'Next Year Will Be Better.' The 15 Best Answers 'Justified' Creator Graham Yost Gave During His Reddit AMA
Honest to God, this AMA with Justified creator Graham Yost was easily one of the most fascinating and revealing AMA’s I’ve ever seen on Reddit. He not only drops huge details about this season and next, but there’s some off-Justified stuff I found fascinating, too, like the fact that Michael Sheen in Masters of Sex is based on Yost. There is also some acknowledgement about how this has been one of the weaker seasons of the series.
1. In the original novella, Raylan shot Boyd dead. Was this scripted to take place in the pilot as well, and if so, at what point did you realize Walton Goggins was indispensable and make the change?
Yes, we killed Boyd in the pilot, but Walton Goggins was just too good for us to let him stay dead. And, Boyd has been a good dark mirror for us to hold up to Raylan.
2. How does a Canadian end up writing a modern American pseudo-Western set in backwoods Kentucky Also, what’s your favorite bourbon, if you are indeed a bourbon drinker like many of your characters?
I ended up writing the pilot because I have loved Elmore Leonard’s work for a long. long time and didn’t want to pass up the chance to adapt him and take a shot at doing a show in his world. I am not a bourbon drinker, but we have a number of boozehounds on the writing staff and they like Pappy Van Winkle and Black Maple Hill.
3. Hi Graham, I know you have worked with Michelle Ashford, Carl Beverly, and Sarah Timberman, the creators of Masters of Sex, in the past, and i read in a couple of interviews they said they are basing dr masters’ personality on you. Did this take you by surprise when you read it or did they tell you already, like an in-joke?
Oh. My. God. They did not. Did they? That’s hilarious. But I do take a very clinical view about everything. And, like Michael Sheen, I was born a citizen of the British Commonwealth.
4. Will we see more of Tim and Rachel in the final season of Justified? What’s in store for them?
Yes. We plan on seeing a lot more of them. You’ll see them more in the episode tonight and in the season finale. Our plan is to use them a lot next year. Erica and Jacob have been very patient this year, but we always knew we wanted to bring a lot more story to them in the final season.
And later, in answer to a similar question:
We deprive for a reason. In this case, Jacob’s karaoke at the season 4 wrap party was just TOO good and I hated him for it. But seriously? Just like Dewey rode the bench in season 4, we held back on Gutterson (and Rachel) because we wanted to save them for season 6. And, we had SO many storylines this year.
5. Is there any chance for a spin off of Justified? Maybe the Crowders and Crowes?
Damon (who plays Dewey) pitched “Dewey Crowe, Fugitive PI.” But no plans as of yet.
6. Okay, so I know we just saw Dickie Bennett like.. two episodes ago. But.. are we gonna be able to see him at least one more time before the series is over?
It would be strange if we never saw Dickie again. Jeremy is amazing.
7. I like to imagine that in the Justified production office, there is a list of all of the actors from Band of Brothers and Deadwood, and every once in a while you guys just call them when you need a new guest star. Is my dream a reality?
We don’t have a list, but our casting director/producer Cami Patton and I worked together on Band, Boomtown and The Pacific, so, yeah, we always go back to that well. And then Tim will say, “What about this guy I worked with on Deadwood…”
And what about Ian McShane is the final season big bad?
We always try to think of something that might lure Mr. McShane.
8. Is there a particular storyline you want to see come to fruition before the show ends? Olyphant said it should come down to Raylan, Ava, and Boyd…so I’m wondering if you agree.
It will come down to Raylan, Boyd and Ava. And Art. And Tim and Rachel. And Wynn Duffy.
In answer to a related question:
Not going to be coy about this — Art lives.
At least for now. We honestly don’t know where we’re going next season, not in specifics. We do know that Art — like Raylan and Boyd — will be thinking he wants to do “just one more thing.”
9. How much fun was it writing for Hey Dude?
Hey Dude was writers boot camp. I wrote, I think, 15 episodes of the 65 we did (Lisa Melamed probably wrote 10). It was a blast. We wrote fast, shot fast, and just had to keep going. No time to wait for the muse, just get it down and figure out how to do it while doing it.
There’s going to be a Hey Dude reunion at the Austin TV fest this June. Not sure who exactly will be there, but I plan to be.
10. How much contact did you have with Elmore Leonard when you got started on Justified?
I didn’t have much contact with Elmore until after we’d shot the pilot, then we saw each other a few times a year after that. The best review we’ve ever gotten was when Elmore told us he liked the show.
11. Are we gonna see Winona in the next two episodes? Season 6?
You will season Winona (and baby Willa) in the season finale. It would be strange if we didn’t see them again next year.
Winona’s in the season finale. Probably in the final season. The baby’s name is Willa. See, I get stuck on a consonant and that’s it. Why all the Crowders (except for Johnny) start with a B, and most of the Crowes a D. What I lack in imagination I make up for in consistency.
12. Also: What are your feelings about TVO cancelling Saturday Night at the Movies? Your father was an institution!
We will do six seasons of Justified. My Dad did 25 YEARS of SNAM. An amazing accomplishment. Sad it’s done now, but so grateful for the incredible run. As he once said, even the best movie ends.
13. I’m a diehard Justified fan. Love Raylan and all the rest. But…don’t love this season. The humor is gone, and the violence is at an all time high. It’s like the sly humor and slick dialogue both died with Leonard Elmore. Sorry! Please tell me next year will be better! Thanks!
Next year will be better.
But hold on — not funny? Dewey Freaking Crowe praying to Jesus to let him kill this man and then he’ll do whatever he says? Man, I just don’t understand you…
Related, after asked about what his best piece of life advice is:
Always try to maintain a sense of humor.
Except when it comes to that guy who didn’t like this season, didn’t think it was funny. C’mon, man — Dewey Crowe playing naked Marco Polo!
And more, later:
Okay okay okay, I’ll agree to that — too many storylines. All VJ’s fault, BTW. But what I will NOT agree to is that it wasn’t funny. The car rolling away from Dewey?! C’mon!
14. So Boyd and Raylan have teamed up to deal with a common enemy once before. And if you’re worried that fans would complain if it happened again, that would be like someone not having sex with Scarlett Johannson for a second time while yawning and saying “Been there, done that”. Just saying.
If we could get Scarlett on the show I would have Raylan and Boyd have sex.
15. Will we see more of Constable Bob Sweeney?
Constable Bob will return. We benched him this year, just like we benched Dewey last year. If Patton is available, we want more.