8 Questions with “RECTIFY” Star J.D. Evermore (Sheriff Carl Daggett)
J.D. Evermore (Sheriff Carl Daggett) talks about whether he thinks Trey is telling the truth in the series finale, what other cases he thinks the sheriff is working on aside from Daniel’s and why he needs a pair of sheriff pajamas.
Q: Sheriff Daggett goes from carrying the prejudice that Daniel raped and killed Hanna to discovering many aspects of the case that went awry over the years. How does the new information you learn each season about the crime effect the way you approach portraying Sheriff Daggett?
A: I wouldn’t say my approach to playing Sheriff Daggett has changed much, season to season, but the biggest change in my approach probably came after Season 1. The reason being, as an actor, I was trying to figure out this puzzle from the get-go. As all the possible scenarios played through my mind during the first season, the biggest shocker to me was the possibility that Sheriff Daggett may have had something to do with the crime. Whether it be the cover-up, or in on the crime itself. I mean, he did protest a little too much in his first scene, and he wasn’t but a few years out of high school when it happened. That all changed once we got into the second season and I began to feel that he was just a guy who was trying to serve justice and do what was right.
Q: By the end of the final episode, when Trey insists that Chris Nelms had the motive to kill Hanna, what do you think the Sheriff believes about the case? Do you think he believes Trey?
A: By the end of the series I think Sheriff Daggett finally sees the light at the end of this long, dark, twisting tunnel. And I think this might be the first time he time actually does believe Trey.
Q: What does it mean for Sheriff Daggett to see his former superior C.J. Pickens admit to a dishonorable investigation?
A: It’s a very difficult thing for him to hear, as C.J. was his superior and mentor for many years. A man he always looked up to. And for him to admit to such a horrible thing probably made Daggett look deeper within himself to see if he would ever be capable and willing to do the same thing. But I don’t think he would. Railroad an investigation, that is, not admit to covering it up. I don’t think Daggett would have to admit to doing such because I don’t think he would have ever done that in the first place.
Q: The Sheriff is learning a ton about the injustices in his own governmental faction. Do you think this learning experience will make Sheriff Daggett an agent of change 10 or 20 years down the line? Or do you see him giving up and becoming “one of them,” so to speak?
A: I think so. I don’t think Daggett would ever change and become “one of them.” I feel he has too much honor in his heart to do that, which means he was raised well. I think he would continue to fight for justice as long as he was wearing the badge, and probably continue to do so long after. Hell, he might even run for Senator to fill Roland’s vacant seat and try to right some of the wrongs this man left in his dubious wake.
Q: What is it that ultimately makes the Sheriff help Jon in episode 406 when he shows him Chris Nelms’ sworn affidavit?
A: I think he feels that this may be the only way, right or wrong, to finally get to the truth of the case. He knows Jon’s not giving up and he doesn’t want to either, though many in his department and in Paulie would rather let things lie as they may.
Q: We only ever see the Holden case unfold. What other cases do you imagine arise in Paulie?
A: Probably quite a few drug cases, like in most big and small towns alike these days, as well as break-ins, stolen trucks, tractors, cattle and such. But nothing this big. I don’t think they’ve had many murder cases. Except maybe one that was almost murder when Ethelyne stabbed Bubba Frank with a steak knife because he drank her last Budweiser and nearly bled out as she drove to get another 12-pack, but veered off into a ditch.
Q: Will you miss putting on a sheriff’s uniform?
A: Not really because I do it all the time. I’ve pretty much made a career out of playing law enforcement officers. So much so that some of my friend’s tend to get a little nervous around me, which means they’re probably guilty of something. I even have a pair of sheriff’s pajamas. Not really, but I should.
Q: What do you think Sheriff Daggett deserves most in life?
A: A good, long vacation after this case is finally over. Maybe in the Florida Keys with a fruity drink or three. And maybe he’ll run into C.J. down there, who just might be working another case on the side for the Rayburns*, and he and Carl could further discuss the Holden case. And he could find out C.J.’s true motivation for doing what he did all those years ago and why he decided to come forward with his truth.
*The dubious family in Bloodline, a show that also features Frank Hoyt Taylor (C.J. Pickens on RECTIFY).