and their humor is so specific. I didn’t want to let him down; I didn’t want to let HBO down. It’s a lot to step into that ring with the roughhouse boys and how they do their things. Kenny Powers is an iconic character, and to play at that level I think would be intimidating for anybody.

How much improvising did you wind up doing?

Daily. All day long. That was the hardest part of this entire experience for me, I think for both of us, was containing the laughter. You just look at Bill Murray. It’s Meatballs! That’s my guy! That was really the hardest part. We would go on these tangents that would take us in places that were sublime, but then we would always come back to the text. Most of it is as it was scripted, as Danny wrote.

What about the physical comedy? Was that a new muscle that you had to learn?

I would be curious to hear what a comedian has to say about that, because I don’t look at it in those terms. If I thought about it as, “I need to be physically funny,” then I don’t think that I could have done it. I think I would have been too self-conscious. It’s no different than Boyd Crowder, or [The Hateful Eight’s] Chris Mannix, or [Sons of Anarchy’s] Venus Van Dam, or anybody else. It’s just, if you’re true to who this person is, and you understand who this person is, and they are an authentic human being in the world, a heightened, at times, person in the world, then the way that they walk, and the way that they talk, and they way that they interact, all of that is a part of it, is a part of the situation that lives in your imagination.

You talked about Kenny Powers being an iconic character. You auditioned for Eastbound and Down, right? Which role?

I auditioned for the role that Jason Sudeikis wound up getting. I had braces on at the time, and I had just wrapped a season of Justified. I took that time to take care of some personal business, and I had these braces on and I wasn’t taking a job for four or five months. So I got these braces on my teeth and then they called and it was like, “Fuck it, I’m not taking the braces off, I need to get my teeth fixed. I’ve been putting this off a long time, so fuck it, he’ll love it.”

I walked into this room with my braces on, and my fucking shorts on, and some white tube socks. I walked in and there were me and four comedians from Saturday Night Live, and it was like, “Well, this is never going to happen.” That’s Jason, that’s so-and-so, this is crazy. I had a great time, and we had a lot of chemistry. I just talked to him philosophically about Kenny Powers and what that means. What does Kenny Powers mean, from my own fanboy opinion.

He tolerated my opinion, and we actually really got along. I had always wanted to work with Danny. I’ve been a fan of his ever since The Foot Fist Way,, and I thought that I got his comedy and that we could do something really unique together. I always wanted to just jump in the sandbox with him. That was the treat. Even though the opportunity didn’t ultimately happen at that stage, it was still a fucking thrill to be in the room with him and to go through his story. I just think Eastbound and Down* was one of the most exciting, dangerous comedies to come out in a very long time. Continue reading

LA Times: Walton Goggins is out for laughs, not blood, in HBO’s ‘Vice Principals’


Walton Goggins celebrated last holiday season as part of “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Tarantino’s brutal western involving a pair of bounty hunters, a female fugitive, a band of outlaws and others holed up at a stagecoach lodge. By the final reel, Goggins, as the racist incoming sheriff of a town called Red Rock, was neck deep in bloody mayhem.

The role in many respects was an extension of a gallery of multidimensional bad guys Goggins has played since his breakthrough as a member of a rogue police unit in the landmark FX drama “The Shield.”

Armed with a wide smile that is simultaneously disarming and sinister, Goggins has stamped his smooth-yet-charming menace on many other projects, including “Justified” and Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” He also surprised viewers with his humorous but poignant portrayal of the transgender character Venus Van Dam on the biker drama “Sons of Anarchy.”

On Sunday, Goggins goes from “The Hateful Eight” to a “hateful two” in HBO’s “Vice Principals,” in which high school administrators Lee Russell and Neal Gamby (Goggins and Danny McBride), who despise each other, join forces to bring down their new boss, the outwardly pleasant Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hebert Gregory).

“Vice Principals,” created by McBride and Jody Hill as a follow-up to their previous HBO comedy “Eastbound & Down,” is a revelation for Goggins watchers, representing both his first major lead and a distinct change of pace — the only body part he’s taking aim at this time is the funny bone.

But just because Goggins is showing a lighter side doesn’t mean he’s fooling around.

“While I haven’t done an outright comedy, I don’t think Danny and Jody make comedies,” Goggins, 44, said recently. “I think they make dramas that happen to be funny. [Danny] did not want to hire a comedian to go on this journey with him. He wanted to hire an actor who has been given an opportunity to be funny in a lot of dramas. And we do have a real chemistry together.” Continue reading

Vulture: Walton Goggins on 25 Years of Playing ‘That Guy’

“Can you believe I have a fucking pool?”

