Say hello to Mulholland Distilling, a new spirits company based in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. We're proud to be one of the first spirits brands in the city since Prohibition. We are a collective of native Angelenos and creative pioneers who strive to inspire and encourage the artists, the thinkers, and the visionaries to unleash their own Spirit of Los Angeles. We look forward to grabbing a drink with you sometime soon.

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

Category: Interviews

Vulture: Walton Goggins on His Hateful Eight Family and How Tarantino Is Like a Dialogue Oasis

Walton Goggins is familiar to most of the entertainment-consuming public as either Boyd Crowder fromJustified or Venus Van Dam fromSons of Anarchy, both meaty roles on long-running TV shows with dedicated followings. But thanks to the efforts of Quentin Tarantino, Goggins may henceforth be known for his much-lauded performance as Chris Mannix, the supposed sheriff-to-be who ends up playing a pivotal role in The Hateful Eight, currently playing in a theater near you. Vulture caught up with Goggins to talk texting with the Hateful Eight cast, why Tarantino is like an “oasis,” and the difference between playing a character over two hours and playing them for an entire season.

How’s it going?
Look at the smile on my face.

You seem pretty happy.
I’m really happy, man. Like, anyone who’s ever been remotely in a position like the one I currently find myself in, and that means a contractor who gets a great opportunity to build a house from an architect that he’s admired or loved, that’s how I feel, you know? There’s been a string of that, all culminating in this grand life experience with Quentin and this role of Chris Mannix and my Hateful Eight family, these actors. It’s extraordinary.

I talked to Kurt Russell recently, and he said that all the Hateful Eight actors have a text chain going, and that an uncommon, enduring relationship was formed on set.
It doesn’t happen ever. Seven months after you wrap a movie, you have the likes of the people in this cast, from Kurt to Sam [Jackson] to Jennifer [Jason Leigh] to Tim [Roth] to Demián [Bichir], all in different countries, texting 30 times a day? Come on, man. [Laughs.] That doesn’t happen with friends you’ve had for 20 years! It’s very real, and it’s very unique. I think we just all respect each other so much, and respect Quentin, and respect the opportunity to make this movie, and what we went through to make this movie.

Within the cast, you’re kind of the newcomer: You’ve been around for a long time, but compared to guys like Sam Jackson and Kurt Russell, you’re on the rise. When Quentin came to you with this part, what was your reaction?
I suppose the true way for me to answer that question is to be silent, because there are no words. Maybe, in your article, you just put “dot dot dot,” because that really is the truth. What do you say? I never for once doubted that I would be able to do it, I just wanted to do it for him, and to be included in this group of people. Grateful is such an overused word, but I truly am, man. I was humbled, and I understood what it meant.

But you can’t stay in the mind-set of I can’t believe this is happening to mefor too long. I tried to just move past that and instead start thinking, What can I bring to him, and what can I bring to the other actors, and to this crew, and to everybody else, every single day? For me, it was: How can I start here, in an arrested state of development, as a person who has never had his own worldview, let alone his own real, independent thought, someone who, when Major Warren is shot, becomes a 4-year-old little boy? He falls down on that ground and he has, for the first time in his life, no real authority figure. That’s it. He’s alone. Then, over the course of the last chapter of this movie, Chris Mannix becomes a man.

You can check out the interview in full over at

Den of Geek: Walton talks working with Tarantino, The Hateful Eight, and House Of 1000 Corpses…

Walton Goggins is excited about The Hateful Eight. The film is really good, he’s terrific in it and, as one of the lead characters in the new Quentin Tarantino film, it’s perhaps his most high profile role to date. He has a lot to be excited about.

Even his hair looks excited, jutting up wildly. He’s animated and moves a lot, but he’s not wired and out of control. He just exudes enthusiasm and seems happy to be where he is, talking about his work. He’s great fun to talk to; enthusiastic and warm interview subjects are something of a gift. Here’s how our chat with Walton Goggins went.

How do you respond, when you get that script (for The Hateful Eight)?

