Prime Video’s new Fallout series stars Walton Goggins as The Ghoul, a character that’s technically new to the franchise overall but should still be quite familiar to those who’ve played through one or more Fallout games. His character is very much a ghoul itself, as the name suggests, and he’s one of the main characters featured in the Fallout show alongside others like Ella Purnell’s Vault Dweller character, Lucy, and Aaron Moten’s Maximus from the Brotherhood of Steel.
During a roundtable interview at CCXP this weekend, ComicBook.com was able to speak with Goggins and others from the Fallout show about their characters and the work that went into the show. Goggins’ Ghoul character is already being framed as a distant, closed-off sharpshooter based on what’s been shown in the trailer, and Goggins’ perspective on the character lines up perfectly with that.
“He’s not a ghoul from the game. He’s kind of a new entity,” Goggins said. “He’s been around for 200 years walking the Wasteland. He survived the nuclear war. He is a bounty hunter. He is as ruthless as they come. Pragmatic. He’s a rascal. He’s got a wicked sense of humor.”
Goggins also described the character as someone who’s seen “the worst of human nature.” He shared insights into the Ghoul’s past including his old name with part of that past life hinted at in the trailer, too, where it shows Goggins’ character fleeing from explosions as bombs cover a city.
“He’s cynical, but he wasn’t always that way. And he has a name – his name is Cooper Howard,” he teased. “I can’t go into really anything more than that, but you’ll see the difference between the two.”
When asked if he based his character off of any specific ghoul from the series he said he didn’t and that he’d intentionally kept himself away the games’ versions of ghouls because he “didn’t want to be impacted.”
“I didn’t want to do an interpretation of a ghoul in a game,” he said. “I think that my job and the way that I could help my writers and my director is by keeping my distance from it and keeping them honest. I didn’t have that as an influence, and therefore, I was uninfluenced.”
Goggins said that they’d have conversations back and forth about what worked and what didn’t and what aspect of his character belonged in the show. Though he didn’t look to any specific ghouls for inspiration, he’s a “big fan of the Western genre” and watched a movie a day during all the time it took to put on his ghoul makeup. He said he watched John Wayne movies like Stagecoach, Rio Bravo and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as well as Sergio Leone’s Westerns starring Clint Eastwood and Once Upon a Time in the West.
“He’s a lot of fun,” Goggins said about his character. “I’d say he could be your best friend and your worst f—ing enemy, but he doesn’t have friends, so he’ll only be your enemy.”
Fallout premieres on Prime Video on April 12th.