GQ: What scared you when you were a child?
Walton Goggins: If I’m being honest, it was a shark. It was Jaws. You know I didn’t watch a lot of scary movies when I was a kid, but I did see that one and I refused to even get in a bathtub, much less a lake or the ocean. Believe it or not, it inspired me to become a master scuba diver so that I could deal with that fear. So, thanks, Steven Spielberg.
GQ: Has there ever been a villain that you rooted for, that you admired?
Walton Goggins: I think villains have had a resurgence in the last ten years, thanks to cable TV dramas, which have allowed for more exploration of men like Tony Soprano or Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis, The Shield)—anti-heroes who would, before that, have just been somebody the good guy killed. Those two, in particular, were bad guys I couldn’t get enough of. I wanted to understand them. And viewers have that opportunity when they can watch eighty-five hours of a character on TV. In a film, there’s not enough time to really flesh a villain out. With Vic Mackey—Chiklis did him right. You come to see the world from his perverted moral compass.
GQ: How much of Boyd existed on the page, and how much did you bring to the role?
Walton Goggins: The words existed, strung together in a very poetic way. I added a level of ambiguity early on, which I think was Boyd’s strength in the first episodes. And I was able to bring an intellect. I was interested in playing a guy who, more often than not, is the smartest person in the room—a person who has a real flare and a love of words, who is self-taught, and a showman. You know, I’m from the South, and I wasn’t interested in perpetuating a stereotypical southern character. I wanted Boyd to be everything under the sun—smart being most important. But the first script I read? It was really good—eighty percent of Boyd was right there. He felt like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes
You can check out the interview in full over at GQ.com