When “Justified” premiered on FX, a lot of viewers were just excited to see Walton Goggins back on TV after “The Shield.” “Justified” quickly earned its own audience and Goggins made guest appearances as the show found its legs. “Justified” returns for season two on Feb. 9 and Boyd Crowder is back full time. I caught up with Goggins at the Fox party for the Television Critics Association in January for the scoop.
Q: Are you back as a featured character this year or the same number of appearances as last year?
WG: No, no, I’m back. It’s my show now with Tim. Yeah, it’s both of us. I’m signed on for good. It’s good.
Q: So how does that change the role and the commitment for you?
WG: Well, the commitment will be I can’t do another movie simultaneously. They kind of bought me, I’m there. I think it’s going to allow for the relationship between Raylan and Boyd to really take off and become more nuanced and complicated.
Q: Movies aside though, is that what you wanted all along?
WG: It is what I wanted, yeah. I think it’s what these two characters deserve.
Q: Are they sort of reflections of each other in a way?
WG: I think so, yeah. I don’t think Raylan can really exist without Boyd and Boyd can’t really exist without Raylan. They wear a similar hat, even though they look different on the surface.
Q: How soon might we get that confrontation we’re waiting to see?
WG: You know what? Sooner than you might expect and not quite the way you might expect.
Q: Well, we might expect it in the first episode and we might be wrong.
WG: You would be wrong but I would say by episode 2.
Q: What is the energy like in those face-off scenes with Olyphant?
WG: They’re a dream. He’s a dream actor. We just kind of show up and he’s so easy and fluid and it’s so nice to work with an actor who’s so fuckin’ confident and carries that ease about him. He continually challenges me. All I have to do is sit and listen to Tim talk and I’m a better actor.
Q: Do you get to carry a gun this year?
WG: Yeah, Boyd might find his way to a six shooter, yeah. I think he may use it too.
Q: Do you prefer the western style standoffs or full out action sequences?
WG: I like the western style quiet standoffs personally. I think there’s power in stillness and I like watching behaviors, but after being on “The Shield” for eight years, there’s something to that too. I like those volatile kind of angry all over the map emotional scenes as well. It’s nice to step back away from that with Boyd though. He’s a contemplative dude. He’s a very smart guy.
Q: What is it about the southern region that makes the western setup work in modern day?
WG: I think there’s still a certain amount of history and mystique that revolves around being from the South, or being from the hills. This occupation has been around for a very long time and it’s a very insulated culture. People don’t get an opportunity to see inside of that culture very often because it’s not really reflected in our art or entertainment, except one dimensionally. So I think that what we’re trying to do is really paint it three dimensionally. People are enjoying that, I hope. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Q: Have you gotten as attached to Boyd as you were to Shane?
WG: I am. Yeah, already. I think that has something to do with age. I quite like the characters that I get to play and I get attached to them much quicker. Boyd is someone unlike any other person that I’ve played before. It’s nice to play that kind of intelligence.
Q: I never got a chance to ask you before, how did you feel about Shane’s fate in “The Shield?”
WG: You know what, initially it broke my heart but ultimately it couldn’t have gone any other way. I thought it was a genius move by Shawn Ryan. My biggest concern was to have people feel some empathy for Shane after that seven year journey. And they did. I think that’s more than I could ever ask for.