Speaking at the 2023 Winter TCA press tour, Boyd Holbrook talked about playing villain Clement Mansell in the upcoming Justified prequel series panel:
It’s always fun to watch a great villain strut their stuff, but “Justified: City Primeval,” an upcoming revival of “Justified,” might include an extra treat. According to the show’s synopsis, we’ll soon see Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) go head-to-head with the “violent, sociopathic” Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) — and if Holbrook’s recent comments are any indication, it’ll be entertaining to try and figure out Clement’s plans.
Speaking at the “City Primeval” Television Critics Association (TCA) panel (which was attended by /Film’s Vanessa Armstrong), Holbrook teased just how hard it’ll be for viewers to get a handle on the “Justified” revival’s antagonist:
“The character has so many things to latch onto. He thinks he’s this rock star, […] but really he’s in the gutter, he’s a thief, he’s a hustler, and you don’t know if he’s oblivious or playing all this out. He’s just a walking contradiction. The writing has so much to do with it that I don’t think I could ever have the time to [… chip] away at what’s underneath this guy [and] makes him tick.”
Now, if Clement really is unstable, he’ll be unpredictable — and a dangerous threat. On the other hand, it takes a lot of brains to play everyone for a clown, signaling a potentially darker, scarier villain. If it’s hard to figure out where Clement falls, “Justified: City Primeval” will be all the richer for it. Who doesn’t love a show that keeps you coming back week after week, hooked and desperate for a new clue?
That being said, Holbrook will still need to put on a stellar performance to make Clement a terrifying villain (not that we have any doubt that he’s capable), putting a lot of pressure on the actor to live up to the show’s writing.