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Interview: Cowboys & Aliens' Walton Goggins Talks TV

Walton Goggins stars in Cowboys & Aliens, this summer’s blockbuster featuring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Sam Rockwell. Walton Goggins stars in Cowboys & Aliens, this summer’s blockbuster featuring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Sam Rockwell.

Walton Goggins isn’t necessarily a household name, but ask the 39-year-old actor and he’ll tell you he’s got it all: an Oscar on the mantle of his new Hollywood home (for his short film “The Accountant”), starring roles in the FX hit series Justified as well as the upcoming summer thrill ride Cowboys & Aliens, and he and his fiancée, screenwriter Nadia Conners (The 11th Hour), rang in the New Year by welcoming their first child, Augustus Somerset, into the world. Cowboys & Aliens also stars Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell, was directed by Jon Favreau and produced by a powerhouse trio of Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Stephen Spielberg. The movie is True Grit meets Star Wars and is predicted to bring in major box office bank. Goggins, already a small screen favorite, is just happy to be in the room.

Walton GogginsWalton Goggins

Q: You’re already wildly popular amongst fans of “The Shield.” Is it true that your character Boyd Crowder on “Justified” was brought back to life by the fans?

A: Pretty much. I had agreed to do one episode and based on the reaction of the test audiences, they didn’t want to see Boyd die. I was doing a movie while the show kept rolling and the executive producers asked me if I would stay on for a bit. We were having such a good time and the relationship between Timothy Olyphant’s character Raylan and my character became so complex and juicy and delicious that once the movie shoot was over, they asked me to come on fulltime.

Q: You have a reputation as a Southern gentleman. Were you reticent to play a role where the character is such a bigot?

A: I don’t like being the token Southern racist and I think that that is trite and overdone and we’ve seen it. Racism exists everywhere in this world, not just in the South. So, yes, I was very reticent at first and had long conversations with the creators before I began and wanted to make Boyd very smart and self-taught and almost have a genius IQ. They went for that. I also didn’t want him to necessarily believe everything that he was preaching, and we were able to do that with infusion of intelligence and a love of words. Raylan says to Boyd that he doesn’t think Boyd believes everything that he is saying. After a near death experience, Boyd is forever changed and he finds God in a real way. His conversion is indicative of his personal beliefs because there are African Americans in his church immediately. To me, it was something never done on television, a villain that isn’t twisting his moustache as he speaks.

Q: What did Nadia think about the South when you took her home to meet friends and family?

A: She absolutely loved it. She had all these stereotypes in her mind and she’d never been with a Southern guy before. Her preconceptions of what the South was were totally different from her experience. She’s from Los Angeles where entertainment options are limitless and I think spending time in a place where people create their own entertainment was really special. For her it was insight into why I am the way I am.

Q: Do think that to be a good storyteller that you must also be a good listener?

A: I agree with that 100%. I don’t think that this conversation would be complete without that statement. Southerners by and large are really good listeners and will let you tell your story, but know that they’re going to take the time to tell their story as well. It’s very reciprocal.


Check out Walton Goggins in the summer blockbuster Cowboys & Aliens, also starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell, directed by Jon Favreau and produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Stephen Spielberg.

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Cowboys & Aliens promises big action in a Western/sci-fi genre mash-up starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Walton Goggins.
Last modified on Friday, 31 August 2012 13:48

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