Walton Goggins Explains the Brutal 'Django Unchained' Scene Cut By Tarantino
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Walt Goggins has a knack for playing the tough, gritty and effortlessly brutal characters, a tradition he continues with his role as the sadistic slave trainer with a Cheshire cat smile that he plays in Django Unchained. Thankfully, the 41-year-old, Alabama-born actor is nothing like the evil cowboy he plays in Quentin Tarantino's new film; he is welcoming and enthusiastic, thoughtful but not too serious, all of which came in handy while filming some of the toughest scenes in Tarantino's epic Spaghetti Western.
Floored by the massive Django script (which won a Golden Globe on Sunday), Goggins set up a meeting with Tarantino through a few mutual friends. The actor, who has a regular TV gig on Justified, told The Hollywood Reporter during the film's press tour that he was eager to speak any of Tarantino's lines, and read for six different characters. His role ended up a hybrid of two characters, as he played the enforcer for Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) who has a particularly difficult scene with the film's hero, Django (Jamie Foxx).
THR: Was there any role you were angling for?
Goggins: The role that I wanted was Ace Woody, but Kevin Costner was playing that role, and they weren’t about to recast me in that. And so aside from Ace, I wanted to play Billy Crash because there was a scene that didn’t ultimately make it in the movie, but there was a scene between Billy and Broomhilda that was so -- Quentin can do so complicated and so weird and so funny, and I thought, now I want to play that guy. That’s something that I can really add. And as fate would have it, once I got down there and started filming, Kevin had dropped out by that time because of a scheduling conflict, and then Kurt Russell had to drop out, it was a scheduling conflict, and Quentin came and said, "I want you to play the part, I want you to play Ace Woody, we’re just going to call him Billy Crash," because he loved the name so much.
THR: It’s a sweet name.
Goggins: It’s a sweet name. Jamie Foxx said, "You could have your own radio show. Billy Crash, 101.9!"
THR: I think it’s every kid’s dream to be a cowboy.
Goggins: Do you think it’s every kid’s dream to be a good guy or bad guy? Is it a 50/50 split?
THR: Every kid dreams of being a good guy with a bad guy’s lines.
Goggins: [Laughs] I couldn’t have put it better myself. I want to be a good guy with a bad guy’s lines.
THR: I heard that there was a scene where Calvin Candie’s lawyer, played by Dennis Christopher, he buys a slave and you end up shooting that slave.
Goggins: Yeah, the alternative to meeting Billy Crash was at Candie Land, and Billy comes down the steps in this grand sort of way, grabs his hat, puts it on, and they’ve returned from town with the Mandingos, one of which Dennis Christopher’s character bought, and a few that Calvin Candie bought. And Billy is Calvin’s Mandingo fight trainer extraordinaire. So he just takes his time, walks down the line looking at people as if they aren’t people, and is having this kind of conversation back and forth between Leo, like, “Where’d you get this one? How bout this one? How bout this one?" And he says, "Well, Mr. Moguy bought that one."