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TV Junkie Interview: Walton Goggins of FX's 'Justified'

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Walton Goggins plays the conflicted, yet transformed Boyd Crowder in FX's "Justified" which airs Wednesdays at 10pm


Walton Goggins plays the conflicted, yet transformed Boyd Crowder in FX's "Justified" which airs Wednesdays at 10pm
Yesterday we posted our quick exchange with "Justified" (FX, Wednesdays at 10pm) series star Timothy Olyphant and today we'd like to share the questions we put to series co-star Walton Goggins. A lot of people know Goggins from his excellent work as Shane Vendrell on FX's "The Shield" but in his role as Boyd Crowder, another conflicted character, he has a lot more clarity. Despite Olyphant playing the lead of Marshal Raylan Givens, the character that has had the most transformation, is Boyd, by far. Goggins was kind enough to share how he's thought through Boyd's transformation.

The TV Junkie: I wanted to talk with you about Boyd's relationship with Ava Crowder, played by Joelle Carter (see our interview), who is fantastic-

Walton Goggins: Fantastic, I can't say that enough. She's a wonderful moment-to-moment actress and the scenes that we have together I just so look forward to.

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The TV Junkie: I think it's remarkable how the relationship between Boyd and Ava has changed. If you were to show a scene of Boyd standing on a porch from like last week compared to a scene of them together in the first couple episodes of the previous season you would think, "What's going on here? This is an alternate universe. 'Fringe' is having its effect on this series now." How have you negotiated how your characters are doing this? It still seems like there's something just barely bubbling under the surface of Boyd and that maybe Ava has kind of come to terms with that. I'm just wondering what the process was between you and Joelle.

Walton Goggins: It's a great question. I worked really hard with the writers and with Joelle to set this relationship up in a way that we feel like we've earned it so that when it happens, if it does happen - and I won't give you a definitive answer one way or the other, but - if it happens, you will be ready for it. You will think that we've earned it because we've taken our time with it. I think for any kind of courting process especially in a town like Harlan, which in my estimation, in my opinion, is suspended in time. Even though we have cell phones and things from the 21st century, it really is of another place in time and courting means something and ways to go about that mean something. We worked really hard to do it slowly and to do it over time so that when we do get there we feel like we've earned it.

Some of the most interesting conversations we had at the beginning of the season this year, for me as an actor and a collaborator, revolved around Boyd as a romantic guy. How would Boyd kind of go about really courting a woman? I said, "Let's do things different." He has to come at this from a completely different angle because in his heart, Boyd is a poet. He's an intellectual and even though he's many, many other things - you can use a lot of adjectives to describe him - a poet is one of them. Graham had decided to put him in that room reading a book and we talked about the book. As it turns out, I really wanted this book, Of Human Bondage, because I thought it accurately reflected where he was in his life and it was written by my favorite author, Somerset Maugham, which is the name of my son, believe it or not.

So it was just a slow process about how do we earn this; how do we make it different than the rest of television. Hopefully we've done our job. Hopefully you'll want to see them hook up by the time they do.

The TV Junkie: I'm really loving watching the transformation and thanks so much for sharing a bit of your craft with us.

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Walton Goggins: I'll just say one other thing. It's interesting for a man like Boyd, and I touched on this a minute ago. I know I'm being a little long-winded with these answers, I just so enjoy talking to the people that articulate questions, for a guy like Boyd, if he were to find - I mean, how ironic and how satisfying would it be that if at the end of this man's journey, what brought him peace was a true understanding of love. Maybe he is in the process of experiencing an emotion that he's never experienced before. Just like in Season One with God and just like in this season with wandering and wanting to go to the bottom of the hole - and not just a well. He wanted to go to the bottom of the well; that wasn't deep enough so he went to the bottom of a mineshaft - only to kind of come out of it and come into the light and that light be love. What does that look like for a guy as twisted and strange as Boyd Crowder? It's wonderful, man. Every... day is a surprise for me, very lucky.

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"Justified" airs on FX every Wednesday at 10pm