Walton Goggins is showing me the lush backyard of his 1922 French Tudor home in the Hollywood Hills on a hot June afternoon in Los Angeles. Even after living in the house for five years, he still can’t believe he actually lives here. “I mean, this pool was carved into the mountain,” says Goggins, whose lingering Georgia accent infuses every declaration with the earnestness of a Southern preacher. “I’ve been gone a lot lately, so anytime we’re all together as a family, we’re out here. It’s our own little paradise, you know?”

As Goggins takes our tour inside, we are greeted by his cherubic 5-year-old son, Augustus, and wife, writer-director Nadia Conners, who kisses Goggins newly bearded face — a makeover due to his upcoming role in History Channel’s Navy Seal drama Six, filming in North Carolina — before she rushes off to a meeting. “I wake up every morning with one of the smartest people I have ever met,” he gushes about Conners. “I have unfettered access to her brain; a very specific, all-encompassing worldview every single day. I’m truly the luckiest son of a bitch in Hollywood.”

To call him lucky in Hollywood would be to skip past the 25 years he’s spent playing That Guy. He logged countless supporting roles in indie films (The Apostle), studio movies (Cowboys & Aliens), and cable dramas (The Shield, Justified) before finding a crazy fan in Quentin Tarantino. The director shifted Goggins’s career into overdrive by casting him in 2012’s Django Unchained and in last year’s The Hateful Eight, telling Vulture last fall, “Watching him for six years [on Justified] do faux-Quentin dialogue let me know that he’s got the right kind of tongue.”

This week, Goggins, 45, returns to TV for his biggest (and most ridiculous) role yet in HBO’s latest entry from Eastbound & Down creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill, Vice Principals — an 18-episode, two-season comedy about two Southern high-school administrators, Lee and Neal (Goggins and McBride, respectively), who channel their loathing for each other into taking down the school principal. Goggins spoke with Vulture about how growing up poor and as an only child in the South led him to acting, how he fought his way into Hollywood, and why he “loves” Harvey Weinstein.

What appealed to you about HBO’s Vice Principals?
I truly think Danny McBride is Woody Allen for fly-over America. But Vice Principals isn’t as adolescent as Eastbound & Bound. But then again, remember the end of Eastbound’s first season when Kenny Powers leaves his girlfriend at the convenience store? Shit! Kenny is a fucking flawed human being. That’s why it all works. And Danny and Jody are always walking that line. I really believe what they do is sublime. Vice Principals also gets fucking dark. Dark and deep.

It’s also arguably the most over-the-top comedic material you’ve ever done. Is it a different exercise for you playing a part like this?
I actually feel like I’ve been doing comedy forever. The Shield was actually one of the funniest shows on television. Justified was another level of comedic intelligence. It was Elmore Leonard–sophisticated humor.

Elmore wrote the way we wish people really spoke.
Yeah, exactly. And Quentin does the same thing. His sense of humor feels like it can take place inside a bar or at the Met Museum. Similarly, Danny’s sense of humor is as adolescent as you can get, but when you look behind the curtain, there’s a lot going on. It’s extremely sophisticated.

How does it feel, after 25 years in Hollywood, to no longer be struggling or be seen only as “that Southern guy with the spiky hair?” I mean, you’re on Quentin Tarantino’s actor roster now.
It’s incredible, but mostly a total fucking relief not having to work so hard just to get a seat at the table. Playing Boyd Crowder [in Justified] was actually a real cross to bear for me personally; he was a real mantle I was carrying for a long time, and in order to rise above the stereotypical portrayal of Southern people as …

Rednecks and white trash.
Yeah. I’m proud of Boyd because I feel like I was able to educate people in urban areas about the struggles that people have in rural America. And then to have moments, like I did at Comic-Con for Django, where I’m sitting on the dais with Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and just like, How the fuck did I get here? What is happening right now? I’ve had a lot of those in my career: “moments of manifestation,” I call them. Doing Shanghai Noon with Owen Wilson was one of those. Bottle Rocket was one of my favorite movies, and as soon as I saw it I thought, “I’m just gonna focus on this dude. I want to work with this guy.” And I did.

So Bottle Rocket comes out in 1996 while you’re in L.A. still looking for your big break as an actor. How did you pay the bills?
Well, first I refused to work in a restaurant. [Laughs.] Nothing against waiters and waitresses, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be that actor in L.A. having conversations with other actors about acting. I usually run away from those things. I generally don’t hang out with actors in between takes. I’m an only child, so I’ve always been off in a corner somewhere. I think it’s actually taken some learning to know how to be around other people. But the one thing I never had a problem with was listening. My mother was a great listener. And so I never had to compete for her attention because I was an only child.

