‘Justified’: New threats in Harlan

Neal McDonough stars as Detroit gangster Quarles on “Justified,” airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

There’s no shortage of bad guys causing trouble for Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in the Southern underbelly where FX drama “Justified” exists. But finding one to match the grit and cunning of Mags Bennett — portrayed with Emmy-winning flair by Margo Martindale last season — was no easy task. So two men will go toe to toe with the modern-day gunslinger this year: Quarles (Neal McDonough), a Detroit gangster with his sights set on becoming a Kentucky crime lord, and Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson), a Harlan County man who has no scruples when it comes to protecting his holler.

“We wanted to … try a different kind of antagonist this year,” says “Justified” creator Graham Yost of the impeccably tailored, ruthless Quarles. “We thought it would be interesting to bring in a guy from the outside who thinks he’s going to come down to Kentucky and show these backwoods hicks how crime is really done. We’ll just see how that goes for him.”

Quarles may have a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings, but it didn’t take McDonough and Williamson long to acclimate to the “Justified” set. Well, not once they got over their jitters, at least.

“The first time I showed up on the set I was extremely nervous, because I’m a fan of the show and the last thing I wanted to do was destroy something that I just love,” Williamson says. McDonough took a different approach: “[I] purposefully didn’t want to watch what [Martindale] did last year, or what everyone else was doing, because I didn’t want to get nervous,” he says. “Then I sat down last week and I watched the show. Now I’m nervous.”

No regrets

Creator Yost stands behind the decision to (SPOILER ALERT!) kill off baddie Mags Bennett in Season 2’s finale. “We can’t just accumulate bad guys over the years and have them all sitting around in a room like, you know, teachers on probation in New York,” he jokes.
   
“I don’t regret that we killed Mags; I do regret not having [actress Margo Martindale] around,” he says.

The ‘Super Bowl’ of dramas

“Justified” newbies Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson can’t stop gushing about their experience working on the critically acclaimed series. Williamson likens the creativity and talent of the cast to “the greatest group of jazz musicians playing together,” while McDonough said going to work on the drama was “like Super Bowl Sunday every time you get to the set.”

Why so much praise? McDonough credits star/producer Timothy Olyphant’s dedication — and sense of perfectionism — to the success of the show.

“Tim’s amazing. … If the scene isn’t working correctly, we’ll take our time,” McDonough explains. “We’ll make it work perfectly. Not a lot of guys who are, you know, No. 1 on the call sheet, care that much about a show to make each scene as perfect as possible. Tim’s going to hang out and make sure the show is top-notch.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…