‘Justified’: Walton Goggins on his cerebral criminal

Walton Goggins stars as Boyd Crowder on “Justified,” airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

We appreciate Boyd Crowder’s attempt at the straight and narrow on the second season of “Justified.” But the Kentucky good ol’ boy who was introduced to audiences as a guy who “likes to get money and blow s— up” by the show’s protagonist, deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens, is so much fun to watch doing just that. The season may be winding down, but Boyd’s new, illegal operation is just getting started, so we checked in with actor Walton Goggins to find out more about his character’s scheming ways.

Blue-collar Southerners are often portrayed as caricatures onscreen. How do you make someone like Boyd so real?

This show is not strictly about the South; it’s about rural America. Most of the guys I knew like Boyd growing up [in Georgia] were smart. They were a different kind of intelligent — they didn’t have a degree from Brown, they had a degree in human nature and the human condition, and that is just as valid as anything that one can get in college.

He’s already outsmarted criminals and a coal corporation this season.

The other thing that I am so proud about Boyd is that he is self-taught. So many people in the rural parts of the country are self-taught. I am self-taught. I left a scholastic scholarship to a small college with $300 in my pocket to move to Los Angeles. I wanted to participate in all of the conversations going on around me, which required a college education and an understanding of the classics — Shakespeare, Somerset Maugham, Hemingway and the rest. It changed my life. That’s what we portray on the show; that’s what Boyd is.

Now your character is attempting to run all criminal activity in his hometown. So how is the “reformed” Boyd of Season 2 different from the white supremacist Boyd who shot a rocket launcher into a church in the pilot episode?

What he’s discovering about himself is that you can actually have a balance, that the world is bigger than just one way of thinking. He’s started looking at the world for the first time as a person who is sober. I don’t mean just sobriety that relates to alcohol, sobriety as a person — a person getting their addictive personality in check. Boyd was off wandering in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights — but don’t think he won’t get into the mix.


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