Timothy Olyphant Has Weighed In On Walton Goggins Revealing Their ‘Justified’ Set Friction Of Yesteryear

Fans of FX’s Justified tend to be hit hard while thinking about a particular line of dialogue from the series finale: “We dug coal together.” Another lesser-quoted but similar sentiment hails from the first season finale: “Raylan, I’m gonna bet my life on you being the only friend I have left in this world.”

Both examples speak to the undeniable (yet begrudging) bond that the two lead characters could not shake, despite being on opposite sides of the law. Yet would it be difficult to believe that there were moments when Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins didn’t completely get along as co-stars? Actually, yes, that was an unexpected realization, especially considering how obviously thrilled that they seemed while recently reuniting in Thailand, where Goggins is filming HBO’s The White Lotus and Olyphant is getting his hat-less thing on in FX’s Alien from Noah Hawley.

Let’s talk about how this realization has rolled out. In fall 2023, Peter Biskind’s new book, Pandora’s Box: The Greed, Lust, and Lies That Broke Television, quoted Goggins (via The Independent) as admitting that he and Olyphant “weren’t talking” by the end of Justified. He further explained to the outlet, “We were so deep into these people we were playing, and they were so polar opposite at this point in the story… I think we were both obsessed with our own points of view, just carrying the weight of this conflict.” Goggins made sure to stress that all is now good: “I think we just needed to separate, like brothers… We just needed to take a break in order to come back together.”

Fast forward some years, and everything is fine, but still, that set experience sounds complicated and slightly uncomfortable. Fortunately, Vanity Fair has followed up with Olyphant during an interview for their Little Gold Men awards series, and Olyphant was apparently not aware of Goggins’ admission. He did laugh and had some fun with his answer:

“Okay, here’s my version. I adored working with Walt from the jump, but these actors, they’re a pain in the ass. [Grinning] They get really into their work! There was this thing where, as the show went on, and especially as the thing came to an end, where I would come from the writers’ room. They’d add things that were like, ‘Here’s what we need Walt to do in order to get to this finale we want.’ Then Walt would say his character would never do that, and then I’d be like, ‘Goddamn it.’ [Laughs] We’d get really frustrated with each other.”

Olyphant also had a theory of sorts relating to how “people have a hard time saying goodbye” when a long-term project comes to an end, and further, “I’m always aware that for everybody, it’s difficult to leave. Some people make it easier to walk away, whatever it is.” So, the inference there is that perhaps the friction could have partially been a defense mechanism because the cast simply adored each other too much, and maybe that made it “easier” to say goodbye at the end of the shoot. Makes sense? Sure, why not.

For good measure, the eternal Santa Clarita Diet star added, “I’d work with him again in a heartbeat. And I’m assuming if we do it again, he’ll be more predisposed to listen to me. [Laughs.]” And there you have it.

Look forward to seeing these dudes onscreen again in The White Lotus and Alien sometime in 2025.

(Via Vanity Fair)