Dec 16, 2020

Press: Walton Goggins on finding comfort in ‘The Unicorn’ and reuniting with Natalie Zea

Dec 16, 2020

Press: Walton Goggins on finding comfort in ‘The Unicorn’ and reuniting with Natalie Zea

AVClub.com — Walton Goggins is best known for playing dangerous and/or disarming characters on series like The Shield, Vice Principals, and The Righteous Gemstones, and in films like The Hateful Eight. But as audiences learned when The Unicorn premiered on CBS in 2019, the Justified alum is just as at home in the cozier confines of a broadcast comedy. The charming sitcom, from co-creators Bill Martin, Mike Schiff, and Grady Cooper, follows a widower, Wade Felton (Goggins), as he raises two teen daughters (played by Ruby Jay and Makenzie Moss) and rebuilds his life with the help of his friends (played by Rob Corddry, Maya Lynne Robinson, Michaela Watkins, and Omar Miller).

The Unicorn’s premise hits close to home for Goggins, who was himself a widower, and for Cooper, who also had a couple of teens to take care of after the death of his wife. That storyline certainly drew Goggins to the series, which just premiered its second season on November 12, but as the actor tells The A.V. Club, The Unicorn has a lot to offer a variety of viewers, not just those recovering from tragic loss. Even Justified fans were on alert after the season-one finale reunited Goggins with Natalie Zea. The A.V. Club spoke to Goggins about working with Zea again, filming in the middle of a pandemic, and how The Unicorn offers catharsis and comfort through its comedy.

The A.V. Club: You started filming season two back in October, seven months after the shutdowns started. What’s it like to work on the show now?

Walton Goggins: Initially, it felt like there was so much to kind of overcome. But CBS and all of the studios, both big and small, had done such a good job taking into consideration people’s safety, and the protocols that they put in place are extraordinary. The one thing that was so jarring at first is, you know, you’ve got a mask on and the shield in front of your face. And I can’t read with my glasses off, so I had to figure out a way to get my glasses on and off. I’m not savvy enough to have bifocals, so I’m taking them on and off, and I have nowhere to put them. I got to get them over the shield, and it’s very complicated. [Laughs.] Our job is predicated on looking another person in the eyes and communicating to them, with and without words. When we started doing rehearsals with all of this stuff on, I thought, “Oh man, how’s this going to work? I don’t know how this is going to work.” As soon as that mask came off the first take, and it was just us, and there were two people looking into each other’s eyes, saying these lines, experiencing these emotions. It all just–I almost started crying because it made me feel so human. It was beautiful. And we’re back, and that’s it. It’s the new normal. You just adjust like everyone else.

AVC: Lately, there’s a lot of talk of the “perfect show for these times,” with a lot of people being drawn to comedies for comfort. Where does The Unicorn, which has a very lovely little community at the center of it, fit in that discussion?

WG: When we set out to do this a year and a half ago, it was this subject matter that attracted me. This is a story about a guy who loses his wife to cancer, and he has two daughters, and he has to learn how to live again. His group of friends come around to help him do that. It was very, very, very funny, but also infinitely relatable because when we are earnest and when we come from the heart, it lands in a real place. I felt then, and even more so now, that if we get this right, and we don’t shy away from what Wade is going through—because it’s happened to me. It’s happened to six friends of mine. It’s happened to all of us on some level. Whether you’re losing a job or you’ve lost a pet, we all experience loss. That is what we all have in common. And if we can get that right, and come from our hearts, and be unapologetically earnest in this endeavor, then we could do some real good in the world. Over the course of the last year, I’ve had countless people stop me on the street and just break down crying. I’m just holding them saying, “Hey, man, tell me about it. Tell me what’s going on in your life.” And it’s been cathartic. It’s been extraordinary.

