"Justified's" Joelle Carter stopped by The Times recently to talk about the fantastic journey she and her indomitable character, Ava Crowder, went on during the show's celebrated six-year run.
The shootings, the prison stint, the passionate and often dangerous relationship between Ava and Walton Goggins' Boyd Crowder ... and yet, somehow, Ava made it out of Harlan alive, an escape that she, in a nod to the writer behind the show's source material, calls a true "Elmore Leonard female ending."
"I knew how it was going to end, although we didn't know how we were going to get there and the way we shoot on 'Justified,' you're never quite sure," Carter says. "So I was holding my breath."
Justifiably so (sorry), given the way that Boyd pretty much murdered everyone else close to him in the season's final 13 episodes. We talked about the shocking manner Ava decided to go her own way, Boyd's reaction and how pretty much every other actor on the show wanted their characters to die -- but not Carter. (And probably not Jere Burns, who played Dixie Mafia member Wynn Duffy, a "cockroach" character that Carter says was meant to die at least half a dozen times throughout the show's run.)
We also discussed the show's finale screening in Harlan (Carter's first visit to Kentucky), the rivers of tears cried when shooting the last episode (it sounds like show creator Graham Yost bought out Kleenex supplies within a 100-mile radius) and what items she took as souvenirs from the set.
If you're feeling the loss of the show, listen in. Like a good Kentucky bourbon, it might help ease the pain.