Justified's Joelle Carter Previews Ava's 'Poetic Romance' With Boyd: 'She May Surprise Him!'

Whoever said “Nice guys finish last” just might be a member of the Justified writing staff, because one of Harlan County’s prettiest catches, Ava Crowder, effectively rebounded from a spell of “raw passion” with U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to find true romance with resident bad boy (and onetime bro-in-law) Boyd. Will Ava get more than she bargained for from this unlikely union? Or is Boyd the one due for a shock? TVLine spoke with Joelle Carter about what to expect from the FX series’ Season 3 (airing Tuesdays at 10/9c).

Justified, Reloaded: What’s New for Season 3?

TVLINE | When we spoke at the start of last season, you teased something “pretty spectacular” ahead for Ava. In retrospect, were you referring to her unlikely, almost sweet romance with Boyd?
They told me there was going to be a romance with Boyd and Ava and I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out, but I think they really earned it in Season 2. They let it be a slow ride. I was just talking to Walton [Goggins], and he was saying it’s such a poetic romance, one that’s rarely been done on TV before. It’s kind of odd that these two people from such violent pasts have found love at this stage in their lives. I thought it was going to happen faster than it did — I thought Ava would be going into more of a “Bonnie and Clyde” relationship with Boyd [during Season 2] — but it turned out to be a true romance.

TVLINE | What’s your take on why the same woman who could have her head turned by righteous lawman Raylan Givens could also fall for a scalawag? You yourself said you were tentative about how she would get to such a place.
Yeah, because in Season 1 they show her hating Boyd’s guts, and I think part of that is because he was yet another one of the people in the town who turned their heads to [Ava's husband] Bowman and his abusive ways. Maybe Ava and Boyd had a connection but she was really hurt that he didn’t stand up for her? Raylan and Ava, I think, met up they were both at a point in their lives where they needed the escape of a sexual romance. A director was saying to me the other day, as Tim [Olyphant] and I were doing a scene, “I know there’s a hatred between [Ava and Raylan], but is there anything happening here?” I said, “I think there’s always going to be something happening there,” because they were great sex partners. There are people in life that you connect with on different levels – some intellectual and some raw passion. Boyd and Ava “get” each other, they truly are in love with each other. Boyd and Raylan are the same kind of men – they’re both violent and dangerous and a little scary, and they live by their own rules. It’s just that Raylan I don’t believe was in love with Ava; Boyd is.

TVLINE | I found it interesting to hear that Walton believes the guys genuinely like each other, while Tim is coming from a place of “They hate each other.”
Raylan might hate his whole past, so he thinks he hates Boyd — but as you see, time and time again, they kind of end up having to trust and help each other. One article I read said they were “soul mates.” [Laughs]

TVLINE | How are you summing up Ava’s journey for Season 3?
It’s goooooood. [Chuckles] Within ourselves lies the strength to become the best person we can be, and sometimes you just need a little help finding that. This journey with Boyd and the love she’s found is encouraging her to stand on her own two feet. And she might actually surprise Boyd in the end, too. Hmmmm….

TVLINE | As far as Boyd’s bad boy ways go, where do you think Ava will draw the line? Because she does have a line still, right?
I like to think so. Ava’s a fast and hard lover, so when she dives into something she goes the whole way. I guess its “to be determined” how far she will go. That’s something she will ask herself this season.

Jere Burns Previews Big-Time Villainy for Justified‘s Wynn Duffy

TVLINE | How are things with Winona? Is Ava forcing herself to be extra-cordial to the mom-to-be?
I actually had a scene where I meet up with Raylan, and I asked the writers, “Is [Winona's pregnancy] a known thing through the town?” And they were like, “No, Ava doesn’t know.” And Raylan doesn’t share that with her. And I haven’t gotten to cross paths with Winona yet. Doesn’t that suck?

TVLINE | Do you think a tiny part of Ava considers Raylan “the one that got away”?
You know what, I think that every woman that’s had a man in her grasp likes to think, “They’re still pining for me, they still want me a bit.” So Ava, every time she’s around him, would like to think that he feels like she’sthe one that got away.

TVLINE | Nicely put! You wielded a mean skillet in the premiere. Will Ava be brandishing any other weapons soon?
There are weapons in my future, but I think they’re a little more traditional. [Laughs] Let’s just say they let me have my shotgun back.

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15 Comments
  1. gina says:

    Ava is a good character, believable as Joelle plays her. Raylan hurt Ava when he slept with married Winona, they deserve each other and all the trouble Winona will make for him. Ava is a more loyal and fight for her man woman. So glad the show is back.

