Walton Goggins Shares Insights on His Iconic Characters | GQ

Walton Goggins Shares Insights on His Iconic Characters | GQ

Walton Goggins, a name synonymous with some of the most memorable characters in modern television and film, recently sat down with GQ to discuss his iconic roles and the nuances that make them unforgettable. Known for his versatility and depth, Goggins has portrayed a wide range of characters, from the morally complex Boyd Crowder in “Justified” to the enigmatic Ghoul in the new Prime Video series “Fallout.”

In “Fallout,” Goggins takes on the role of The Ghoul, a character who has roamed a post-apocalyptic wasteland for over two centuries. The Ghoul, once a 1950s movie star named Cooper Howard, has been transformed by nuclear radiation into a decaying, emotionless figure. Goggins describes The Ghoul as a character who has seen the worst of humanity, making him devoid of any emotional connection to others. This detachment is evident in his brutal interactions with Lucy MacLean, played by Ella Purnell, a vault dweller who ventures into the dangerous world above.

Goggins shared that The Ghoul’s lack of empathy stems from his prolonged exposure to the harsh realities of the wasteland. “He doesn’t see Lucy as human,” Goggins explained. “He’s only seen the worst that humanity has to offer, so he views her naivete and optimism as a privilege.” This dynamic sets the stage for a compelling narrative, as Lucy’s encounter with The Ghoul becomes a pivotal moment in her journey.

Ella Purnell, who plays Lucy, echoed Goggins’ sentiments about their on-screen chemistry. Despite the physical and emotional intensity of their scenes, Purnell found comfort in knowing that Goggins, in reality, is a kind and considerate co-star. “We’d done some rehearsals together, so I knew he wasn’t The Ghoul,” Purnell said with a laugh. “But it works so well because Lucy and The Ghoul could not be more different.”

The stark contrast between Lucy’s sheltered life in the vault and The Ghoul’s brutal existence in the wasteland serves as a narrative springboard. Purnell is eager to see how their characters influence each other as the series progresses. “Lucy has to adapt to survive, and The Ghoul is the symbol of adapting to survive,” she noted. “He’s done things and seen things that are horrifying to Lucy, making their initial encounter a crucial turning point.”

Goggins’ ability to bring such complex characters to life is not limited to “Fallout.” His portrayal of Boyd Crowder in “Justified” remains one of his most celebrated roles. Boyd, a charismatic yet morally ambiguous character, captivated audiences with his intricate blend of charm and menace. Goggins’ collaboration with Quentin Tarantino in films like “Django Unchained” and “The Hateful Eight” further showcased his range, allowing him to delve into characters that are both compelling and multifaceted.

In addition to his work with Tarantino, Goggins has also teamed up with Danny McBride in the HBO series “The Righteous Gemstones.” His role as Baby Billy Freeman, a disgraced televangelist, adds another layer to his diverse portfolio. Goggins’ ability to seamlessly transition between drama and comedy highlights his versatility as an actor.

Goggins’ recent appearance in “The White Lotus” further cements his status as a dynamic performer. His character, a wealthy and eccentric guest at a luxury resort, adds a unique flavor to the ensemble cast. Goggins’ knack for infusing his roles with depth and authenticity makes each character he portrays memorable and distinct.

Reflecting on his career, Goggins attributes his success to his willingness to take risks and explore the complexities of his characters. “I’ve always been drawn to roles that challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone,” he shared. This approach has not only earned him critical acclaim but also a dedicated fan base that eagerly anticipates his next project.

As Goggins continues to captivate audiences with his performances, his insights into his iconic characters offer a glimpse into the mind of an actor who is constantly evolving. Whether he’s playing a gunslinger in a post-apocalyptic world or a charming yet dangerous criminal, Goggins’ commitment to his craft remains unwavering. His ability to breathe life into each role ensures that his characters will be remembered for years to come.

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