Some television shows suffer when they pull the focus from their leading man or woman. That's not true of FX's Justified, thanks in no small part to the endlessly watchable Walton Goggins and his backwoods kingpin Boyd Crowder.
Winter TV: Get the scoop on your favorite returning shows
Originally conceived as a white supremacist with a penchant for blowing things up, Boyd was supposed to die in the pilot at the hands of the show's hero, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), one of Boyd's childhood friends. Once the writers saw fit to postpone Boyd's fate, he's spent three seasons vacillating between being a reformed preacher, a faithful lover and a self-interested crime lord — all the while trading barbs with Raylan while (usually) managing to keep his dirty hands out of Raylan's cuffs.
But in Season 4, the old friends and sworn enemies have yet to share a scene. (And according to executive producer Graham Yost, they won't until Episode 5.) Instead, Boyd's once again trapped in a Bible battle with snake-handling Preacher Billy (guest star Joe Mazzello), who has moved into Harlan with the intent to save the souls of Boyd's Oxycontin-addicted customers....
A week's worth of notable TV has been crammed into one very busy night. Let's take it from the top.
As HBO viewers begin drinking in the second half of The Pacific this weekend, they'll see the story line of Marine Eugene B. Sledge really kick in — which means they'll be seeing a lot more of Joe Mazzello.
Just like co-star James Badge Dale, Mazzello made sure he read his character's memoir (1981's With the Old Breed) and met his widow and children.
James Badge Dale: If The Pacific doesn't make him a star, there's always...
James Badge Dale, The Pacific
James Badge Dale jokes that the boot camp that he and the other actors in The Pacific endured was so grueling that he's repressed any memory of it.
Dale Dye, a retired Marine captain who served as the military adviser for The Pacific and 2001's Band of Brothers, "likes to see actors cry," Dale tells TVGuide.com.
HBO sends veterans to capital to celebrate The Pacific
Even more difficult, says the actor of his role in HBO's 10-part World War II miniseries executive-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, was feeling a responsibility to Robert Leckie, the real-life Marine he plays. To prepare, he read Leckie's memoir, Helmet for My Pillow, and spent time with Leckie's widow and children. (Leckie himself died in 2001.)
"We all felt a lot of pressure to tell their stories with honor and integrity and respect," says Dale, whose co-stars include Joe Mazzello and Jon Seda.
Check out photos from The Pacific
"The wild thing about Robert Leckie is that he hated the Marines when he was in 'em," says the actor, who goes by Badge...