We’ve already seen Mary being sexy and intelligent after last week’s season 3 premiere of Fargo. Ahead of the new episode airing later tonight, Glamour Magazine sat down with Mary while she was in town briefly and discussed how playing the role of Nikki Swango has helped her be more confident, meeting Riley on a cruise, and hoping to work with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins in the future. Click the link above to read the full Q&A:
Glamour: With all the roles that you’ve played, what role shaped you the most as an actress?
Mary: This little movie I did called Smashed with Aaron Paul five or six years ago. That totally changed the way I saw myself as an actor and types of roles that I wanted to play. It really just set me in a clear direction in terms of what I wanted to do.
Glamour: And what did you want to do?
Mary: Just knowing that I had the complexity and the capacity as an actor to play the kinds of roles I always wanted to play. I think I had always wanted to go down a certain road, but I had insecurities about whether or not I could really focus on that. So when I did that, it felt so good. I realized these kinds of complex roles and this kind of material is what I can steer myself towards. I don’t have to worry if I’m good enough for it.
Glamour: It’s so true, and I love that you’re saying that. You can be the best and still doubt yourself.
Mary: Yeah, even now I’m so much more confident than when I did [Smashed]. It’s taken me a lot of time to get to that place—my confidence and being comfortable in my own skin and my body and being able to play a role like Nikki that’s sexy.
Glamour: Tell me more about why playing a “sexy” role like this was something you tried to steer yourself away from.
Mary: Sometimes you get in your head. I didn’t want to play these kinds of roles because I was like, “I don’t want to be seen that way. I don’t want to be seen as sexy because that’s not interesting or substantive.” But then you get a role like this, where she’s sexy but she’s also a billion other things, and then you can really embrace that side of her and yourself and feel good about it.
Glamour: With all the talented people you’ve worked with, who has taught you the most?
Mary: In the last few years I’ve gotten to work with more female directors, which is awesome, but still not enough. I’ve only worked with a few in the course of a 15-year career now. But one woman who I love, and I hope to work with again, is Patty Jenkins, who directed [the upcoming] Wonder Woman. We did a pilot together, and I was so in awe of her energy and her stamina and her passion and the way that she articulated the way that she wanted things in a strong and compassionate way. She was somebody going forward I would like to emulate. I don’t know if I will direct, but I have aspirations to maybe do something like that or producing. I just loved the way she handled herself.