Exclusive Interview: Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter on ‘Justified’ Season 5

Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter

FX showed the first two episodes of “Justified” Season 5 before their day of panels before the Television Critics Association Press Tour. We got a ton of exclusive interviews with the “Justified” cast so we’ll begin with the pair of Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter. 
 
This season, Boyd Crowder (Goggins) suddenly finds himself courting Mexican drugs to help pay for his efforts to get Ava (Carter) out of prison. I sat with Goggins and Carter while discussing the penultimate season for “Justified.” 
 
 
CraveOnline: How distracting is it for Boyd to have Ava in prison?
 
Walton Goggins: I would say it’s more than a distraction. He’s in a desperate situation really. This is the meaning to his life, the meaning to his existence and having her away is personally hard for me as an actor, for Walt, not to be working with Joelle on a daily basis. That’s hard enough and then it’s compounded by Boyd not being able to see Ava. 
 
Joelle, did you always expect Ava to end up in this situation with her criminal lifestyle?
 
Goggins: That’s a great question. Did you?
 
Joelle Carter: I don’t know if I did expect it. 
 
Goggins: Like in the pilot?
 
Carter: No way. I thought she was going to have to pay more of a price after the pilot for killing her husband and that never really got rectified. What happened [was] they just kind of slapped her on the wrist. I always thought maybe that was because the city where she grew up in knew of the abuse that she had taken and the judge took it easy on her. 
 
But I was just talking to Walton’s manager that it’s funny, Ava seems to be the only character that’s really paying a price for all the stuff that happens on the show right now. So maybe in some way it’s symbolic of what should be happening to all the other characters. There’s a lot of killing that goes on, but you’re paying the price too.
 
Goggins: Yeah, but in some ways you are kind of the moral to the story, that you are paying the ultimate price. We’ll see what happens when it’s all said and done because I have a feeling that no one gets out of Harlan alive. I don’t know the answer to those questions but there’s a fracture and a splintering of this relationship by proxy of Ava’s incarceration, but it would be very difficult to overcome moving forward.
 
Carter: I also feel like a lot of the characters, including Ava, are kind of meeting up with their destiny in a way. Now that we’ve played them for so long and there’s one year left and the writers are shooting towards the end, what they want it to be, maybe this is who this character was really supposed to be. Now that she’s put in this circumstance, is she going to step up and become who she will end up? Or, is she going to get eaten alive in prison and by heartbreak and whatever.
 
Goggins: I know we’re just kind of talking on one question that you asked but for me, it’s so interesting when you step back and do look at it. The world was perfect for these two people for one moment, this one moment in the interior of the home where the possibilities were endless, and that was fleeting. You don’t realize when you’re living your life when you have it so good and how tenuous existence could be. 
 
For these two people, happiness and structure and commitment and love the way they understood it is falling through their fingers. It’s like sand falling through their hands and they can’t do anything about it. They’re powerless to do anything about it.
 
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Carter: Almost every season has kind of felt like a new show and their characters luckily develop. You’re playing the same character but in such different circumstances that yeah, it feels like a new show. 
 
Goggins: I said this in another interview. Maybe episode two or episode three, in my own life I was anxious. My temper was a short temper and I felt not on my game personally.
 
Of the first season or this season?
 
Goggins: No, this season. I was talking to my wife about it, she said, “It’s Boyd. It’s what you’re dealing with being away from Ava.” She’s right. She was so right because for me, it’s so hard for Boyd to be around a bunch of people that are very, very new in his life. He doesn’t have a lot of history with anyone he interfaces with this season. There is no one to trust. The only person that he really trusts was Ava and Jimmy who has gone and done what he decided to do, and Arlo is gone.
 
Even Duffy, his new partner, there’s no real history.
 
Goggins: There’s no real history there. As selfish as Walton likes working with Jere [Burns], Boyd does not trust Wynn Duffy.
 
Carter: I mean, they’re both put in such a circumstance where they’re just going to live this whole season not trusting anyone. It’s going to be interesting when they come face to face with each other. 
 
Goggins: Can they trust each other?
 
That’s going to take a toll.