Mykelti Williamson in "Justified" season 3

*“Justified” begins its third season on FX tonight with a whole new crop of characters to keep Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) busy in Harlan, Kentucky.

One of the newbies is “banker” Ellstin Limehouse, played by Mykelti Williamson. He’s a former business associate of Mags Bennett (Emmy winner Margo Martindale), so you know he can’t be all good.

“Limehouse is a very dark man, very troubled,” Williamson tells EURweb exclusively. “He’s basically motivated by fear. He’s afraid that his holler, or his community (in Appalachia speak), is going to fall apart and start to become infiltrated with drugs and the evils of the world. So he’s decided to take it upon himself as the leader of the holler to make certain that none of that comes to pass. And like Malcolm X would say, by any means necessary he will prevent that from happening.”

Mykelti Williamson attends the premiere of FX Networks & Sony Pictures Television's "Justified" Season 3 at the Directots Guild of America on Jan. 10, 2012 in Los Angeles

“Justified,” premiering at 10 p.m. tonight (Jan. 17), is based on the Elmore Leonard short story “Fire in the Hole.” Leonard also serves as an executive producer on the series along with Graham Yost, who also created Williamson’s previous NBC series “Boomtown.” [Scroll down for a clip from tonight’s season 3 premiere.]

Williamson, 51, is returning to series television after a successful Broadway run opposite Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in “Fences.”  In the audio below, the St. Louis native talks about the challenge of trying to follow up the role of Gabriel in August Wilson’s play with a television role that is just as substantial and well-rounded.

Mykelti Williamson on why he joined the cast of Justified by CherieNic