You know, Quentin doesn’t really have to ask how anybody feels about his material. I read it at his house and he’s inside, and he just hears an actor saying “Oh my god. Oh my god! OH MY GOD!” and you just hear this laugh, this signature laugh that Quentin has.

It’s just a very rare opportunity to get words like this from the mind of a man like Quentin Tarantino. You get them, and they’re just like lyrical poetry. At the end of it, he just walked out and he saw the smile on my face. I said “I have one question for you. Am I the Sheriff, or am I not?”

And he said “I want you to answer that question and I don’t want to know your answer.” So, he gave me that power and I made my decision.

Are you sharing that decision, or is that for you?

That’s for me. It’s like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, really. I haven’t even shared it with my wife.

That actually feeds into something I had down to ask you about. You have the character on the page, but how do work out the rest of the stuff? Is that you, is it collaborated with Quentin?

All of this is from Quentin’s imagination. The way that he tells his stories is so curated, he distils down the essence of what he had in his mind. So I don’t know that it’s possible for an actor not to participate in a very intimate collaboration with Quentin. For me, that certainly was the case.

One of the things I noticed about your character is, it’s quite a big performance, but I think it would be easy to miss amongst all of the speeches and everything else, that the physical side of your character tells us a lot about him. It almost tells us a different story about him. So how does that come?

Well, I really look at it this way, and I leave it up to you what you give away or what you don’t give away. We both share this responsibility.

You can check out the interview in full over at

Esquire: Walton Goggins on the End of Justified, Boyd, and Working with Tarantino

ESQUIRE: In the penultimate episode, Shea Whigham plays an almost prophetic character that takes Boyd to task a bit. Before Boyd shoots him, he defiantly insists he knows who he is and doesn’t care about his legend. Is that true?

WALTON GOGGINS: I can’t believe that this is what you’re starting with, and I’m so grateful you are. Shea Whigham, first and foremost, I am such an admirer of his creative constitution. He is such a gifted actor, and we were so incredibly lucky to have him be, as you put it, a prophetic figure for Boyd’s future. But it also represents where he’s come to in his psyche. I think it’s the psychological Rubicon that Boyd crosses that he cannot come back from. It’s indicative of the mental state he’s in. That storyline was debated for a long time. They had me killing the very guy who represented all the things Boyd has seen and celebrated bout himself. He sees himself as a defender of the disenfranchised. Even though he sold them drugs, even though he made money on the backs of the poor, in his own perverted moral code [he] feels himself to be a defender of those rights. If you look back at every public forum Boyd has spoken in front of, he is in some ways talking about that. And when they asked me to kill this person, I had a very difficult time with it. I felt it was unnecessary. I didn’t think we had come to that place. I thought this was an action he’d never be forgiven for, that it is a bridge too far for who he is as a person. And when they said this is something we really wanna do, I acquiesced and saw the way I can do it and still be true to this person. And that is, let’s explore philosophically where Boyd is coming from in that moment, understanding that Boyd is doing something that disgusts him and he is disgusted not only with his action. He is disgusted with himself, he is disgusted with the life he’s been leading, and then he goes into his speech. When he says, “You think you’re better than me? Look at you. You’re disenfranchised and don’t even know it. Me, I’m my own man.” He’s saying, “I had freedom,” when in essence, it’s just an opaque defense for what he’s about to do. And when he raises that gun and says, “I’m an outlaw,” it’s with disgust, but that’s how low Boyd has dropped in the pursuit of that which he ultimately needs, and the extent he’s willing to go in order to get that.

But by that point, we’ve already seen Boyd kill Carl and doggedly pursue Ava with dubious intentions. Does all this expose Boyd as having always been ultimately dishonest with himself about himself?

