You can check out Walt’s interview in it’s entirety with Entertainment Weekly over at EW.COM now!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It was executive producer Graham Yost who said we’ll be seeing a return to the Boyd of the pilot. Is that how you see it?
WALTON GOGGINS: Yeah. I mean, minus the swastika. It’s interesting: Maybe two, three episodes [into filming season 5], I was having a conversation with my wife, and I said, “I’m just feeling an extraordinary amount of anxiety,” like in my personal life. “I feel alone. I feel suspicious of people. I don’t know really what’s going on with me. I feel short-tempered…” She said, “Walton, it’s Boyd.” And I said, “Oh my God, you’re absolutely right. That’s exactly what it is.” I’ve been really close to it, and Boyd is in a situation this year where everything is unfamiliar. The one thing that tethers him is locked away, and he’s powerless to get her out. The people who Boyd is interfacing with this year, I don’t have a lot of history with: I don’t have my cousin Johnny. Boyd and Wynn Duffy have never had a partnership before. I’m not around Raylan, and Arlo’s gone. He doesn’t trust anyone, and he’s cornered, and that loss of control is coming out in very violent ways that are not well thought out for a man who thinks about everything. It scares me because I knew this side of him was always there, but I just never looked in that part of the mirror, and now I really am.
Hearing you talk about Boyd’s fate reminds me of the fact that Boyd was supposed to die at the end of the 2010 pilot, just like he dies at the end of the Elmore Leonard short story “Fire in the Hole.” You didn’t know he’d live when you shot the pilot, right?
No. No, no, no. No. No. I died. I took a bullet to the heart and I was done. We filmed the pilot in, maybe, May, and they had their edit, and [FX president] John Landgraf and Graham were showing it around, and they looked at it, and they thought, “Well, I don’t know, man. I don’t know if we can kill this guy.” Partly because of the chemistry — I just so enjoy working with Tim, and I think he feels the same about me. But the other part is what having Boyd there does for Raylan. What is this story about these two people that came from a very similar set of circumstances, but one went this way and one went the other way, and yet, they’re more similar than either one of them cares to admit. That’s really interesting. When you’re making a show about a small town in America, with that comes a lot of history, and what better way to serve the protagonist than to have a person that has known him since the beginning and knows his secrets, knows him that intimately. They did their testing, and they talked about it, and they came back and said, “Would you stay?”, and I jumped at the chance. I just wanted to know where the story went as much as they did. So it was very organic: Tim saying, “Let’s see what happens to these two people,” and it was intriguing enough to me that I couldn’t say no, and I’m the better man for it…. One of the greatest things that I will take away from this experience will not be what I see on television, but what I read in [Leonard's 2012] book Raylan. It’s one thing to bring a character back on television, and while Elmore has done that before in his literature, it’s another thing to bring a character back on the written page. I get to give that book to my son someday, and say, “He brought Boyd Crowder back because of the show and because he liked him,” and that means more to me than pretty much any compliment you could give me.
Graham has said the writers are planning for the show to end after six seasons. Is that what you had in mind?
I think we all feel that way, and we don’t want to stay too long at the party. More importantly, I think from my conversations with Graham, and Tim’s conversations with him, that’s really the amount of time we need to tell this story the way that we want to tell it with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Graham and I were at dinner in New York one night, just the two of us, and he said, “l look at Justified as a two chapter book: The first three years is the first chapter, and now the last three years is the second chapter.” It’s a book that I’m as excited to read as the people who watch the show.