But it just so happens that now, in our second season, we’re coming into a changed world, and we’re all experiencing it, like every single day on whatever level we’re experiencing it. To have a place to go to where you can see your own struggles reflected in your entertainment and you can laugh for a moment at your situation. God, we all need that, man. We all need it. And I think for all of us at any 24-hour period, you will definitely experience anxiety and fear and sadness. But in the same 24-hour period, you will experience a great amount of joy and laughter and comedy, because life is absurd. And that’s the fine line that we’re trying to walk on The Unicorn. We’re not forcing it. It’s just, that’s just built into the DNA of this show. That’s the nature of the guy’s life that the story is predicated on, Grady Cooper, and life in general. Continue Reading →

Dec 16, 2020

Press: Why ‘The Unicorn’ star Walton Goggins likes his rare nice-guy role

Dec 16, 2020

Press: Why ‘The Unicorn’ star Walton Goggins likes his rare nice-guy role

NYPost.com — Walton Goggins knows his way around memorable characters.

CBS sitcom “The Unicorn” sees the prolific actor starring as all-around nice guy Wade Felton, which he says is his biggest risk yet.

“It was scary, really. I’ve never played anyone that’s as close to who I am as Wade,” Goggins, 49, tells The Post.

“And that requires a lot of vulnerability. I like to hide behind things and dig deeper into other people’s lives. This one hits close to home in a number of ways.”

Now in its second season, (Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.), “The Unicorn” follows widower and father Wade as he raises his daughters and tries to get back into the dating scene following his wife’s death from cancer (his fundamental decency makes him an unexpected catch — or the “unicorn” of the show’s title).

A regular-Joe sitcom dad is a far cry from most of Goggins’ previous characters, as he’s known for a colorful array of off-the-wall personas such as the scheming Lee Russell (“Vice Principals”), criminal Boyd Crowder (“Justified”) corrupt cop Shane Vendrell (“The Shield”) and soulful sex worker Venus Van Dam (“Sons of Anarchy”).

“At the end of the day, I’m not Machiavellian in the choices that I make,” Goggins says about his differing roles. “It really comes down to, ‘This is what speaks to me now.’ And maybe that’s because of where I am in my life. I felt like we could really make a difference if we get this story [‘The Unicorn’] right, and make people feel a little less lonely. It’s about a guy who lost his wife and he has to learn how to live again. I thought, ‘Man, I’ve had this in my own life; this has happened to a number of friends of mine.’ Loss is something that we all have in common, whether it’s the loss of a job or a pet or anything, really.

“The thing that I love so deeply about ‘The Unicorn’ is that it is unapologetically sentimental, but that sentiment is earned. It’s kind and earnest, at a time when I think we could all use a hug because of what’s going on in our personal lives. That’s what we’re trying to do every week with telling the story of Wade Felton and his family and friends.”

Season 2 picks up with Wade having a potential love interest (Natalie Zea, “Justified”) after the two have a meet-cute in the cemetery. Goggins teases that finding her won’t solve all of Wade’s problems, however.

“I think for all of us, whenever we have found some peace in our life — when one door closes, inevitably right around the corner, another opens that offers new insights and new lessons. And that’s what Wade is headed towards this season with this relationship. Maybe it’s more complicated than how he imagined. It’s about how his daughters and friends deal with that.”

Up next, he’s also appearing in Season 2 of HBO’s televangelist comedy “The Righteous Gemstones,” reuniting with his “Vice Principals” co-star Danny McBride to play oddball preacher Baby Billy Freeman.

“We are so d–n excited, I got off the phone with Danny a couple days ago and they’re back in writing and doing some tweaks. That story just means so much to us and we have so much fun. It’s a big hole in our experience this year. [Filming was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.] We’re ready to get back.”

Aug 21, 2020

Video: ‘The Unicorn’ Season 1 Gag Reel Has the Cast Absolutely Losing It; Now Available on DVD

Aug 21, 2020

Video: ‘The Unicorn’ Season 1 Gag Reel Has the Cast Absolutely Losing It; Now Available on DVD

The Unicorn season one DVD is available to purchase as of July 21st. You can buy your own copy now via Amazon!

TVWeb.comThe Unicorn is a single-camera comedy about a tight-knit group of best friends and family who help Wade (Walton Goggins) embrace his “new normal” in the wake of the loss of his wife one year ago. As a sometimes ill-equipped but always devoted single parent to his two adolescent daughters, he is taking the major step of dating again. To Wade’s amazement, he’s a hot commodity with women, and his friends explain that he’s the perfect single guy – a “unicorn”: employed, attractive, and with a proven track record of commitment. With his daughters and best friends rooting him on and hoping he’ll find happiness again, Wade and his healing heart are ready to try life… and love… again.

The Unicorn season one DVD set includes Deleted Scenes, Extended Scenes, and a Gag Reel. The gag reel is what we’re taking a look at today, and comedian Rob Corddry steals the show in our brief look at what didn’t make it in. Corddry is featured in multiple scenes as he makes his co-stars break character. Walter Goggins can barely look at him during one scene as the Hot Tub Time Machine star keeps riffing.

The ensemble cast is what has kept viewers coming back for more of The Unicorn. The show seemed to evolve over the course of 18 episodes, but Walton Goggins says that it was written into the show to be that way. With that being said, most of the cast had already known each other before hand and knew how they worked. Goggins had this to say about their different styles.

“And so while I can say that I’m still amazed by watching people like Rob and Michaela, who can turn it on a dime and read it the night before and become familiar with it, because they come from that improv world, I have to read it over and over again. I have to read it 100 times, while [Righteous Gemstones’] Danny [McBride] does it in a second. [The Shield’s Michael] Chiklis does it in a minute, but Glenn Close doesn’t. Anthony Hopkins doesn’t.”

When taking on The Unicorn, Walton Goggins admits that he was unsure of how it would feel working for a network like CBS. He originally thought it was going to be “claustrophobic.” However, he actually found the opposite to be true. He said working on the show has “actually liberating. I absolutely love it.” Goggins is looking forward to expanding the world that they have created with season one for season two. While we wait for that new season, you can check out the gag real from The Unicorn season one above.

Aug 2, 2020

Press: ‘The Unicorn’ Renewed at CBS

Aug 2, 2020

Press: ‘The Unicorn’ Renewed at CBS

TVSeriesFinale.com — Fans of The Unicorn won’t be disappointed. CBS just announced they’ve renewed the TV show for a second season for the 2020-21 broadcast season.

The Unicorn comedy series stars Walton Goggins as Wade, a widower and single parent who finds he is a hot commodity when he begins dating again. The cast also includes Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Omar Miller, Maya Lynne Robinson, Ruby Jay, Makenzie Moss, and Devin Bright.

The first season of The Unicorn, which wrapped in March, averaged a 0.71 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 5.66 million viewers. Though it underperformed when compared to CBS’ established Thursday night comedies, The Unicorn is among the top CBS TV shows for the 2019-20 broadcast season.

Dec 8, 2019

Walton Nominated for Critics’ Choice Award!

Dec 8, 2019

Walton Nominated for Critics’ Choice Award!

Shortly after the Golden Globes, the critics will also have their say. The nominations for this year’s Critics’ Choice Awards were announced on Sunday. And as it turns out our guy Walton was nominated for Best Actor In A Comedy Series for The Unicorn! Congratulations Walton! So proud of you!

The show will air Live on Sunday, January 12th, 2020 on The CW Network.

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ted Danson – The Good Place
Walton GogginsThe Unicorn
Bill Hader – Barry
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek
Paul Rudd – Living with Yourself
Bashir Salahuddin – Sherman’s Showcase
Ramy Youssef – Ramy

Nov 30, 2019

Photos: September & November Public Appearances

Nov 30, 2019

Photos: September & November Public Appearances

Hey guys! Sorry for the radio silence with updates. The last two months have been stressful and I was dealing with health and family issues offline in the real world, so everything online took a backseat. While I was away Walton attended 3 new events in November and visited 2 talk shows from back in September while promoting The Unicorn. All of which I’ve added photos from into our gallery. You can check some previews out below:



Sep 24, 2019

The Unicorn’s Walton Goggins Revisits His Most Memorable Roles, From The Shield to Sons of Anarchy

Sep 24, 2019

The Unicorn’s Walton Goggins Revisits His Most Memorable Roles, From The Shield to Sons of Anarchy

TVGuide.com — You may know Walton Goggins from his Emmy-nominated turn as charismatic outlaw Boyd Crowder on FX’s modern Western Justified. You may also know him from his seven-season stint as the flawed cop Shane Vendrell on the groundbreaking drama The Shield. Or you may know him as one of the many other memorable characters he’s brought to life over the years: Venus Van Dam (Sons of Anarchy), Chris Mannix (The Hateful Eight), Lee Russell (Vice Principals), Sonny Burch (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Nathan Miller (Deep State), or “Baby” Billy Freeman (The Righteous Gemstones). The list goes on and on and on.

