The sixth and final season of FX’s neo-Western Justified (Tuesdays at 10/9c) promises more taut drama and pulse-pounding intensity than ever.
Which means U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is moving ever closer to his inevitable showdown with nemesis Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
So we asked Timothy Olyphant to reflect on his time in Givens’ cowboy boots and look ahead to what’s next.
“It’s been wonderful to just be able to see the finish line and enjoy it. All I’m prepared for is that I’m unemployed in a few weeks.”
Is it fun to play a character who never loses his cool?
Oh, it’s been a dream. Dream gig.
Has Raylan’s coolness rubbed off on you?
No. No. I don’t know—I’m just the same asshole I’ve always been.
Does playing him raise the bar for you, for what you choose to do next?
The show’s allowed me to be choosy because it’s been a nice gig that I can depend on, but now that the show’s over… we’ll see.
How do you hope it ends?
On a high note. When I see it, I’ll know. I will say that it is nice to have an opportunity to know the end is coming. Usually, when things end, I’m not the first person to find out. So that’s been lovely. And I think it’s been wonderful to just be able to see the finish line and enjoy it. All I’m prepared for is that I’m unemployed in a few weeks.
What’s next for you?
My wife is asking the same question. I gotta work. The kids—I got three of them.
If you could have your choice, what kind of thing would you do next?
Something that pays well.
Do you have any kind of a to-do list of what you want to accomplish in your career now?
No. I like working. I’ve always liked working. It’s fun being an actor.
When did you know that you wanted to act?
When I was a little kid. It was probably a little seed of an idea back then. In my twenties, it occurred to me I’d always thought about it and just figured I’d give it a shot.
What was your first big break?
First job I got was a pilot for the WB network. It was a Clint Eastwood production, although he quit before we even shot it. It was 77 Sunset Strip with Maria Bello and Jim Caviezel, Danny Nucci. It was a pilot. We didn’t get on the air. But then someone gave me a job on TV and flew me out to LA. It was a good deal. After that, I did a play off Broadway. It was great, and then I did a small part in First Wives Club. Then I got another show, Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Maria Bello again, and it got picked up, but I said no and I dropped out.
Is there a genre you want to tackle? Is there a comedy versus drama, contemporary versus period?
No. No. I’m open to anything.
So you’d do another series?
Anyone you want to work with?
You name them. All the good ones. Whatever I can get, I’m in. I’d love to work with them all. I’ve hardly worked with any of the greats. You don’t even have to pay me. That’s not actually true, but you know what I mean.
Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX