Fallout Star Walton Goggins Reacts to Series' Massive Success

Amazon's Fallout star Walton Goggins reflects on the unprecedented breakout success of the TV series and his character, the Ghoul.

Amazon Prime Video's Fallout TV series is a breakout success after Season 1, in terms of both streaming ratings and mainstream buzz. The TV adaptation of Fallout not only brought a whole new audience to the long-popular Fallout games – the show created its own iconic lore independent of the games – with one of the biggest successful additions being the introduction of Cooper Howard, the once-famous Hollywood actor who ended up becoming the dreaded bounty hunter known only as "The Ghoul" in the wasteland. 

Goggins' portrayal of The Ghoul and his character's entire surprising turns in the story are a large part of the reason that Fallout (2024) has blown up on social media. The before-and-after comparison photos between Goggins as "Cooper" and him in makeup as "The Ghoul" have already been cemented as a meme trend that will live on for years to come. 

While talking to LA Times recently, Goggins tried to express just how much Fallout's reception has exceeded what even the cast and crew hoped for:  "No one imagined it would be on this scale. That is gratifying and extremely humbling," Goggins said. "People have shown up and responded to the work of 500 people that pulled this thing together."

Walton Goggins knows all too well that the prime of his career has been all about unexpected projects and roles becoming breakout successes. Goggins got even more notice in the gritty LA cop series The Shield (2002-2008), which was one of the first series to establish FX as a network for prestige original programming. Goggins then had a small villain role expand in a major way with FX's country-western crime-dama series Justified (2010-2015; 2023) where he played fan-favorite redneck crime boss, Boyd Crowder. Ever since starring in Justified, Goggins has been in higher demand as a character actor; in 2024 he has not only been a major part of Fallout but also Prime Video's hit animated series Invincible, which is based on the cult-hit comic series. 

(Photo: Amazon Prime video)

"My career has been like a stock that you want to own, that I want to own," Goggins explained. "There have been dips, but it's gradually gone up over time. I don't know, man. They say one door closes and another door opens. My life has been, one door opens and another door opens and another door opens, and you find yourself in rooms with people like Quentin Tarantino and ["Fallout" executive producer Jonathan Nolan] without questioning how you got there."

Fallout Season 1 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video; Season 2 is in development.