To do Walton Goggins’ enthusiasm at being cast in the Alicia Vikander-led Tomb Raider reboot justice, you should really hear him say, “I’ve got my d–n Tomb Raider saddlebag! I am ready to get lost in a godd–n tomb!” Then again, if you’ve ever watched the Emmy-nominated actor in FX’s Justified or Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, you probably can.
Last week, news broke that Goggins will play the antagonist in the film helmed by Norwegian director Roar Uthaug (The Wave). “This director is an extraordinarily talented filmmaker, and Alicia Vikander I’ve met a few times, we have some friends in common, but I just think she’s one of the greatest contributions to any generation of actors, man. That for me was just a wonderful opportunity. But more importantly, the story is so good. It’s so good!” Goggins says. “I think I can say this: For me, it’s like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets a genre version of the Joseph Conrad novel Victory: An Island Tale. I just jumped at the chance.”
He can’t share specifics about his character, but he believes we’ll be surprised: “Is he a villain? Sure, that is an easy description. An antagonist, for sure. But [like other characters] I have been so lucky to have the opportunity to play over the course of my career, there are real reasons behind his antagonism, and it’s not what you’d expect. He is very complicated, and his motivations are pure.”
Goggins will next be seen as a former Navy SEAL Team Six leader in need of rescue and redemption in History’s drama series Six, premiering Jan. 18. Tomb Raider is expected to film in early 2017 for a March 16, 2018 release.