Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, Nick Searcy as Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen in JUSTIFIED | © 2014 Prashant Gupta/FX

Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, Nick Searcy as Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen in JUSTIFIED | © 2014 Prashant Gupta/FX

Season 5 of JUSTIFIED, on FX Tuesdays at 10 PM, has been up and down for Nick Searcy’s character, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen of Harlan County, Kentucky. In the win column, Art has not only faced off against a scary mob enforcer but actually fought alongside heroic Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) in bringing the bad guy down in a gunfight; Art has also impressed his superiors by orchestrating the capture of a long-on-the-run, big-time gangster. On the less happy side, Art is so angry at some of Raylan’s less-than-legal actions that the Chief Deputy has punched his underling in the eye, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed at the office.

As Searcy tells a group of reporters at FX’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour, “I think as Art has gotten closer to the end of his career and closer to retirement, he’s started to have more of an attitude about Raylan, that [Art is] not going to be able to change him and there’s only so much he’s going to be able to teach him. So I think we’re entering a period where Art is just trying to minimize the damage to himself and to his colleagues in the office and to his reputation that Raylan has the potential to cause … I really think that’s kind of the main through-line, for me at least, how that [Art/Raylan] relationship is going to end, and that’s an open question, I think, at this point.”

At a party thrown by Fox and FX for the Television Critics Association, Searcy, who just appeared in a guest shot on CBS’ new series INTELLIGENCE, answers a few more questions about how Art is weathering the current storms brought about by Raylan.

AX: There’s been a lot of talk within the show about Art retiring, but he’s still in his job. Is that an ongoing issue?

NICK SEARCY: Yeah. [laughs] That’s going to continue. Each of our seasons pick up after last season, so even though it’s been a year [for the viewers], it’s really only been a couple of months on our show.

AX: This year, the Crowe family, headed by Michael Rapaport’s character Daryl Junior, is causing a lot of trouble in Harlan County, even though up until now Dewey Crowe, played by Damon Herriman, has been a minor nuisance at best. What is Art’s attitude about the Crowe brothers?

SEARCY: Well, primarily my attitude is about, “How is this, in any way, the business of the U.S. Marshals?” How does it become a situation where I think Raylan’s wasting his time when he should be working on other business?

AX: What is Art’s priority this season?

SEARCY: Well, he’s looking at ending his career on a good note, and there’s a few loose ends that he wants to tie up, some cases that have been going on for years that he’d love to settle before he hangs it up for good. So that’s pretty much what he’s doing.

AX: Do you have any other projects going on that we should know about?

SEARCY: Well, there’s a movie that’ll be coming out later this summer called GREATER that I shot a part in last year, and I’m working on some crazy stuff that might turn into something – I’m pitching a show around town.

AX: It’s been announced that next season of JUSTIFIED will be the last. Do you think you’re going to be with JUSTIFIED for the full run, or is Art going to retire and you’ll go on to another job?

SEARCY: Oh, they can’t do the show without me. I’ll be there.

AX: And what’s the most important thing to know about JUSTIFIED this season?

SEARCY: We’ve got too many bad guys in Harlan and we’re going to have to start killing some of them. In a departure from other years [laughs].


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Exclusive Interview: JUSTIFIED’s Nick Searcy on Season 5

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