Modern Cowboy: A Q&A With Justified’s Timothy Olyphant

FX’s hit drama Justified returned with a bang last week, and star (and now producer!) Timothy Olyphant took part in a Q&A to share some scoop on what’s coming up this season for Raylan Givens and our other friends (and enemies) in Harlan County.

On his new producer credit:

“Well, last year I just pretended to be a producer and I rather enjoyed it, so I thought, might as well get the credit. It’s really one of the great joys of the job and one of the real challenges of the job, you know, kind of being a part of the whole thing.”

On playing a modern cowboy:

“It’s all cowboys and Indians when it comes down to it. You know, it’s kind of the fun of the job, it’s child’s play, and I get a great deal of fulfillment out it. It just so happens every now and then you actually put on an actual cowboy hat and it kind of brings it all home, but you know this one’s fun. You know, it’s always fun to – you know, cops and robbers and in this case it’s kind of more like cops and hillbillies, and this one’s a blast. The tone of the show, you know, Elmore’s cool, and Elmore’s funny. And it’s a kick to be able to play what I guess they call a drama, but day in and day out I think we’re making a comedy, so it’s a lot of fun.”

On presenting a scary world in a compelling way:

“It’s scary out there. Our job is to try to make that entertaining. You know, that’s more or less the deal that we all signed up for. Life moves pretty fast and it’s pretty scary, but at the end of the, you know, the show’s about a guy who’s trying to do the right thing and get through the day with some sense of his reality intact, and I think there’s a certain comfort in that.”

On the history and conflict between the families in Harlan County:

“As far as the families and the history, I mean that’s something that, you know, Graham [Yost] and I were both really interested in exploring this year in that sort of Hatfield-McCoy kind of culture and styles. It’s what was alive in Elmore’s original story with Boyd, and we tried to kind of keep that alive, and also kind of deepen it.

You know, it’s really nice throughout the season we keep kind of deepening that history, kind of keep peeling back the layers. You find out more and more as we go, little hints that we leave as the story goes, we kind of come back around and get a little deeper. And it’s just the world we created this year, I think, is just really rich.”

On what’s coming between Raylan and his ex-wife Winona:

“Graham is the one who I think started the idea of having these two get back together. And I think it started as just that. It was just like, you know, a broken relationship, but there was still some sort of sexual kind of tension or something. But, you know, after we shot the stuff it just seemed like there was a lot more going on there. It was a lot more interesting. And so, when we got together … that was a relationship that I think we were both really interested in exploring.

And as I said to Graham, if one of my buddies comes over to the house and tells me he’s fucking his ex-wife, we might not talk about anything else for the rest of the evening. I’m just – I’m curious. I want to know how that worked, so – and if he tells me he’s in love with her, then I’m really interested. So, we had a lot of fun with that relationship this year. I think it’s really one of the more interesting things we’ve done.”

See Timothy Olyphant in action as Raylan Givens in Justified, Wednesdays at 10pm on FX.

Photo Courtesy of FX

One thought on “Modern Cowboy: A Q&A With Justified’s Timothy Olyphant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *