For five seasons, Jere Burns’ character on Justified has come and gone, weaved in and out of plotlines — always on the wrong side of the law, but with fluid allegiances all the same. But now Wynn Duffy is a regular on the FX hit, trying to make a go at running the drug trade in Harlan County, Ky., with his current associate and sometimes nemesis Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). Burns’ run on Justified mirrors his career in some ways, as an actor who pops up now and again and every so often scores a big hit. Since he made an impression in 1988 on the NBC series Dear John, Burns has gone on to win notable roles in shows like Breaking Bad, Bates Motel and now Justified. He took time to answer our “5 Questions.”
1. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose? Powder, which is a skiing magazine, The New Yorker and The Economist.
2. Aside from Justified, if your TV carried just three shows, what would they be? Breaking Bad, Homeland and Rake [the original Australian version].
3. What has been your strangest fan encounter? You never know how to take the person who continues to tell you how underrated you are. You know what I mean? I don’t get that a lot, but there was one guy I was thinking of, it was pretty funny; it was like, “OK, got it.”
4. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck. When I was a young actor, I was a big fan of this woman; she was just coming on the scene and I was just a kid. Dianne Wiest. I kind of had a little bit of a crush on her, and my buddy was about to direct her in a play in Manhattan. He was having a lunch with her and I arranged to go by the restaurant and pretend that I didn’t know they were going to be there. It was great.
5. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry? Peanut butter, grapes and Fage yogurt.
“Justified” airs on FX and completed its fifth season on April 8, 2014
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Credit: Kurt Iswarienko/FX Networks