“It’s entirely baffling to me that anybody sees me as a tough guy type character.” And yet, here you are, Jacob Pitts, playing one of TV’s best sarcastic bad asses, Tim Gutterson on FX’s Justified. Pitts, who got his start on Strangers with Candy and big break in EuroTrip, before switching over to dramas with HBO’s The Pacific and now Justified, is exactly the kind of guy you’d imagine him to be: witty, sarcastic, well spoken, and a fan of karaoke, obviously.
I recently spoke to fantasy-novel enthusiast Pitts over the phone about this season of Justified, handling sniper rifles without looking like a fool, and EuroTrip (can’t sleep ’til I write an oral history about that movie). Also, he divulged one bit of information that will completely change the way you watch Justified.
During a conversation with Raylan in a recent episode, you offhandedly mention being too young to shoot at the Taliban. Will we learn more about that this season?
Not about that particular instance, but there will be a lot more coming from that point of view.
It feels like Tim’s a bit of a time bomb waiting to go off, which I believe is even how he’s referred to as at one point during the show.
I think, so, yeah. I’ve been having some fun the last couple of weeks. I don’t know if it qualifies as a time bomb, but I’ve been having fun.
You also had a pretty key scene with Colt in “Kin.” Will we see more of you guys together?
Oh yeah, I’d say it’s pretty much me and Colt from episode nine on. We just shot on Friday what I think is the best dialogue I’ve ever had in anything ever, and I think that goes for everyone else, too.
Has Justified spoiled other roles for you, because of how good it is?
Oh yeah, completely. We’re completely spoiled. This is a life raft I’m going to cling to as long as I can. It’s nice to have a job where you don’t feel like you’re lying about the material.
Tim spends so much of his time in the Marshall’s office, particularly at his desk. Are there any Easter eggs you guys have scattered around the set?
No, other than the idea that every time I’m at that desk, I’m playing it with the thought that Raylan is essentially a fictional character and he’s Tim’s Tyler Durden. That’s essentially how I play that stuff. The whole show is just what’s happening inside of Tim’s imagination as he stares at that boring computer screen.