Written by Ryan DeMarco
Currently on its sixth and final season, FX’s Justified is going out guns-a-blazing (literally and figuratively) with one its strongest seasons to date. The crime drama about an old school ass-kicking U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), returned home to kick the ass of his small, crime-riddled coal mining hometown of Harlan, Kentucky; has captivated audiences since its premiere in 2010.
One of the most entertaining characters on the series is the man backing Raylan up, is U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson — a former Army ranger and sniper. Gutterson is portrayed by veteran character actor Jacob Pitts. The actor has been a staple on television popping up on Law & Order: SVU, Sex and the City, Elementary and HBO’s World War II mini-series The Pacific. However, most will (and should) remember Pitts as the sex-crazed teenager Cooper Harris in the 2004 comedy Eurotrip. Seriously, if you haven’t seen his performance in this film, stop reading, go rent Eurotrip and just bask in the hilarity Pitts brings to that movie as he steals every scene he’s in.
Recently, we had a brief chat with Pitts via e-mail about the final season of the hit FX series – his favorite moments, and what show he’d like to see it crossover with.
Now that the show is wrapping up and ending, what were some of your favorite moments over the years both onscreen and off?
Singing Harry Nilsson’s “One” off-key with Nick Searcy – it was an acting warm-up that helped nobody. Flirting with the girl in the office. The ridiculous five-course vegan/vegetarian/whatever king’s banquet we had for breakfast and lunch every day.
What was the overall response of the cast when you found out that Season 6 would be the final season?
I feel like I’ve heard almost from the beginning that it would be only six. So, not much of a surprise. But overall, I think we’re perfectly happy to have had all six.
Do you feel that there could have been more of a story to tell or is it ending at an appropriate time?
With these particular characters and this particular focus – yeah. Leave the party early and all that. I think the reality of the show is so well-defined, the supporting characters are so rich you could follow any one of them down their course. What’s Drew Thompson up to? What’s Ellen Mae’s story now? It’s a big world, this Leonard-Yost-Olyphant junction.
So far this season we have met two new characters played by Sam Elliot and Garret Dillahunt. What was your experience working with these two? Will we be lucky enough to see Tim share more screen time with either of their characters?
Well, Sam Elliott and Garret Dillahunt are great actors and absolute angels to boot. Hillbilly Vader and Garret Dillahunt, I call ’em. Pow! I soak that shit up like a sponge. One of my favorite days in my entire career was just two lines in this eight-hour-long scene with Sam Elliott, Dillahunt, Timothy Olyphant and Kaitlyn Dever. It was directed by Adam Arkin. All I had to do was watch and listen. It was great. I could do that for weeks.
Raylan usually believes that he is the smartest person in the room but he acts a little different around Tim, more open and playful. He doesn’t try to bullshit your character so much. Does he respect Tim more so than most others?
Jesus, man. I don’t know what goes on in that guy’s mind. I don’t want any part of that.
Characters like Raylan and Boyd are known to lay their cards on the table — we usually know what they’re about and what they’re thinking. The same cannot be said about Tim as he’s more enigmatic. Have you ever tried giving Tim a back story? Or do you prefer him more of an enigma to the audience?
This question is for fun, if you had the choice to crossover the Justified universe with any other program on television, which one would it be and why?
Key and Peele. Because I would like to be on Key and Peele.
See Jacob Pitts on Justified Tuesdays at 10pm on FX