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Joelle Carter on Saying Goodbye to ‘Justified’

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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