Note: This interview was conducted before the actors’ strike began
“Justified” star Timothy Olyphant’s 20-year-old daughter Vivian makes her acting debut in the series revival “Justified: City Primeval,” which premieres Tuesday on FX and hits Hulu on Wednesday.
She plays Raylan Givens’ daughter Willa, who is stuck in Detroit with her father after a judge is murdered. Vivian talked to TheWrap about acting with her dad, why she never watched the original series and why she doesn’t let the “Nepo baby” discourse get to her.
TheWrap: Did you watch the original “Justified” series?
Vivian Olyphant: I never did, but I did visit the set. But, I was eight when the show ended. And by the time I was allowed to watch the show, I think that was a time where I stopped caring about my dad.
And now you care again. Was this role written specifically for you or did you audition for it?
It may seem that way when you watch me, but it wasn’t written for me. I actually auditioned for it. Pretty late I think in the process.
Since Willa is 15, she’s still at the stage of not caring about her dad. And not listening to what he tells her.
And she’s also trying to play matchmaker for him.
Yeah, definitely, I think after being in the courthouse and watching Aunjanue Ellis’ character, I think that that’s when [Will realizes] that she would be really good for my dad.
Does Willa know what’s better for him than he does?
Oh, yeah, definitely.
Can you talk about working with your dad?
It was great. I learned a lot from him and I’m glad that this was my first project being on the set with him. It felt really comfortable. And he gave me really great notes. Sometimes it was a little annoying [laughs]. I really did love his notes. I think he was really helpful when on set. It was really fun.
What was one of the notes he gave you?
The first day he really helped calming my nerves because the first scene that we filmed was a walking scene where I was putting this watch up to my ear. I remember after the first take, my dad came over to me and asked, “What does the watch sound like?” I had no idea. He said, “You have to listen to what the ticking sounds like.” So for the next take I actually listened to the sound of the watch.
What did your dad say when you first told him you wanted to be an actress?
I think he always knew I wanted to be an actor since I was younger, because I always loved filming things around the house. I think by the time “Justified” came around he was ready for me to join him.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Nepo baby.“ How do you feel about that term?
Well, honestly, I’m not paying attention to what people are saying. But it’s definitely normal for kids to be interested in whatever their parents are doing. Either a kid really wants to do what their parents are doing or they want to do the opposite. And watching my dad and visiting his sets, I just knew that this was something I really wanted to do.