A Look Into the Mind and Soul of Boyd Crowder with Walton Goggins

We have a treat for you Justified fans out there – a look into the mind and soul of Boyd Crowder, from actor Walton Goggins himself. Goggins was one of the most articulate and insightful actors I’ve spoken with, so I’m going to give you some longer-than-usual quotes on a few topics near and dear to Boyd’s heart.

On Boyd’s evolution as a character:

“I think that if you look at the trajectory of Boyd Crowder and you think about … this showman in the pilot episode, then this near-death experience and this religious conversion and the ambiguous kind of nature of that conversion, only to be revealed at the end of Season One that he did truly believe in God. In some ways that was his answer so that when we come into Season Two having that foundation rocked to its core, I think what you found is a man who is not even searching for meaning. He’s searching for the absence of meaning. He’s just trying to wander and be aimless for a while. I think we, as human beings, find a character like that sympathetic. I think that with that type of vulnerability that Boyd is feeling this season that you’re going to get an opportunity … to kind of see who this guy is. You’re looking behind the curtain; you’re getting to see behind the façade.

It’s really interesting to me because I didn’t really know who he was. It’s still a mystery to me. I’m still kind of figuring it out every single day. This season, at the beginning, I think what Graham [Yost] and the writers and myself tried to do is to take a man who lived in the extremes, only to thread a needle, to come out the other side and maybe find a man in balance. What will a Boyd Crowder in balance look like? I don’t know.”

On Boyd and Ava:

“How would Boyd kind of go about really courting a woman? I said, “Let’s do things different.” He has to come at this from a completely different angle because in his heart, Boyd is a poet. He’s an intellectual and even though he’s many, many other things – you can use a lot of adjectives to describe him – a poet is one of them. Graham had decided to put him in that room reading a book and we talked about the book. As it turns out, I really wanted this book, Of Human Bondage, because I thought it accurately reflected where he was in his life and it was written by my favorite author, Somerset Maugham, which is the name of my son, believe it or not. So it was just a slow process about how do we earn this; how do we make it different than the rest of television? Hopefully we’ve done our job. Hopefully you’ll want to see them hook up by the time they do.”

On Boyd and Raylan:

“I think Boyd Crowder very much likes Raylan. I’ve heard Tim [Olyphant] say in a couple of interviews that he doesn’t think that they’re friends, Raylan and Boyd. I would fervently disagree, at least from Boyd’s point of view, and that’s the only point of view I can really speak from. I think that he sincerely values the relationship that he has with Raylan.

There’s a conversation that we have in [episode] two, early on, right after we leave the mine. At the beginning of that conversation, Raylan states kind of why he’s there. I was talking to Graham and talking to Tim about it and I said once you say that this is the look – and maybe it’s not written here, but I’m going to tell you this is what Boyd’s feeling and that is, “Really, that’s all you came to talk to me about, man? That’s what our relationship means to you after like 18 men have been summarily executed and you haven’t seen me since that night two or three months ago and that’s the only thing that you’re here to talk about?” There was this disappointment on Boyd’s face that I think really kind of infused their relationship for the first five episodes … I think that if Boyd can get hurt by Raylan, than Boyd really cares for Raylan.”

On Boyd’s ambiguity:

“I think that for a person like Boyd, a person as smart as Boyd, he understands that his strength comes in ambiguity. What’s been his albatross is his ambiguity to himself, but what may be ultimately his salvation and his ultimate strength is him being truthful with himself and truthful to a couple of people around him. It’s been very interesting just to play and to figure out, but he’s still – yes, a mystery to me, for sure. I’m trying to make sense of it a word at a time.”

Watch Walton Goggins play out this fascinating ambiguity on Justified on Wednesdays at 10 pm Eastern on FX.

Photo Courtesy of FX

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