What did your parents do for work when you were growing up?
My mother made $12,000 a year working for the State of Georgia in Workers Comp. My father sold insurance. But my parents divorced when I was 3. He and I had an on-off relationship for most of my life. So growing up it was me, my mom, and father’s father, oddly enough. He was the one consistent male figure in my life. I was the apple of his eye. I was mostly raised by extraordinary, highly dysfunctional, crazy Southern women. My mother’s mother was an actress in New Orleans in the 1930s. She met my grandfather and moved to Warm Springs, Georgia, and he was good friends with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He had a thousand acres growing peaches and pulpwood. They had this beautiful life, and my mother and her three sisters were born into it. My mother remembers Roosevelt stopping in the yard saying, “Hiya, neighbor!” Then they went from this incredible cultured bucolic life to my grandfather dying from diabetes in my mother’s arms when she was 14. Then the house burned down, my grandmother went insane. She was a nurse and got addicted to amphetamines because of the grief of losing her husband and raising four girls ages 4 to 17. It’s a passel of amazing fucking stories. I had a front row seat to the real Steel Magnolias. But we were all fucking black sheep.

Who first introduced to you to the arts and performing?
Another aunt of mine wound up being a publicist for B.B. King, Phyllis Diller, and Wolfman Jack. But because my mom had me when she was 23, after they had lost everything, all we really had arts-wise was a lot of storytelling. Our family time was never about TV or cinema. And a whole bunch of her friends were always stopping by. There was a dude named Rabbit who was a locksmith and a small-time pot dealer who’d park his van in our yard, open our windows, and use our electricity to make his keys. Another dude named Be-Bop was also always there. He gave me my first job —selling hope chests for young girls who wanted to get married. [Laughs.]

Did you act at all in high school?
No, but I grew up watching another aunt perform on stage from the time I was 6. I stayed with her while she was doing dinner theater, and I’d see these beautiful women changing backstage, the whole life, the bohemian lifestyle, the reaction from the audience and thought, “I want to do that. It’s very powerful.” So I went to this casting director’s office in Atlanta, a woman named Chez Griffin — I didn’t have an appointment, so my mother drove me down there, I was only 14 — and I knocked on her door and said, “I want to talk to Chez. My name is Walton Sanders Goggins Jr. I don’t need an appointment. Just tell her.” And she came out and said, “Okay, who is this kid?” I told her, “I don’t know how to do this, but I know that I’ve had an interesting life, and I know that I feel things deeply. With some guidance and help, I can do this.” And she said okay. Then I started working in Georgia, and did a movie in 1990 called Murder in Mississippi.

Continue Reading at Vulture.com

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ Gets Release Date

Hateful Eight is storming into theaters on Christmas Day.

Quentin Tarantino’s newest film is set for a limited debut on Dec. 25 in 70mm format and will hit theaters nationwide on Jan. 8 in digital release, The Weinstein Co. said on Friday.

The Civil War-era Western joins a crowded holiday frame that includes Dec. 25 wide releases for Sony’s Will Smith NFL drama Concussion, Warner Bros.’ Point Break remake and Open Road’s Oliver Stone-directed drama Snowden. And Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be continuing its run after a Dec. 18 debut.

Tarantino wrote and directed Hateful Eight, which includes Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir and Jennifer Jason Leigh among its cast. The filmmaker’s last drama, Django Unchained, opened on Dec. 25, 2012, en route to earning more than $400 million globally and a best picture Oscar nomination.

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

‘Justified’s’ Walton Goggins to Star in HBO’s ‘Vice Principals’

Congratulations Walton!

4th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards - Red Carpet HBO has found Danny McBride’s other vice principal.

Justified star Walton Goggins has nabbed the co-lead in HBO’s straight-to-series comedy Vice Principals, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, Boardwalk Empire alum Shea Whigham — currently co-starring on ABC’s Agent Carter — will return to HBO with a supporting role in the comedy.
Created by Eastbound & Down duo McBride and Jody Hill, Vice Principals tells the story of a high school and the people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride stars as Neal Gamby, the divorced vice principal in charge of discipline at the school.

Goggins, who is currently wrapping the final season of FX critical darling Justified, will co-star as Lee Russell, the vice principal of curriculum at Lincoln High who is a conniving politician that enters into an unholy alliance with Gamby.

Goggins — who earned an Emmy nomination for his role as Justified’s Boyd Crowder, has also recurred on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Vice Principals will mark his first series regular gig in a comedy series. His upcoming feature slate includes The Hateful Eight and This Is All of Us, which he also exec produces. He’s repped by ICM Partners and Darris Hatch Management.

