When “Justified” returns for its third season this Tuesday, there may be a slight resemblance to “Boomtown” as both Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson will be joining the cast.
McDonough, whose character’s name is Quarles, will definitely be playing a bad guy who faces off against Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan, but the status of Williamson’s character, Limehouse, isn’t as clearly defined.
“We don’t want to be locked into saying, ‘Oh, this is the bad guy of the year,’” executive producer Graham Yost said at the FX winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif. “We did feel after Mags Bennett [Margo Martindale] that we did want to do that again this year for people who enjoy the bad guy of the year.”
That said, Quarles will differ from Mags in that he is from out of the area. He will be coming to Kentucky from Detroit to “show these hicks how crime is really done.”
“To play a guy so villainous and dastardly and with the Detroit lean, I am having a blast,” McDonough said.
As for the other new cast member, Yost says, “Limehouse, who T plays, is not so easily pegged. Is he a bad guy? Is he a good guy? He is somewhere in between so that gave us something to play with. But we don’t know what season four will be if there is a season four.”
“The first time I showed up on the set, I was extremely nervous because I was a fan of the show and I didn’t want to destroy something I loved,” admits Williamson. “There is a lot to live up to… It is like the greatest group of jazz musicians playing together… We had to figure out how to fill in the holes and keep the song flowing.”
In other casting news, Carla Gugino, who starred as Karen Sisco in that eponymous TV series, will be joining the cast for episode two, playing a U.S. Marshal named — wait for it — Karen. And, according to Yost, “She and Raylan get to kick some ass.”
Yost, who was also an executive producer on “Boomtown,” admits to liking themes. He says, “Last year, the theme for ‘Justified’ was feud. To boil it down this year, it would be crossing the line and what happens when you do.”
“Justified” premieres its third season on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 10/9c on FX. It is the same day that the newest book from best-selling author Elmore Leonard, “Raylan,” will be in stores and Yost reveals that when he wrote the book, Leonard told him: “Hang this book up and strip it for parts.”