Fallout Star Walton Goggins Talks Bringing the Post-Apocalyptic World to Life

Fallout TV star Walton Goggins talks about the responsibility of creating a post-apocalyptic reality for viewers.

Fallout is quickly becoming a hit for Amazon Prime Video, and actor Walton Goggins is a big reason why. Goggins stars in Fallout as Cooper Howard, a famous Hollywood actor who survives in the post-apocalyptic wasteland as the sadistic mutant bounty hunter "The Ghoul." Goggins' Ghoul (say that three times fast) is not only a chilling antagonist for a lot of Fallout – he's also the spokesman for a lot of the show's deeper ruminations on humanity, civility, and how resilient they are (or not) against the backdrop of death and ruin. 

ComicBook.com got a chance to sit down with Walton Goggins during the press junket for Fallout, and he talked about crafting his performance in a way that helped convey the deeper emotion and horror of the apocalypse to viewers. 

(MILD SPOILERS) The opening scene of Fallout shows Cooper Howard (Goggins) having to stoop so low as making an appearance as his TV cowboy character at a child's birthday party at a lavish Hollywood home. His daughter joins him for the performance; it is as they are packing up to go home that the nuclear holocaust begins. Cooper grabs his daughter and takes off riding on his horse, outrunning the initial blast only to reach a high mountain rode and see that the bombs are detonating everywhere, and there is not escape for him, or his daughter. 

This apocalyptic sequence that director Jonathan Nolan greets us with is pretty harrowing, as it obviously turns a beautiful father-daughter moment – and the innocence of a child's birthday – into a nightmare event. That turn in tone is something that defines the overall tone and beats of Fallout – and it fell to Walton Goggins to sell it: 

"I was given the opportunity to experience this horrific event for all of humanity," Goggins explained. "It's just through my point of view that we see the bombs drop. You see the reaction from other people, running away from it, but there's only one person – well, me and the young actress standing beside me – but it was really through Cooper Howard that the audience gets to experience what that would be like. 

And I took that responsibility very seriously. And when I watch it now I'm moved emotionally because this child is right next to me and it makes me cry for the world, man." 

The Ghoul is not just a mutant – his another badass cowboy-style character from Walton Goggins, who was a breakout as country crime boss Boyd Crowder in FX's Justified. We asked Goggins which onscreen cowboys influenced him while crafting The Ghoul, and in his own words it was, "Henry Fonda, in Once Upon A Time In the West. Mixed with Paul Newman, in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You have that stoicism and that 'f*cking evil' (excuse my language) [Fonda] mixed with that rascal super-witty, super-funny, Paul Newman. Yeah, those two." 

Fallout is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video