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Walton Goggins Talks <I>Justified</i>, Venus Van Dam and <I>Veronica Mars</i>

Season 4 of Justified has been a textbook example of a crime drama done right -- there's a perfect mix of violence, sex, puns and plot twists in every single episode, to the point that we're constantly asking ourselves if that was the season finale. March 19's "Decoy" is no different, especially considering that it revolves around Raylan and the gang trying to get Drew Thompson out of Harlan alive. To pump up the episode and discuss his take on the series, Walton Goggins, Harlan's own Boyd Crowder, took a press call, where he was both ridiculously charming and dead-serious about his work. Sound familiar? Below are the highlights.

On Boyd's series-long transition of being God-fearing to an atheist
Walton Goggins: I think he jettisoned through the those religious, theological, instituted ways of thinking, and what he has found is love and he's found that in Ava Crowder, and it's given him a real purpose to live. And I think that the same thing applies to Joelle [Carter] in the way that she approaches Ava... I think that love is a great redeemer.

I'll take it one step further and say then, what is love? And is love God? And that's really interesting. I don't know the answer to that. From Boyd's perspective, I don't know that he knows the answer to that question but it will reveal itself, I would imagine, as the series goes forward.

For the two of them, they're engaged and they're publicly declaring their love for one another and I hope for their own sake, they get to consummate that in a way that is official. You know, we'll see. Desperate people do desperate things and sometimes... But I think you're going to see their love grow even deeper. And I'll kind of leave it at that because it may have to be shown in ways that one wouldn't want to show them. How about that for a tease?

On creating Boyd
Goggins: None of it was really scripted in this way. It was a conversation that started. When we were talking about collaborating together, Graham [Yost, Justified's creator and executive producer] and Tim [Olyphant] and I had a lot of conversations about Boyd and about this relationship -- and I've said this many times -- but it was very important to me early on not to go down the stereotypical bad guy criminal Southern path. I've done that in my life and I didn't want to do that in this instance and that's not my experience growing up in the South. I was interested in really understanding where it is that he comes from and why he talks the way that he does and I wanted to make him a lover of words and someone that is self-taught.

We all feel protective about the show, and Tim really owns Raylan with Elmore [Leonard], and Graham has given me the authority to really own Boyd. And there's something so magical about that when it's not coming from ego but it's coming from a love of the story and protecting the story. We don't always get it right, but what we do always get right is our effort and that we're trying really hard, and Graham and Michael Dinner, our executive producer, and all of the writers in the room are so protective of Elmore. And they feel ownership over the material and what we're trying to do every week. It's a symbiotic fluid relationship that we all have, and we all have each other's backs. It's nice to be a part of that. I didn't know that that would happen again after The Shield. I really thought that you get one shot to have this kind of experience in television and here I've had, you know, two and one back-to-back and I'm very grateful for it.

On his Sons of Anarchy stint
Goggins: That's my other love. Venus Van Dam, I love Venus Van Dam as much as I love Boyd Crowder and as much I love Shane Vendrell. Kurt [Sutter] is a very close friend and someone that I've known for over a decade, and to get the opportunity to play her with Charlie [Hunnam] and all those boys, it's just so far outside of anything that I thought would kind of come my way that it's just icing on the cake. I think we've just started to scratch the surface with Venus. So hopefully, we'll have a lot to say about her.

On doing both television and film
Goggins: I think we've come to a place in television and programming on cable that it feels like doing a movie every week. It's really seamless for people to go back and forth. I had a long conversation with Bryan Cranston about this at the night-before party for the Academy Awards, and you look at his career, you look at Aaron [Paul]'s career, you look at [Jon Hamm]'s career, you look at so many different actors' career right now and you can [see how actors] flow kind of seamlessly between the two.

On working with Steven Spielberg for Lincoln and Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
Goggins: Those two people stand taller than almost any other person in our profession. I learned grace from Steven and this ease that he has, and his love of the craft of storytelling that has really influenced how I approach my day and as an actor, and I balance that with just the sheer unstoppable enthusiasm and creativity of Q. He's a giant not only in this field, but in his excitement for the stories in general and his love of all different types of movies and his cinematic acumen is really unparalleled. I think what I learned from him is just the love of it, to really love it and to know how special it is, and to know how fleeting it is.

He had a saying -- Quentin did -- when we would do something ten times, and he would have it. It would be done and he would say, "Well, we've got it but we're going to do one more. Why?" And then everybody would say, "Because we love making movies." And, you know, you have someone who is leading the charge say that to you and remind you how lucky you are, how lucky you are to contribute to the legacy of this business, of storytelling, in this way. It's pretty exciting and there's no, you know, greater example of that in my book than Quentin.

On the Veronica Mars movie, given that Goggins was in the pilot for Season 4
Goggins: You know, Rob [Thomas] is an old friend of mine. Rob is an old buddy. So I haven't gotten the call yet, but maybe there's still time. It will come from your article. We'll see. I don't know. We'll see what happens.

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