A hero is only as good as the villains he's fighting, right?
With that in mind, as we move into the opening episodes of Justified Season 6, Raylan Givens is going to have his hands full. Not only is he dealing with Boyd Crowder, but he's also coming up against some new faces in town.
One of those faces is Ty Walker, played by veteran actor Garret Dillahunt. Walker shows up in Justified Season 6 Episode 1 - but it's not until next week's intallment that we get more insight into what he's doing in Harlan County and what he actually wants.
I jumped on the phone late last week with Dillahunt to get his take on the character, Ty's impressively bushy beard and just who he is mixing it up with on the final season of the show.
TV Fanatic: Having seen the first two episodes of this final season, I’m a little worried about everybody. This guy seems like he could be a loose cannon.
Garret Dillahunt: Yeah, he is. You know, as it should in the last season, he should be a worthy adversary for Raylan and for everybody else.
TVF: Tell me first of all about the beard, because you’ve got a nice scruffy beard. Is that your beard, did you grow it for the role?
GD: It is mine. I would hate to wear a fake beard. That would be the most uncomfortable thing.
I have a series of my own called Hand of God for Amazon. We shot the pilot for that last year and we go back into production on season one next month. I have a beard in that and when I was trying to fill the time between the shooting of the pilot and the resumption of the series, Justified being the thing I found to do, I wanted to do as many as I could. I was afraid the closer it got to start time for Hand of God, the less time I’d have to grow my beard back for it. So I just kept the beard. In fact, just let it keep growing, so I had a bigger one for “Justified.” That’s all the logic behind that.
TVF: Because we don’t get a full sense of who Ty Walker, only that he definitely wants a bunch of the land in the county and has the cast to do it, how dastardly is he going to get?
GD: Ty Walker is ex-military. He’s a contractor. In this case, he’s been hired, him and his boys, he brings a team with him [and] Sam Elliott’s character, Markham, hires them to be his muscle. Markham is a not quite squeaky clean character. He makes money legally and illegally, but look, even in the legal drug trade, even if it’s been approved by state law, they still can’t deposit their money in federal banks. So it’s an issue, how do we protect the money we’re making, especially if we’re making money hand-over-fist?
So that’s where we come in. We’re security and in the meantime he has me do other business for him as well. He’s a powerful fellow, Markham. He has no problem stepping on toes. He’s got history in Harlan and while we don’t underestimate anybody, we are pretty confident that we can take care of ourselves. And you know, it’s the last season. So it’s not out of question that someone important could die.
TVF: The second episode introduces some of the other guys that Ty is working with, like Scott Grimes’ character and the guy, Choo-Choo, who’s fantastic. How would you describe these guys?
GD: Well, it’s like any group of superheroes, right? Everybody’s got their skill, and Choo-Choo’s our car-lifter. He might not be the brightest bulb but we all serve together over there and I think Walker brought them in out of a sense of duty and loyalty to his friends, give them a job, but also because he trusts them. They’ve been through some things together. That’ll come out later. There’s a real bond there, which also means if that bond gets broken, you know, feelings can really get hurt. They’re close, they’re a close-knit bunch.
I really like them both, by the by, Scott Grimes is a great dude. Worked with him on ER a bit and he’s a boon to any cast. He’s one of those guys that I think deserves a lot more credit than he might get because he’s an unassuming, humble dude who always shows up and always does great work.
GD: And Duke Davis Roberts, he’s huge. He’s also 20 or 21 years old. This is one of his first gigs and he was just great. He’s just the sweetest guy, and such a hard worker. You know, former MMA fighter. He’s just this giant, lovable baby Huey.
TVF: Garret, you’ve done heavy drama but then you also can do comedy, and this show kind of lets you do a little of both. Do you kind of see it that way?
GD: I didn’t see it that way but that is a nice way to look at it. I will tell you that Tim [Olyphant] and I have been friends since Deadwood, going back about a decade and ever since he’s had this show, especially since he’s become a producer, we’ve been trying to work together on it. But Raising Hope always conflicted with our shooting schedule. We shoot about the exact same times, but once Raising Hope’ was canceled, we hooked up and Tim got it done. I wanted to be part of something I think is a pretty great show and they’re really trying to do something special over there and have been for all six seasons.
And I wanted to be on it before it was gone, and I wanted to work with Tim again. So I was thrilled to be part of this last season. The writing team is top-notch and they do a real excellent job of maintaining Elmore Leonard’s feel, the way he handled language. They found a way to imitate that, like, perfectly, and it’s really fun to say, for actors, I’ve got to say.
TVF: Would you say that you felt challenged differently with this role than other roles? How do you feel about that?
GD: Again, I didn’t think of it that way. I like to play things that are different from other people I’ve played, that’s for sure. And we wanted to make this guy as unique as possible but there is definitely a style to this show and he seems right at home jumping into the witty banter with Raylan and Boyd. And I like it. It’s sort of just an accepted thing about this world that there’s some witty mother***ers that live here in Harlan County.
TVF: Is Raylan pretty much the only character of the regular characters that you’re mixing it up with, or does Ty end up getting involved with everybody?
GD: He’s all over the place. The Ty Walker/Markham storyline crisscrosses everybody’s path. I worked a lot with Joelle Carter, worked a lot with Walton and Sam Elliott and I enjoyed those scenes very much. I interact with a lot of other guest cast during the season because if you think about it, whatever we’re involved in would be catnip for everybody. For an evil bunch and just have a bunch of money that’s outside of a bank, that’s going to be catnip to any local criminals. And if we’re doing something fishy, that’s just going to be, Raylan’s got to come deal with us too. So kind of getting it from all sides, really.
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.