  2. Was never a huge Ava fan, especially in the first season, because I never felt she and Raylan were right. I think there’s significantly more mileage to be had from her relationship with Boyd. Plus they seem to finally be recognizing that she can be more than just the girlfriend (or even the damsel in distress). The more they give her and Winona to do, the more rounded the show feels.

    Looking forward to 3×02 tomorrow night!

    • Dee says:

      I agree. Unfortunately Ava turns into an insufferable 15 year old when she is around Raylan. Hopefully whatever he has to meet with her for in this future scene she will be more mature.

      • Marsha says:

        Thank you! I thought that I was the only one that felt that Ava only came into her own as a likeable character when she stopped playing the damsel in distress to Raylan. I couldn’t stand her in season one. The minute Rayland walked through the door, she was panting after him, it was humiliating the way she conducted herself. Now this Ava of the last part of season two and three I can like. Really shows that she and Raylan did not suit.

    • jbkr73 says:

      I agree! I like seeing the show through the women’s eyes. It didn’t happen a lot in the past two seasons, but we got a pretty good glimpse of things from Winona’s POV in the opening sequence, and Ava’s in the scenes at Arlo’s house. I think both actresses are coming into their own in their roles…how about an interview with Natalie Zea next, Matt?

    • Rusty S says:

      I’m glad the show seems to be addressing it’s woman issue. I love this show, but I couldn’t help but have a gripe with it on feminist principals. It seemed the entire purpose of the two principal female characters was either to be rescued by or screwed by the two principal male characters. Both Wynona and Ava were portrayed as careless, impulsive, and completely emotionally driven–the worst kind of female stereotypes. The men had to continuously protect them and clean up their messes, as if they were children. Mags and Rylan’s aunt were great characters, but not only were they not quite smart or tough enough to keep themselves alive, but why does a woman have to be past her sexual peak in order to be given a brain on this show?

      Anyway, I’m glad the show has addressed this problem and given Ava some overriding purpose other than the damsel in perpetual distress. They seem to be making Winona a little more human as well. Loved the scenes with Ava standing up to the men and hitting the guy with the frying pan. The show will only be better for making these women more well rounded and interesting.

  3. Liz says:

    I love Ava, she’s my favorite! However, I don’t like her and Boyd. Something about that pair rubs me the wrong way (even though I enjoy both characters separately.) Idk, I don’t like seeing Boyd as a romantic hero of sorts.

  4. Elaine Bondra says:

    I think Ava is the type of woman who needs to have a man. I think she doesn’t believe in herself enough to do it on her own. It’s why she stayed in Harlan instead of pursuing her dream to leave & make something of herself. I think her participation in Boyd’s criminal activities will eventually make her realize wha strong woman she really is. Then, WATCH OUT!

  5. Isabelle says:

    I was never an Ava fan but I find myself rooting for her and Boyd, she has a great edge now. She really won me over with that frying pan scene.

  6. anon says:

    Ava is one of the more enjoyable characters for me. She is strong and always unpredictible which always makes for good tv. Her relationship with Boyd started to grow on me, but I loved her chemistry with Raylan. Not too big of a fan of Raylan/Wynona but that is for another place. Regardless Ava has been through a lot of bad crap and is just trying to come out a survivor. Can’t wait for more this season.

  7. jj says:

    Thanks for the interview! I love Justified and love Ava. I really like her relationship with Boyd. They are so fun to watch. Winona and Raylan though ..not so much.

  8. Lady K says:

    Actually, Boyd and Ava (as well as Winona) are why I no longer watch Justified. I think the writers completely blew it when they decided to create this “love affair” between the two of them. Really? She is going to suddenly get involved with a man who knew her husband was beating the tar out of her and did nothing about it, especially when she ran away? That she would start sleeping with a man who terrorized her for years and tried to rape her repeatedly? I mean, really? I could possibly see Ava allowing Boyd to live in her house to piss Raylan off after what he did with Winona, but start this great romance and get involved with his criminal activities? Really? As much as I loved Ava the first season, the second season, the whole “romance” story lines turned my stomach and turned me off of Justified. Thank you, no. I will watch something else on Tuesday nights, even if I have to miss Timothy Olyphant’s amazing performances…and that hat.

    • gina says:

      It wasnt sudden at all, he had to prove himself, she let him stay in a spare room for a long time. She watched him like a hawk and when he left is when she realized she missed the little bugger. It was a well written progression.

  9. Velvet says:

    Ava wielding the cast iron skillet was the most awesome scene from last week’s epi.

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