Q&A: How 'Justified' Star Timothy Olyphant Conquers TV
Again this season, people have brought up how much violence seems to follow Raylan around. Do you think that's really part of him, or just what he's got to deal with?
They do give you a gun when you take the job, so I suppose there’s a reason for that. He enjoys the job. And every now and then he gets to shoot somebody. It’s a pretty good time, all things considered.
He seemed a little more bothered by his last shooting in episode five. Was that more because he'd never shot a woman before?
I think that definitely played a part. The fact is women aren’t often involved in crimes where they get shot by people in law enforcement, so law enforcement [officers] don’t have too many opportunities to shoot at women. If you talk to cops it’s a big deal to shoot a woman.
It’s essentially the equivalent of imagining ever hitting a woman. I mean, you just don’t do it. And if it happens it’s quite the topic of conversation. You could hit a couple dozen guys, but you hit one woman and you’re going to think about it and everyone’s going to talk about it. And I think it’s kind of in the same ballpark.
Do you think there's a line that Raylan wouldn't cross?
We’re going to try to find out. It doesn’t get any easier. We’ve got a lot of people with the capacity for violence and we got a lot of people that have conflicting wants and needs, and they all keep running up against each other.
It’s a violent season and it’s kind of a fun, twisted violent season. And then the key to it is hopefully we can continue to sort of ground these people to make you feel like, “Wow, they’re actually quite interesting, complicated folks.”
It’s been a lovely season. It feels like it’s totally different than the first two, and yet feels very much like our show. I couldn’t be more happy with it.
You’ve gotten to do a lot of really cool things on the show. Last week you got to run somebody over with a car twice. So is there a favorite thing that you’ve gotten to do in this role?
You know what, the show, it’s a blast. It never stops being fun. I’m on that set five days a week and it feels like I’m batting a thousand. When we call wrap, I’m in a pretty good mood. It’s really impressive day in and day out how enjoyable the job is.
The humor is the most fun. It’s a blast being able to do comedy. And Elmore Leonard’s cool, all his characters are cool. It’s fun to pretend to be that cool. It's all pretty fun.
Is there anything you'd like to do with Raylan?
No, you know, I think that my focus is just trying to tell the story you promised the audience. And so far that’s just been a wonderful challenge. I just kind of want to see the thing fulfilled, and reach its full potential.
My thanks to Timothy Olyphant for taking the time for another interview! Justified airs its next new episode Tuesday, February 28 at 10 PM ET/PT on FX. For more, you can also check out my recent interview with Justified star Erica Tazel, and my previous interview with Timothy from season two.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.