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Walton Goggins Agreed To Star In Justified Under One Condition

Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) are two sides of the same coin. This is the main dynamic that FX's neo-western, "Justified," was contingent upon for six seasons. Both became acquainted in the same Kentucky town through the bonding experience of coal mining, with Raylan turning to the law as a U.S. Marshal and Boyd living a life of crime. The latter is a rocket launcher-loving white supremacist who becomes an entertaining bane of Raylan's existence. Although Goggins has become well-known for his gritty portrayal of the complex character, that was not always in the cards for the actor. Being from the South himself, Goggins did not want Boyd to be a stereotype.

"I turned down 'Justified' twice," Goggins confessed to Rolling Stone. "It was only because I was a big fan of Tim Olyphant and Graham Yost's work that I said, 'Look, I'll say the things you want me to say in the pilot, because this is Elmore Leonard's world. But in order for me to do this, I need [Tim's character] Raylan [Givens] to acknowledge that Boyd does not believe a word he's saying. Because you add that factor, and suddenly, he becomes a much more interesting, more complex character.'" The series became differentiated from other crime shows because of this interesting dynamic. Raylan and Boyd could have easily traded places if their roles were reversed, but the only thing that separated them was their differing circumstances.

Boyd was much different from Walton Goggins' other FX role

Even before "Breaking Bad" made a splash as a gritty story in the golden age of television, there was "The Shield." One of FX's premier series that put the network on the map, the show about crooked cops was career-defining and sometimes uncomfortably realistic. Walton Goggins credits the role of Shane for allowing him to make a career out of television, something that seemed impossible before. Prestige television became more and more relevant as time passed, and Goggins found lightning in a bottle again on the same network years later. But the actor also did not want working on FX to become a double-edged sword.

"I wanted to be very careful about how I was seen on FX again. And I did not want to perpetuate a Southern stereotype. ... I said, 'I want this guy to be one of the smartest guys in the room,'" Goggins explained to TV Guide. "Boyd Crowder is much smarter than Shane — Boyd's IQ is off the chart. Boyd is an instigator. He doesn't react to things; he is in control of things. Whereas Shane was constantly coming into the room 30 seconds too late, and spent his life in reaction."

Goggins' sharp instinct allowed him to mold Boyd into a character that was neither stereotypical nor boring. The "Justified" team allowed these caveats, and it has made the show better for it.