Conference Call Interview With Michael Rapaport On Justified


One of the prime highlights of the fifth and final season of Justified, and there have been no shortage of them, has been Michael Rapaport’s turn as the manipulative (and alligator breeding) Darryl Crowe Jr. Not only has the accomplished actor has proved to be one of the FX show’s most compelling big bads, but he’s also given us further proof that movie scene-stealers have been allowed to shine more fully on the small screen.

Recently, we had the chance to participate in a conference call interview with the actor to discuss his hit TV show. Among other things, he spoke about what lies ahead for his character, the joys and challenges of working on the hit series and more.

Check it out below, and enjoy!

Darryl is much more intelligent and much more ambitious than a lot of the other characters give him credit for. But by that same token, I think the other members of his family are holding him back a little bit. Do you think Darryl truly realizes how detrimental they are to his goals, or is he just turning a blind eye to it because they’re family?

Michael Rapaport: I think that he’s turning a blind eye to them because they’re family. I think in his head he thinks he’s doing the best thing for his family. He’s running the family and he has taken on this responsibility. So I think in his head he thinks he’s doing the best thing for everybody, but as the season keeps going on we’ll see how that plays out.

But it’s definitely been a lot of fun, and I think there are a lot of big twists and turns at the end that are going to be, I would say, kind of shocking. There are a couple of scenes that are like, really crazy.

One of the things that I’ve really been enjoying as the past few episodes have gone by is watching you play against Walton Goggins as Boyd, and it occurred to me that it feels like your character is in a similar position to him. As the season progresses, your back continues to get up against the wall. So could you tell me a little bit about what it’s like playing against Walton, and have you guys had any discussions about these characters kind of paralleling each other in any way?

MR: Well, yes, we did have a couple of discussions about it. Walton is honestly one of the best actors I’ve ever had a chance to work with. It’s been a real pleasure working with him, and him and Tim’s insistence and persistence on pushing the envelope, not just for them but for the show and for all the other actors, has been a real pleasure and just a real—it’s just been a lot of fun.

It’s been challenging and creative. Those guys, they’re just really good, and they really care about what they’re doing. It pays off in the end result, but they really are team players and very welcoming and encouraging for everybody to do good.

And as far as the characters, yes, we’ve talked about it a little bit. Obviously Boyd is the most fleshed out of all of the bad guys, and I think he’s very humanized. So he’s really a bad guy that you could get behind in the character. He just brings a lot of color to the character.

I think there was a scene that was in a recent episode—yes, we did talk about that. Darryl wants the same thing Boyd wants. They’re both criminals, and at the end of the day they’re just trying to find their way and make their way. So that’s definitely something we talk about.

So what’s it been like playing this guy? As a viewer, I can’t help but to like him even though he’s supposed to be a criminal. What about you?

MR: It’s been fun. It’s been one of the more fun jobs that I’ve had in a long time as an actor. To be able to play somebody that says and does pretty much whatever he wants, he’s manipulative and I think he’s very self-serving, although I don’t think he’s aware of it. It’s just been a lot of fun, and sometimes it’s been like venting. You go. You scream and yell. You punch people. You smack people and all that stuff. So it’s fun to do.

The body count has been growing all season long on Justified, and this season isn’t over yet but the writing could be on the wall for Darryl. Do you have any concern about that? Did you want this role to be a more than one-season thing or did you have in the back of your mind, “Oh well, if something happens to Darryl by the end of the season I’m cool with it.”

MR: Yes, I was totally cool with it, and I know that I had to accept my fate going into it. I know that a character like this is living on the edge. So it’s really week-to-week. You didn’t know what was going to happen, and I didn’t really know what was going to happen until we finished shooting.

You don’t really get a heads up, but I knew that the way that he’s behaving and the fact that I’m a bad guy stepping into a world of other bad guys that there was a risk to take, but I didn’t have any problems with it because it’s just been fun while it’s lasted.