I do, yeah. He is beginning to be honest about who he is as a person and his inability to escape who he is as a person. And it runs contrary to his actions for the last three years, which has been a desperate need to get out of the water and breathe air and real freedom, which is a life without crime, to move past his violent heritage and the role that he is supposed to play in perpetuating his own family legacy. If you look at everything he’s done violently, it has been to escape his lot in life. And how he’s cutting off the head of the thing he most loves in the world besides Ava. And why does he do that? I feel that if you really look at the course of this show and who Boyd is, the people he’s killed have always been according to his moral code. He’s a person that you know where you stand. I tell you up front: If you cross me, I’m gonna to kill you. This is where you fit in my life. He has done that with everyone, and Boyd’s only killed five, six people in the five years of this show, and yet he has this reputation. But I think the audience understands where they stand with Boyd, and [Whigham’s character] is a person who did nothing to him. But Boyd has, through his obsession with Raylan Givens, lost all sense of normalcy. He’s never had equilibrium, and now he’s more out of balance and more frenetic than he’s ever been. He’s not dictating his actions. His actions are dictating him.

Would you say Raylan and Boyd are mutually, singularly obsessed with each other?

That’s it. It’s that endless, overpowering obsession that each man has with the other that will lead to their ultimate downfall. It is that ego, that, “I am better than him, and I am going to beat Raylan Givens.” And it is Raylan Givens saying, “I am going to get Boyd Crowder. If I lose my job, if I lose my family, if I lose my reputation, if I lose my relationship with my daughter, then that’s the price that has to be paid.” And those are two people that have lost all sense of reason. They’re unreasonable people, and Boyd points it out [in “Collateral”]. Boyd says to Raylan, “Why you wanna get me so bad? There’s a lot of bad guys out there. Why me.” And he’s just articulating Raylan’s obsession. And in the same breath, Boyd’s just as obsessed with beating Raylan.

It might be easier if they stopped being coy and stubborn and sat down for a therapy session.

[Laughs] It’s true. Here’s the irony in their dynamic: It is Boyd’s obsession with Raylan Givens that will ultimately lead to his end. It is Raylan’s obsession with Boyd Crowder that will ultimately lead to his end. The thing neither one of them realizes is if either one of them got what they truly wanted, they would have a life without meaning. Hopefully, what they both will learn is you’ve been looking for reason in the wrong drawer. The reason for living is not because this other person exists for you to rub up against, it’s because the world is beautiful. And that is a rock-bottom place that a person needs to reach in order to come to that conclusion. And I can say, without getting in trouble, that that is a place both of them will come to.

Walton Talks Final Season of Justified, Sons of Anarchy and more with 411 Mania

Walton Talks Final Season of Justified, Sons of Anarchy and more with 411 Mania

Check out the snippet below of Walton’s interview and be sure to check out the interview in its entirety (which is definitely worth the read) over at!

Al Norton: I’ve got two quick stories I want to share with you to start, both of which relate to your work. First, my 25 year high school reunion was in November and I had a bet with my wife about how long it would take before someone started talking about TV with me, which was about 20 minutes, but the second TV conversation I had was when a very old friend of mine, a Boston cop I’ve known since 1st grade, came up to me and, after asking me how my family was, volunteered “Walton Goggins is the best actor I’ve ever seen.”

Walton Goggins: I paid him to say that. I knew exactly where you’re reunion was going to be (laughing)…Man, that makes me blush. I don’t know if that’s the case but I sure am glad I spoke to somebody. The sure does feel good.

Al Norton: The second story is that I had a reader of mine email me and say he had never met anyone who was transgender and had some pretty clear cut and not positive thoughts in his head about who “those” people were but that after watching you as Venus on Sons, he know feels and thinks completely differently.

Walton Goggins: Now you’re gonna make me cry…I don’t know, I think that’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever been given in my entire life. That’s very powerful and very gratifying and I really, really appreciate you sharing that with me. Thank you very much.

Al Norton: Did you have any idea when you got the call and said, “sure I’ll do that episode of Sons and play this interesting character”, who Venus would become? People throw the word “groundbreaking” around but in this instance it’s accurate in that I think she’s maybe the single most groundbreaking character TV has seen in the last decade.

Walton Goggins: Kurt (Sutter, Sons of Anarchy creator) is a dear friend of mine and he is a bold human being and I am lucky to be friends with people who fall into that category, people who not only push themselves but push the people around them. It was an opportunity to, almost selfishly, explore this person that I didn’t really even look at as a transgender. I looked at her as a very confident, three dimensional, funny human being that I wanted to get to know. It was only going to be for one episode and we thought it might get a reaction because people wouldn’t expect it, which is why we didn’t tell anyone about it. That was on purpose; we didn’t talk to anyone about it and when FX sent it out to writers and media, it was with the condition that no one really say anything so they could let the audience experience it on their own.

