Chris Rock of ‘Fargo’ on Playing a Mobster

Winter 2020 TCA Tour panel on Fargi
‘Fargo’ executive producers Warren Littlefield (l.) and Noah Hawley and star Chris Rock at January’s 2020 TCA Winter Press Tour. (Image credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The Fargo cast and executive producers took part in a webcast with the media Sept. 9, sharing what the new season is like and what — for the actors, at least — drew them to the quirky series. Chris Rock said he has long been a huge Fargo fan. “The writing, the directing, the sets, everything,” he said. 

Jason Schwartzman called Fargo his favorite show. “It’s such a unique situation — to love something that exists and then you get to become a part of it,” he said. “It’s like, you love a band, and you get to be on the next record.”

Creator Noah Hawley spoke about what the various seasons of the anthology series have in common. “In Fargo, there’s a moral bar graph,” he said. “There’s always a good character and an evil character and the spectrum in the middle.”

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He said each season is “the story of decent people in over their heads.”

Hawley was asked about how a new season touches upon the mythology established in earlier seasons, or even in the film that begat the series. “I would like to say that there’s a master plan, but there is no master plan,” he said. “Connections to the larger universe” are great, he added, “but that’s not the main goal.”

Hawley was also asked about how the show draws big-name performers, such as Rock, Ewan McGregor in season three and Billy Bob Thornton in season one. “These are characters who are not like any other character they’ve played,” he said. 

Rock agreed. He said he is cast as a “man-boy” quite a bit, but Fargo is different. “It’s great to actually play a grown-ass man,” he said. 

Rock acknowledged that halting production due to the pandemic was frustrating, but he used the time to recharge. “I don’t want the world to have COVID,” he said, “but I think the last two shows are my best.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.