Whigham is set as Ray Liptrapp, the new husband of Gamby’s ex, and frequent target of his hostility — despite being a genuine and supportive guy. Whigham, who played Eli Thompson on Boardwalk, is recurring on ABC’s midseason Marvel drama Agent Carter. He also recently did two episodes of HBO’s True Detective and has feature credits including The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook. He’s repped by CAA, DBA and Morris Yorn.

Source: hollywoodreporter

‘Sons of Anarchy’: Walton Goggins talks Venus and Tig’s heart-to-heart

Make sure you check out Walton’s interview in full over at EW.com – It’s a wonderful and insightful read. 🙂

EW: Venus and Tig’s heart-to-heart follows Jarry and Chibs’ combative love scene. It made me realize that while I understand Jarry’s and Chibs’ motivations as characters, I don’t want to relate to their volatile relationship. And then you have Venus, who is the most singular person on the show, and yet at this point, she really is the most relatable. What did you see in that conversation between Venus and Tig?
Goggins:
I’m just blown away that you said that, and I know Kurt [Sutter] would be blown away as well and very grateful for that comment. I think that there’s something about two people that are looking for love from an honest and truthful place that is extremely appealing. Vulnerability that is not trying to be used in some manipulative way is something that we’re all attracted to and that we aspire to, I think, whenever we’re able to truly let our guards down. And that’s really what that is: It’s not gender specific. It’s more than a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. It’s just about two human beings who need to be seen, and that’s what Kurt wrote. He gave both of these people the words to articulate how they feel. When I read it, I just thought I’ve never really seen honesty in that way, with what is a perceived way of life that would be unacceptable to another person. Venus is understanding of that, and in some ways, accepting of the limitations of that kind of commitment from another person. And she is graceful enough to let him out, but she was also vulnerable enough to say, “But I let myself believe in it, and I do believe in it. And I’m not a fool for allowing myself space for that emotion. I’m a better person for it.” Because she was able to say that, Tig came around. I mean, I’m gonna cry right now talking about it. It was so organic and so beautiful, and that comes from the mind and really from the heart of Kurt Sutter.

I assume it was scripted for you to not use Venus’ voice in that scene since Tig, at the end, asks to hear her lilt again. Is that the case?
That was Kurt, and that was in the stage directions. Paris Barclay directed this episode. Paris has been a friend of mine well over 18 years. He did episodes of The Shield. I did a movie for him back when I was like 23 years old called The Cherokee Kid. I did NYPD Blue with Paris. I’ve known Paris for a long time. Obviously I’ve known Kurt for a very long time. And Kim I’ve known for a while. That it was this collaboration between these people who have been in each other’s lives just made it all the sweeter. It was just about creating the space for this to happen. In that moment, Paris said, “Walton, I think you have to even go deeper without Venus’ voice.” Which was so strange for me because I don’t look at it as “Venus’ voice,” that’s just the way she talks. To think about her sounding other than how she sounds, that was hard for me. It was really difficult. It was like, okay, let’s bring it down, and then it just made it even sweeter for me. I think it made it sweeter for Kim as Tig.

When we walked into do it and rehearse it, I’d just gotten back from filming a movie in Canada. I’d been back for not even 24 hours. I got off the plane, went home and slept, woke up six hours later to start the process. By the time we got to start shooting [the conversation], it was like six o’clock at night. We’d done the other stuff beforehand, and Kim really wanted to approach the making love scene in the montage in a very certain way. He was absolutely right, and I thought that was beautiful. And then [Venus] coming out of the shower, I really talked to Tracey [Anderson], our makeup artist, about where we are in the stage—what is right and what’s not right. And we did that scene, and Paris staged it so that Venus was looking in a mirror at herself at the end. For me, all the sudden for the first time, Venus is looking at herself and judging herself. She’s looking at herself for the first time through another person’s eyes, not through her own. And what she sees is not how she sees herself. It’s something less than perfect. And that f–kin’ broke my heart.

So by the time we get to the scene, we walked in and everybody was really quiet. We sat down to rehearse it with Paris, who Kim and I trust implicitly, and it’s all right there. I turned to Paris and said, “Can you shoot this at the same time?” And Paris said, “Absolutely. That’s exactly what we’re gonna do.” Paris set it up so there was a camera on both of these people as they were going through this emotion‚ and I say “these people” in third person because I don’t believe that I was there or Kim was there—it was them. It was their relationship. And Paris just let the camera roll. He came in and tweaked us as needed, and that was it. We did it maybe three times total. It was so pure and so without ego and so not result-oriented. It was just outside of all of us: Just let these two people heal one another, and then let’s walk away. It was one of the most cathartic experiences of my life as an artist.

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