In Part 2 of our exclusive interview with actress Joelle Carter, we talk more about her character Ava Crowder on JUSTIFIED, the series adapted by show runner Graham Yost from Elmore Leonard’s works, now in its fourth season on FX, Tuesdays at 10 PM. Carter also discusses her upcoming feature film projects.
ASSIGNMENT X: Do you have a favorite scene for Ava in what we’ve seen so far?
JOELLE CARTER: I do love the proposal scene, because we’ve been waiting for that for so long. I love when we really saw Ava’s strength in the beginning when she tells Ellen May not to come back. That’s when we really see her stepping into that business world that we were trying to achieve. And then I did love this – finally we got a Boyd [Walton Goggins], Raylan [Timothy Olyphant] and Ava scene, where Boyd invites [Raylan] to the wedding. It was nice to have the three of them together again. It was a fun scene to play out, too.
AX: What’s been the most challenging scene for you?
CARTER: There’s so much – I really love my job, I love this show and the character. I think one that was really challenging where I had to just let it go and let it happen was the scene where she does come to Boyd this season and says, “You know, I’m having a hard time with Ellen May [Abby Miller],” because I think it was really hard for the character to have to face that herself, and what was that going to mean when she told it to him, and it wasn’t [originally] written the way we wanted it, all of us, the writers and Walton. It was actually written like minutes before I had to go say it [laughs], so it was all a challenge all the way around. It was challenging, not hard, but in the end, because we all trusted each other and we were like, “We’re going to get it no matter what,” it really went well. It was interesting, when you trust to let yourself go and see what happens.
AX: And what’s been the most physical scene? Ava hits people, people hit her – there are a number of physical altercations.
CARTER: It might have been between and Ellen May, when I punched her in the trailer, because that was the end of the season last year, I had an ear infection and I was on top of a mountain, I wasn’t supposed to be at a high elevation [laughs], it was in the middle of the night, it was freezing cold and we were very active within the scene, pulling the guy off of her and getting rid of him and me and her, me throwing her around the room. So that was probably the most physical. I was on antibiotics, but I didn’t have to be hospitalized. I missed the wrap party last year.
AX: Have you had any training for the role, in terms of fighting, shooting, dialect, anything else?
CARTER: No. The [Kentucky] dialect I worked out myself through training and checking out documentaries of that area, just having a Southern background [Carter is from Georgia], and then the guys on the set, props and anyone that knows how to shoot a gun, and the stunt coordinators, they’ve really helped me with the whole aspect of a gun and what it does to your body when you shoot it and how you shoot it and how you carry it. They help out a lot, the guys on the set. And no martial arts or anything like that [laughs].
AX: Do you have any input into Ava’s wardrobe?
CARTER: Yes. They do a great job of bringing it all to me and we put it on and we feel it, and we always like for Ava to be a little off the mark of what may be normal [laughs] and a little more backwoods style and flavor, but this season, she was trying to step up and be a little more together and business-y.
AX: This season, but there’s a lot of discussion of how gorgeous Ava is, where characters are talking about, “Oh, she’s a head-turner.” Does that put any kind of pressure on you?
CARTER: They’ve kind of given that to Ava. It’s very nice that they put in the world for my character, Ava. No, I don’t feel any pressure, even though it was funny – one of the writers was saying, “We have the most attractive normal-looking cast that’s on TV, I think.” So it’s not like they’re trying to make us like Ken and Barbie. They want us to look like normal people. Normal people are attractive, too [laughs]. Everyone’s attractive in different ways. Of course, you want to look your best while being put on permanent film footage.
AX: How do you feel about the public reaction to JUSTIFIED?
CARTER: It’s so nice to know that, a) you have a following and you have fans and b) that you’re also getting critical acclaim and that your writers are. The writers rewrite the show more than any show I think anyone that’s involved has heard of ever being rewritten [laughs], so we go through colors in the script, like white and then pink, blue, whatever, and you come back to the beginning color, so it’s like second white. We went in for third, I think we went into a fourth last season [laughs]. It’s challenging in that way, and I think people who come in, guests, get a little unnerved, because as an actor, you like to really digest your dialogue, so you can play with it more and it does pose more of a challenge when it’s thrown at you the last minute. But it also means that there are more hands on the whole thing that are concerned about it being the best that we can make it, staying true to what it is. It’s an entertaining show that has its own flavor. We want to stay true to Elmore Leonard’s flavor, but we also want to have light moments and dark moments and real moments.
AX: It says on your IMDB page that you’re in a movie – you’re actually in four movies that are in post-production – LOST ANGELES, RED WING, IT’S NOT YOU IT’S ME and GHOSTS. First of all, are all of those correct?
CARTER: Yes. GHOST, which just got renamed, is being distributed by Lionsgate. I think they gave it a release date of January, 2014. Which sounds like a long way away, but the director’s very happy about it. They’ve given him more money for post and he’s said it’s going to be released with other big films and I’m really excited about it. It’s a horror thriller with a really great story. So I’m very excited about that.
AX: IT’S NOT YOU IT’S ME?
CARTER: IT’S NOT YOU IT’S ME is a romantic comedy I did last hiatus. I think they were putting it in festivals, so I don’t think it’s in post-production any more. RED WING might still be in post-production. I shot that right before we started shooting this season. RED WING was a really beautifully written script with Bill Paxton and Frances Fisher and Luke Perry and new up and coming talent. It was kind of a love story. I’m not sure when that will come out. LOST ANGELES has already been out in film festivals. That’s a sadL.A. story.
AX: Speaking of sad, it was very tragic and surprising when Raylan’s father Arlo, played by Raymond J. Barry, died earlier this season on JUSTIFIED.
CARTER: Right. We all were not happy. Even after I knew it was done, I was like, “You guys can’t kill Arlo.” He had some great performances this season. Him and Tim in that scene, saying goodbye – it was so sad.
AX: It’s bad enough losing a parent where you have a good relationship, but losing a parent where you never had the right relationship, as with Raylan and Arlo, that’s got to be the worst.
CARTER: Right. And you never have that closure. You see a twinge that [Raylan] wanted it.
AX: Are we ever going to see more of Ava’s family?
CARTER: You know, a little bit of Ava’s history gets mentioned, I think last episode, which was nice for me, because I kind of make it up as I go along and then they throw something at me, like “Oh, this is a known part of my history.” So I hope so. I think the show – it’s shot all so fast-forward that, unless they can do it in a quick and seamless way, they get a little nervous about dredging into the past too much. Also sometimes in the momentum of what’s going on, it’s not relevant. But sometimes people do want to know. They know where Raylan came from, because of the questions that have been answered with his parents and whatnot. They don’t know all the answers, but they have an idea, and the same for Boyd. There’s still that mystery with Ava. It would be interesting.
AX: Is there anything else you’d like to say about JUSTIFIED?
CARTER: I think this is the best season ever. I just finished last night [prior to the phone interview]. They did it justice. I’m real excited to see what everyone thinks at the end.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with JUSTIFIED star Joelle Carter on Season 4 – Part 2