Mary took part in 2 new Fargo related interviews. The first one is a radio interview with Leonard Maltin discussing Fargo, her film career, working with Quentin Tarantino in Death Proof and towards the end, reveals that she’ll have a new project coming up where she plays a stand-up comedian and that’ll begin filming later this summer. You can listen to that interview here.
How did Fargo come your way? Did you have to read for the role? Your attachment seemed to happen fast in the wake of CBS’ BrainDead.
I sat down with Noah (Hawley) about the first season. That’s when I first met him when they were looking for someone. I don’t think it would have been the right fit at the time. We hit it off and both wanted to work with each other. They called me about a second season cameo, but that didn’t work out. I wanted to be on the show after seeing the first season. I was like ‘Wow, this could be cool.’ At first, I didn’t know it was going to be so great and I was in awe of what he did, and how great the performances were. By the time he called about season 3, I was like ‘Oh, yes, put me in, however many lines.’ I was fully on board before I knew the role which turned out to be unexpected and a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t the type of character I was expecting to play.
Why was Nikki the type of character you weren’t expecting to play?
Because initially after reading the first episode, I wasn’t sure if she was the femme fatale. It wasn’t clear if she was someone you would root against or was a villainous character. I wasn’t really sure of what to make of her. I was used to Fargo and I’ve often played nice, polite people, and thought that’s why Noah wanted me for the show. It was sort of a turn for me to play this person with her sexuality, her confidence, her brashness and boldness. I’ve played this before in subtle ways, but never ever to this extent. I was like ‘Wow, I didn’t think many people would think of me for this.’ That’s what makes Noah great at what he does: He spots the right people for the right roles, which are so subversive and never cliché. They’re always going to be complex. By the second reading, I saw that Nikki wasn’t the femme fatale. She’s inspiring, sweet, not hardened. Once I felt she wasn’t this hardened criminal, then I was able to open up and bring a real lightness to her, something that was very suited to me and I created a character that I was comfortable with.
Were the stunts on Fargo more intense than your previous roles? I mean, you flip over in a bus.
On the sound stage, we did a real flip. Everything was real and I was chained to Russell Harvard [Mr. Wrench] for weeks on end. We were really chained. I was covered in bruises head to toe. It was so much fun, and these were the most challenging stunts I’ve ever done and I’ve done a lot of stunts before in movies. There was this incredibly ambitious schedule with various elements to the shots. But it was such a cool sequence and completely rewarding. It felt a little bit like 10 Cloverfield Lane. That was physical and low budget and we had to do things on the fly. Nikki is very different character from Michelle in that movie, but they’re similar in their resilience and their will to survive. We had one stunt rehearsal for Fargo, a couple of hours on a Sunday to block out what was going to go down. We just went in there and did it, bruised, soaking wet from the snow, just trying to get through it. That’s what our characters were doing. Nikki was just surviving, clawing, scratching her way out.