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For four seasons Emmy-nominated actor Walton Goggins has played Boyd Crowder, the arch nemesis (albeit long-time pal) of Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens on Justified. Everything came to a head this season when the man they had both been searching for was taken into custody. But now that Shelby’s in custody, Body must deal with the heat from the Detroit mob to get him out of the Marshall’s grip.
In a recent conference call interview, Walton talked about the traits he brought to his iconic character and Body and Givens’ evolving relationship. Walton looked back at creating Boyd in 2010, saying, “None of it was really scripted in this way. It was a conversation that really started. When we were talking about collaborating together and just the pilot itself, was no real commitment beyond just the pilot.”
Walton explained that he spent time developing a unique character with series showrunner Graham Yost and his co-star Tim Olyphant. “I had a lot of conversations about Boyd and about this relationship,” Walton remarked, “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.”
The 41-year-old actor continued, “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. So I had a lot to do with Boyd Crowder and we often talk about it.”
And he noted that he’s not the only member of the cast who really wanted to define their roles, “There's this show and we all feel protective about the show and Tim really owns Raylan with Elmore and Graham and 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.”
Walton added, “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.”
As a result, Walton acknowledged, “It's a real symbiotic, fluid relationship that we all have and we all have each other's back and 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 two and one back-to-back and I'm very grateful for it.”
Of course the same cannot be said for Boyd and Raylan. Walton talked about the characters’ relationship, “There's a scene, it was the last scene that I shot of the season coming up in the finale, and it was a difficult scene to really get right because I think it speaks so much to where these men are in their lives, how they feel about one another, yet how deep they really understand each other. And they ask questions and offer opinions that are very painful to listen to but are the truth and Raylan does that to Boyd and Boyd does that to Raylan. And it's — I don’t know — it's one of the hardest scenes to film for both Tim and I, certainly for me. But I think when it's all said and done, it will be one of the most gratifying.”
Tune in to Justified to see for yourself on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on FX.