“Justified” star Walton goggins has a brief but pivotal role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”. We lassoed the actor over to the chatting bench to talk up the acclaimed, fun flick – hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week.
What drew you to the film and can you tell us a little about your character, “Billy Crash”?
Well, it’s Quentin Tarantino. [Laughs] This is not a character that I would play anymore in my career. It’s something I’ve been given an opportunity to do a number of times – not this specific guy – but things that are in this genre and in this way. It’s no different than an Italian from New York playing a gangster a number of times. I’m from the South, therefore these are the opportunities that you get early in your career. But this is Quentin Tarantino and this role and this movie and every actor in this movie. After reading it the first time, I put it down and said to a friend of mine, “This movie’s going to start a revolution. If it isn’t people in the streets then it’s going to be an inward revolution.” Quentin has solidified himself as the person to tell this story for this next generation of people coming up.
Do you think this movie will give the topic of slavery a new platform for discussion or lead to any type of social movement?
I think it’s a social movement and I think it’s going to reinvigorate the discussion in this country. What Quentin’s been able to do is essentially give us, visually, the greatest white fear in this country for three hundred years. That’s what you do. That’s what you fear most. And you should fear it. What you’ve done? How you’ve subjugated an entire race of people and the atrocities that were committed? You should be afraid when you go to sleep at night. And through the telling of this story and the journey of “Django,” just to remind the audience, the man just wants to be with the woman that he loves. That’s it. And it’s an institution of unrighteous legislation and people that are preventing him from doing that. And for me, my job, and the reason why I wanted to be a part of this movie – in addition to it being Quentin Tarantino – was that I can do it. I know how to do it. And I want to participate in the telling of this story. And if that meant my sacrificing on some level a commitment to myself in order to do so in a movie that I thought was this important, then so be it. I feel like I’m a part of that and this is so antithetical to anything that I’ve ever been around in my life being a liberal who lives in California. I think it it’s fucking important and I’m right in the chorus, screaming along with everybody else.
Would you call this film a revenge story, a love story or a social injustice story?
Why can’t it be all three? God knows we put too many things in boxes these days. We only see them from one person’s perspective. It’s like the political parties in this country. I want to move past naming anything. Let’s get to the essence of it. Let’s get to the truth of it. And that requires seeing it from every different perspective. One thing that didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie is the scene where I go to castrate Jamie or “Django.” “Billy Crash” has a long conversation with him and it’s beautifully written. It is vintage Tarantino and he really brings into focus the working poor white man’s perspective: the man who attained power in a society that didn’t allow that for people that were economically challenged. The only way that you could move up in the corporation is to commit horrible acts against another race of people. “Billy Crash” articulated it in this speech by saying, “I had me a good thing here and you done gone and fucked that up. It took me my lifetime to get to this place. I’ve made more money than I’ve ever made in my whole goddamn life and here you’re gonna go on and fuck that up.” His anger is coming from that place. “As hard as I know it is for you, also know it’s a little hard for me out here, too. And I’ve finally gotten what’s mine and you’ve taken that away.” And it’s interesting that, in that moment, when Billy walks out and Sam’s character walks in, there is no racism between those two men. There’s a simpatico understanding that we exist only because we have each other and we have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.
What type of person do you think your character would be in 2013?
A convict. [Laughs]
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Entries Close June 15.
Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia is releasing ”Django Unchained” on Blu-ray™, DVD & UltraViolet from June 6.