Joelle Carter on Saying Goodbye to ‘Justified’

Joelle Carter Justified
Shaughn and John for Variety

Joelle Carter’s Ava Crowder was the beating heart of FX’s “Justified,” often torn between trigger-happy Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and career criminal Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). As the Emmy-winning drama comes to a close, Carter looks back on six seasons in Harlan County.

What have you learned about yourself through playing Ava?

She reminds me of my mother, who thought about life as a challenge, but that you should never give up and always try to make the most out of it. Somehow in this world of violence, Ava managed to keep her softness, her femininity — although slightly hardened — throughout her journey. If I can do that through life, that would be great.

Which aspect of Ava are you most proud of?

That she was daring enough to try to love; that in the end, she was trying to find a place in the world where she could just enjoy life and live, instead of being stuck in this endless cycle of violence that she was born into.

What do you hope the show’s legacy will be?

I hope it will leave the idea that you can have dramatic entertainment that also has an underlying sense of comedy. We touch on some heavy stuff, but you can also find yourself laughing throughout the hour, and you can escape.

What will you miss most about “Justified”?

I feel like change is hard, but it’s also a beginning. It’s going to be hard to let go of Ava and my character and her relationships with all these other characters, but it’s also going to be so fun to discover a new character.

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  1. Susan says:

    I forgot to say that I realized from an interview Joelle and Walt did that he had what looked like a crush on her. He even admitted that when she was off set (in prison) he had a hard time. He also said that he was no longer star struck, except by Joelle Carter when she walked into a room. In any case, as far as I know it never turned into anything else other than acting.

  2. Susan says:

    I’m going to miss Ava and Boyd and despite the violence with other people, that he loved Ava so much. Like a love-struck teenager when he was with her. I think with her he felt anything was possible. The fact that she never understood all that he did to get her out of prison was disappointing; and even though she was desperate to leave prison and the threats to her life, the fact that she was constantly caught between her love for boyd and Raylan’s threats, it gave her no choice. And of course she knew she was pregnant at some point, which intensified the desperation. I was also disappointed that Raylen was so awful to her when he used her for his own ends, killing Boyd. I thought he felt more for her than that. So, after that I didn’t really like his character any more. In the end, he did the right thing but left her living a life of fear for over four years. He did let Boyd off the hook. I’m not sure why if he was so determined for him to have years to contemplate his sins and suffer like his victims had. It goes to their complicated relationship I guess. I lived in West Virginia for a while so I was exposed to those people. I worked for IRS so I had to go back in some of those hollers. A lot of drug addiction of course and people that grew up in a shack now rich because of coal.

  3. Id's nod a TOOMAH! says:

    Great show. It will be missed. Joelle Carter? Mrowwww…

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