Regardless of where you know Goggins from — and trust us, you definitely know him from somewhere — you’ve experienced the actor’s impressive, somewhat hypnotic ability to make viewers feel for even the most flawed or complicated of characters. He doesn’t set out to do it — quite the opposite actually — it’s just something that happens.

But Goggins, who it should go without saying is nothing like the morally gray men he is most famous for playing, is leaving those roles behind, at least for now. This fall, Goggins is taking on the starring role in CBS’s new sitcom The Unicorn as a widower stepping back into the world a year after losing his wife.

“[The Unicorn is] kind and … earnest, and I think that this character and this show wear [their hearts on their sleeves],” Goggins told TV Guide of the show and its overwhelmingly compassionate message. “I think we need that in the world right now.”

As he prepares to lead this heartfelt new comedy on the most-watched network, the versatile actor takes a stroll down memory lane and looks back at some of the roles that got him to where he is today before previewing what’s to come.

SHANE VENDRELL, THE SHIELD

A not insignificant portion of Goggins’ television career has been spent appearing on FX prestige dramas. This fruitful relationship began when he first stepped into the shoes of Strike Team member Shane Vendrell on The Shield, a critically beloved drama about corrupt cops starring Michael Chiklis that ran from 2002 to 2008 and put FX on the map in terms of scripted programming.

“The Sopranos had been out, and we came on six months later and told a story that, on some level, vilified police officers right after 9/11, when police officers were running upstairs to save lives,” Goggins recalled of the early days of the show. “The people in charge questioned whether or not that was a good thing to do, but ultimately, I think it asked the question that we’re still answering today, and that is, what are we willing to accept from our law enforcement in pursuit of our own security? What does that mean? What [is] the price of protection or feeling safe, what does that really mean? I think we’re all so very proud of [The Shield] and what it ultimately had to say.”

The Shield ran for seven seasons, culminating in what many critics consider to be one of the best series finales of all time. Its longevity meant that Shane, whose lengthy list of offenses came to include betraying and killing his friend and fellow team member Lem (Kenny Johnson) and eventually poisoning his wife and son before turning the gun on himself, was the first character Goggins had the opportunity to get close to as an actor, and as such Shane remains a big part of his life.

“I think about his journey often,” revealed Goggins. “He was a very complicated guy, but he was never self-serving; he thought he was servicing the person that ran this entire operation. And while on paper he’s easy to vilify … the price that he ultimately pays, I think, more than compensates for anything that he ever did in his life. I think he’s one of the great, tragic characters in television, to be quite honest with you. I think his journey is so, so unbelievably bittersweet.”

When asked if he’d have changed anything about the character or his journey, Goggins definitively said that he would not. Had Shane survived, the actor explained, it would have likely brought him great anxiety and pain to imagine what the character was doing now. “There was something about the finality of how ugly that [ending] was and the decision that he made for his family and how selfish that was that [it] allowed me to just make peace with it and to let him go,” Goggins said.

Still, Goggins remains best friends with much of the cast (he attended Chiklis’ birthday party the weekend before our interview) and those relationships, now quickly approaching the two-decade mark, are still vitally important to him. “The relationships that I made over the course of that show, with everyone on it, to have that stable of friends this long after that experience has been one of the most important things in my life,” said Goggins. “I never knew about community from an artistic point of view before that experience. I didn’t know that it would be that deep.” Continue Reading →

Sep 24, 2019

Walton Goggins plays a babe magnet in ‘The Unicorn’

Sep 24, 2019

Walton Goggins plays a babe magnet in ‘The Unicorn’

NYPost.com — Nothing on Walton Goggins’ résumé suggests that he’s the perfect guy to play “The Unicorn,” the new CBS comedy about a widower with two adolescent daughters who becomes a babe magnet.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a unicorn is the perfect single guy: employed, attractive, with a proven track record of commitment. A full head of hair doesn’t hurt, either.

