Timothy Olyphant Describes What It Was Like Working With Daughter Vivian Olyphant On Justified: City Primeval

When Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens returns this year in "Justified: City Primeval," the daughter he left Harlan to raise will be more than a mostly-offscreen source of character motivation. Instead, she'll be a key character, one who's played by the actor's real-life daughter, Vivian. /Film's Vanessa Armstrong is on the ground at the Television Critics Association winter tour today, where both the elder and younger Olyphants spoke about their collaboration on the series.

Vivian Olyphant reveals she auditioned to play the now-14-year-old daughter of former Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens in the series, and the first-time actor says she would've been happy with the experience even if someone else had ended up with the role. "I was really excited to work with my dad," she shared. "Even just preparing for the audition was a joy. If that was just the case, if I didn't get the job, I would be happy with that."

Vivian says the pair "kept a good balance about being professional but also really enjoying that experience," although Olyphant jokes that his daughter did tell him to "f*** off" a couple of times within earshot of the crew. "I thought that just wasn't helpful for anyone," Olyphant quips after a sincere moment. But really, he says, it was a singular experience to act opposite his daughter, whose character Willa was previously played by young actors including Eden Henderson in the original series run.

'It was really quite moving'

"It was a real pleasure working with her," Olyphant shares. "It was a pleasure working with everybody." The actor, who during his time away from "Justified" has starred in "Santa Clarita Diet" and the "Deadwood" movie when he's not popping up on "The Mandalorian," seems to have nothing but positive feedback about his time spent working on the sequel series. "It is an incredible cast and she was an absolute professional and I mean that in every sense of the word," Olyphant says. "It was really special and really cool."

Olyphant also spoke about watching a scene Vivian performed opposite Boyd Holbrook, who joins the cast as a character who — in keeping with the show's tradition of epic villains — is nicknamed The Oklahoma Wildman. "Those scenes, working with the two of them, it was really quite moving," the actor confesses. "It's the best of the world when you're maintaining a level of cool and humor and at the same time [can] be deeply moved by it all at once." Olyphant recalls co-showrunner and executive producer Michael Dinner, also in attendance at the TCA event, saying he didn't expect some scenes to be tear-jerkers. "Lines that on the page didn't seem to have any weight to them at all, all of the sudden took on weight," Olyphant says.

The original "Justified" series initially based its plot on Elmore Leonard's story "Fire in the Hole" before evolving into an exceedingly cool neo-Western in its own right. The responsibility of fatherhood was a major theme for Raylan throughout the show's run, and in the end, he left trigger-happy Kentucky for a calmer life of co-parenting in Miami. The new series, also based on a Leonard story, will see him face down the Wildman in Detroit.