Walton Goggins would be beloved if the only thing he'd ever done was his work on "The Shield." That was such a remarkable character, developed so carefully over the course of the series, that it set the bar very high for other roles for Goggins for the future.

Thankfully, the filmmakers who have worked with him since the end of that show seem to understand what a gift he can be to a production.  He found another great role in a series in the form of "Justified," and this holiday season, he's in the new films from both Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino.  Considering how long he's been working as an actor (his first credit was in 1990), it feels like things have finally come up roses for a guy whose work more than justifies the attention.

In our interview, we talked about the way his role in "Django Unchained" evolved over the course of the shoot, and I can't say I'm remotely surprised to hear that Tarantino flipped for him.  Part of what makes Goggins so striking is the way he looks so dangerous, but when he speaks, there is a sly intelligence that you might not imagine at first.  When he plays a character who is supposed to be a threat, it doesn't feel like acting. It feels like he's a genuine threat, someone you wouldn't want to cross.

In conversation, though, he strikes me as a very centered, very smart guy who has worked hard to be where he is right now, and who seems to be enjoying the new opportunities he's been given.  He seems to have a great perspective on his craft, and this was one of those five minute time slots that I wish had been much longer. I have a feeling we're still just seeing a warm-up for Goggins, and that he's got a lot of great roles to play in the future.

Can't wait to see them all.

"Django Unchained" is in theaters now.