Goggins, 47, snared an Emmy nomination in 2011 for playing outlaw Boyd Crowder on FX’s “Justified,” a role he had for five years. He also played detective Shane Vendrell on “The Shield.”

In between, donned a pair of vinyl chaps to play transgender hooker Venus Van Dam on “Sons of Anarchy” in 2012. (“I’m the belle that doesn’t tell,” she cooed.)

Goggins is very aware that when it comes to comedy, he’s a stranger in a strange land, but reveals that CBS network executive David Nevins suggested him for the role of Wade Felton.

Executive producer Bill Martin tells The Post,” When we sat down with Walton, we had no idea what to expect given the roles we’d seen him play. We all wanted someone who wasn’t glib or slick in any way, someone who was so good-hearted that you’d immediately believe his friends would rally around him and root for him. As soon as he started talking about the character, it was clear that he understood that and embraced that. The fact that he was funny as hell was just gravy.”

Although Goggins was “really taken” with the script, he asked for one substantial change — to switch the production from multicamera in front of a studio audience to a single camera on a soundstage.

“For me to go in front of a live audience and tell this story about a man who lost his wife to cancer and has two daughters, I don’t know that I could have pulled that off,” Goggins tells The Post. “Somebody else could have done it in a minute. I think it needed that space, that improvisation, for it to feel like a film. We talked and I said, ‘Let’s go do this.’ I’m going to lean into the sadness. I’m not going to shy away from that, but I promise you it will be funny.”

“The Unicorn” is based on the real-life experience of Grady Cooper, a friend of show creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff. Cooper was the caregiver to his terminally ill wife while raising their two daughters. After a period of mourning, he came “out of the weeds,” according to Martin, and started sharing stories that suggested a TV show.

“My wife said, ‘So it’s funny that his wife is dead?’ I said, ‘That’s not what’s funny about it,’?” says Schiff. “What really appealed to us was a real serious issue because that’s what life is. Life is not tragic or funny. It’s both, at all times.”

Goggins, who is married with one son, knows other men who’ve been in the same situation as Cooper — namely himself. His first wife, Leanne Goggins, died in 2004 (he ultimately got remarried, to writer Nadia Conners in 2011), but he doesn’t talk about it. He will only say obliquely of men like himself, “They did it, they just kind of made their way.” Like the supporting characters on “The Unicorn,” the widowers’ friends introduced them to women to get them dating again. “They became hot commodities; yeah.”

Goggins would never describe himself that way, of course. “I’m a 3-miler,” he says.

What’s that? “It means you look good from 3 miles away,” he says, laughing. “I believe I am sexy .?.?. I am a very curious person. That’s what I find attractive in other people. Beauty is skin-deep. What we find attractive in other people changes the older we get.”

If “The Unicorn” catches on with viewers, Goggins is aware that people might attribute Wade Felton’s qualities to him. He’s ready for whatever comes.

“I’ve been around a long time, and given the roles I’ve played you can bet I’ve met a lot of nutty followers,” he says. “But I love them, man. I’m stopped on the street all the time. I don’t have a passive fan. You’re either a fan of what I do or you’re NOT a fan of what I do.

“I have no attachment to the outcome either way.”

Sep 15, 2019

Video: CBS Fall Preview for ‘The Unicorn’: See the Full Trailer and Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Sep 15, 2019

Video: CBS Fall Preview for ‘The Unicorn’: See the Full Trailer and Behind-the-Scenes Footage

PopCulture.comThe Unicorn is not about a fantasy horse with a horn. The new CBS sitcom is really about a middle-aged man who tries to get back in the dating pool a year after the death of his wife. Sons of Anarchy actor Walton Goggins stars as the titular unicorn in this comedy about the modern online dating world. CBS released a behind-the-scenes video and the trailer earlier this week.

Goggins stars as Wade, a widowed father of two daughters whose friends think he should try to re-enter the dating scene. Wade and his friends are surprised to learn that he is popular among women online because he is the perfect single guy. He has a job, is attractive, has daughters and has a track record with commitment. Put it all together and he is a “unicorn” in the dating world.

