The first place you probably encountered Timothy Olyphant was in a string of films in the late 90s like Scream 2 and Go, where he played characters that could best be described as 'sleazy-but-comedic.' You couldn't quite tell if they were good guys or bad guys, but they were always weirdly funny. Olyphant took this character type as far as it can probably go in 2004's The Girl Next Door, where he played a smiling, wild-eyed predator who calls himself 'Kelly' and guides some impressionable youngsters through the wildnerness of Hollywood's porn community. 2004 turned out to be a banner year for Olyphant, since he also landed the role of Sheriff Seth Bullock on the wildly popular HBO series, Deadwood. Although the show was abruptly canceled, to the outrage of fans, HBO has reportedly ordered up two final feature-length films, to cap the series. In the meantime, Olyphant has taken on another challenge -- a romantic leading man role, opposite Jennifer Garner, in Susannah Grant's directing debut, Catch and Release, which opens this Friday.

Cinematical recently spoke with Olyphant from Los Angeles, where he was in town to do press for the film and was eager to talk up his full slate of 2007 releases, which includes not only Catch and Release and Kimberly Peirce's long-awaited follow-up to Boys Don't Cry, but also the villain role in the next John McClane adventure, Live Free or Die Hard:

Did you go back and watch the first three Die Hard films to get an idea of what is expected of a Die Hard villian? All I've heard about your Die Hard character is that he's a computer nerd or a geek. I don't really see you as the nerdy type, though.

TO: God bless you for saying that! The only truth to that is that there is a computer terrorism element. He's a character who's a sort of classic popcorn villain. He's pretty slick -- Maggie Q is my girlfriend, which kind of says everything. So, the picture revolves around this computer terrorism plot. I did go back and watch the first Die Hard film, really for pure enjoyment, and I also thought that I really wanted to find something that I could throw in there as a quasi-tribute to Alan Rickman, because he's just one of the great villains of all time.