We’re not going to talk about the season or the individual episodes of Justified season five until after it premieres on January 8th, except to say that — after the three episodes I’ve seen — it’s as blow-the-doors-off-the-barn awesome as we’ve come to expect from the FX series, and like Boardwalk Empire, this season will tie in characters from several different locations (Florida, Harlan, Detroit) this year.
However, I did feel that one piece of casting was worth mentioning ahead of the fifth season premiere. As a big fan of David E. Kelly’s The Practice and, obviously The Wire, I got a huge thrill out of seeing Steve Harris (Eugene Young) and Wood Harris (Avon Barksdale) share scenes together on Justified, as partners. My first thought because their chemistry was so unbelievably friendly and natural was whether Steve Harris and Wood Harris were related, and sure enough, Steve is Wood’s older brother.
They’re also pretty fascinating guys, if only because both came from very humble beginnings — their mother was a housewife, and their father was a bus driver — and both managed to parlay that into successful acting careers. Steve actually went to a private high school known for grooming athletes, St. Joseph High in Westchester, Illinois, which may sound familiar to some of you as the school featured in Hoop Dreams, which also featured Steve Harris, who only turned to acting (and received a Masters from Delaware State) when a torn ligament ended his career as a running back/linebacker. Meanwhile Wood also went to St. Josephs (as a basketball player) and eventually got a Masters at NYU before landing his breakout role Julius Campbell in Remember the Titans. He was 31 when he starred as that high-school football player.
Anyway, it’s a fun piece of trivia that should enrich the already stellar season of Justified.