Ruby Yay and Makenzie Moss play Wade’s daughters Grace and Natalie, respectively. Wade’s friends are played by Rob Corddry, Omar Miller, Michaela Watkins and Maya Lynn Robinson.

The series was created by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, who are both Emmy nominees for their work on 3rd Rock from the Sun. More recently, the two worked on Fam, Living Biblically and Trial & Error.

The Unicorn gives Goggins a chance to play against type, after years of villain roles and serious projects.

“When this came along, I fell deeply in love with him and his struggles and fell in love with his friends and his community,” the Justified star said at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in August, reports Deadline. “I’m in a place at 48 years old where kindness, and sincerity and being earnest are very important to me, and this show spoke to all of that. It touched me in a way that’s deep and meaningful.”

Goggins, whose first wife died in 2004, said Wade “is closer to me than anything I’ve ever played,” adding, “Once I got past that fear of it, I said, this is what I’ve always wanted to play… I have this similar relationship with my son and group of friends.”

Martin and Schiff said the show was influenced by producer Grady Cooper, who lost his life and found his way “back into the sunshine. His life got funny. There was still a lot of sadness, but it was funny.”

The Unicorn is also Goggins’ latest comedic work. He got to make people laugh with Danny McBride in HBO’s Vice Principals and has a role in McBride’s new show, The Righteous Gemstones.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Goggins said taking these comedy roles was not an “intentional” transition. “I just go where the best writing is, and it just kind of moved in this direction,” he said.

“When there’s a strong sense of direction and a filmmaker behind it like Danny that really have a purpose for doing what they’re doing, that’s when I’m most comfortable and where I think I can contribute the most,” Goggins explained. “And so the fact that I wake up today and find myself in this new arena, somehow it all makes sense, even though it’s a big diversion from the way people normally see me — and that’s a good thing. I can’t believe it, to be quite honest with you. There is great joy in laughing 90 percent of the day as opposed to needing a shrink after work.”

The Unicorn debuts on CBS Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Righteous Gemstones airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.

Aug 3, 2019

The Unicorn Finally Allows Walton Goggins to Be Himself (And That Person Is Very Sexy)

Aug 3, 2019

The Unicorn Finally Allows Walton Goggins to Be Himself (And That Person Is Very Sexy)

TVGuide.com — This fall, CBS will debut The Unicorn, a new single-camera comedy all about how Walton Goggins is sexy and everyone wants to date him. His character, Wade, is a widower, and the show, which hails from executive producers Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, is about Wade getting back on the horse and giving himself permission to live again after a year spent grieving his wife.

It is a role that involves Goggins stepping out of the box a bit. The actor has made a career of playing charismatic villains (Justified) or characters who exist in morally gray areas (The Shield), primarily on cable dramas that often, but not always, aired on FX. Goggins says the role of Wade is actually much closer to who he is in real life, and taking that on was a bit “unnerving.”

“I was really insecure about it,” Goggins, who lost his first wife in 2004, told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday. “This is closer to me than anything that I’ve ever played. It took me asking myself the question, can you pull that off? Can you pull off just being you? Once I got past that fear of it then I said yeah, no, this is what I think I’ve always wanted to play.”

“It was nice to step outside of hiding behind something,” he continued. “We’ll see where it goes. But it’s been liberating in a way, and very grounding. I’m very happy with this opportunity.”

Noting that he has a similar relationship with his son, Augustus (with wife Nadia Conners), and friends that Wade has with his two daughters and a close group of friends, Goggins said he was drawn to the material because of the writing. “When this came along, I just fell deeply in love with him and with his struggles. And I fell in love with his daughters and I fell in love with his friends and this community,” he said.

Adding that he is now at an age where he is tired of irony, Goggins is simply ready to focus on different things. “I am at a place in my life, at 48 years old, where kindness and sentimentality and being earnest are things that are very important to me. And this show kind of spoke to all of that.”

However, when asked if he was ready for everyone to fall in love with him or find him sexy just like Wade, Goggins isn’t so sure. “I’ve never been accused of being that handsome or that attractive. … I suppose if the circumstances make the man… I’ll take it.”

The Unicorn premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.