From that perspective I thought it was a unique opportunity to say something, to be honest and vulnerable and forthcoming and truthful, a way to get into the Sons of Anarchy world in a way that was unexpected and surprising, and to not to portray that community as the butt of a joke or reducing them to an experience that we had all seen in other forms of entertainment. I was very, very surprised when the next day it was on the cover of Variety. It was a very pleasant surprise because what it gave Kurt and me the opportunity to do is see what else there was to her. I suppose I had a little something to do with it in terms of my interpretation of the material but it all came from his heart and his imagination.

Al Norton: The last full scene you did on Sons, with Venus and Tig talking about their relationship and the shadows and the light, is breathtakingly honest and just amazing to watch, to the point where I’ve kept the episode on my DVR for future viewings. How much rehearsing did you and Kim (Coates) do, how did you two and the direct approach it?

Walton Goggins: I was doing a movie up in Canada when Kurt sent that script and like everybody else who read it, which was not a lot of people, I was so amazed. It was one of those things that was outside of Kurt, where he let himself go and let himself be the vehicle for those words to come into the world, to express that person’s point of view to the world, and that just happens in those times when you’re in the pocket, and that can happen to you in whatever discipline you’re in. It could be you writing a review or a plumber solving a problem, we all have those moments in our respective lives and that was one of those for Kurt.

Kim Coates and I talked a couple of times and he had a very specific way he wanted Tig to make love to Venus, which I thought was really appropriate and very loving, and it was the first time they had been intimate in that way. We did that in two takes. The next scene, where Venus is coming out of the shower, I had a deep conversation with the hair and makeup people because we are seeing her in her true state, when no one is looking, and we found that. The way she is walking out of the bath and the way she looks, you get to see behind the curtain and see who she is in that moment, and in that moment in front of the mirror she sees herself the way Tig sees her.

We walked through everything once and we all knew it was all we needed. The only thing I asked of Paris Barclay, who was the director and is a very dear old friend of mine – the first thing I did with Paris was a movie called The Cherokee Kid 18 years ago – is that we do two cameras at once and just have this experience and take it out of the realm of “cut” and “action.” Kim agreed and Paris said “absolutely, that’s the way I was going to do it.” He set up two cameras and we did it maybe four times and that was it.

Each one presented its own truth. It was one of those moments in your life as an artist that you get down on your knees at the end of the day and put your hands together in whatever faith you believe in and express as much gratitude as you can. You don’t get those opportunities every day, even though that’s what you strive for, and this is as close as I can get to this women’s truth and her experience. It forever changed me. The whole experience on Sons of Anarchy changed me. It’s weird, Al, but I truly mean this; I don’t feel like Walton Goggins ever did an episode of Sons of Anarchy. I’ve never seen any of the episodes with Venus, it’s too personal, and I was there. I never talked to those guys as Walton, only as Venus, although I know all of them outside of that world and we talk and hang out. In their world, I was no one other than Venus so I personally, Walton Goggins, have no stories from the show. It’s pure and undiluted and I am so grateful for it.

‘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 – 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?
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.

Walton Teases Final Season of Justified, says “This is the heavyweight round.”

See what Walton had to say about the upcoming final season of Justified to TV Guide!

Is it too early to ask for Justified scoop? What can you say about the final season? — Allen
Although the audience knows Ava appears to be working with Raylan to bring down Boyd, how long will it take Boyd to figure it out? Perhaps longer than usual. “Love is a complicated thing and it allows you to see things sometimes that you shouldn’t and not see some things that you should,” Walton Goggins says. However, both Raylan and Ava might want to think twice about crossing Boyd. “He’s like the Bush administration right after 9/11: Either you’re with me or you’re against me,” Goggins says. “This is the heavyweight round, and at the end of it there’s going to be one man standing.”


Post Archive: