Mary talked with The Daily Beast to discuss Fargo. Check out the interview below (or click here)! Warning: the interview contains spoilers. What did you think of the season finale?
The actress who brought Nikki Swango to life explains how her quest for ‘vengeance’ went so wrong. Warning: Major spoilers for the Season 3 finale.
After nearly two decades of important television dominated by “difficult men,” we may finally have the 21st century’s first truly great TV antiheroine.
From the moment Mary Elizabeth Winstead appeared on screen in Fargo’s third season as Nikki Swango, bridge-playing parolee to Ewan McGregor’s down-and-out parole officer Ray Stussy, it has been impossible to look away. When, in episode two, she spontaneously decided to leave her bloody tampon in the desk drawer of Ray’s brother Emmit, also played by McGregor, she was seared in our memory forever.
The third—and possibly final—season of Noah Hawley’s Coen brothers-inspired anthology series may not have been as exhilarating as the first or as beautifully constructed as the second, but it did have its standout moments. And many of them belonged to Winstead, who emerged as the unexpected protagonist by the end, seeking vengeance for the untimely death of her beloved Ray and teaming up with Russell Harvard’s Mr. Wrench (the only character to appear in all three seasons of the show) in an attempt to take down David Thewlis’ terrifying V. M. Varga.
Months after braving the “Calgary cold” of Fargo’s shoot, Winstead is back home in Los Angeles, where she caught up with The Daily Beast ahead of Wednesday night’s finale. She says the experience of playing the indomitable Nikki Swango has “spoiled her” to the point that she’s taking her time to look for the next project. And she’s not quite ready to say goodbye.
Below is an edited and condensed version of our conversation, including major spoilers from Fargo’s season three finale.
Last week marked Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley’s admission that season 3 might be the last for FX’s anthology series. But there’s still plenty to look forward to before this season comes to a close, as star Mary Elizabeth Winstead told EW on the latest episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show
There are plenty of references to the filmography of original Fargo directors Joel and Ethan Coen throughout the show’s scripts. If the dynamic between Nikki and Ray (one of Ewan McGregor’s two roles this season) doesn’t remind you of the relationship between Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona, maybe it should. Winstead said, “That’s actually the one Coen Brothers movie I watched before we started, because I thought maybe there would be something there to kind of pick up on.”
She even called out a shot from the season premiere as a possible “homage to a shot of Nicolas Cage getting arrested in Raising Arizona.”
Though such allusions aren’t always blatantly mentioned by Hawley, Winstead explained, “I think most of us involved are very familiar with the movies … so I think they kinda stand out on the page, even if it’s not referenced. But occasionally a script, a line would say, ‘A la The Big Lebowski’ or ‘By the way, this is The Big Lebowski moment’ or something, but usually it’s sort of unspoken…”
Winstead remained pretty tight-lipped about the finale, saying, “I think, as ever, in Fargo, you do not know what to expect in the end, and I would hate to give anything away, because that’s what’s so lovely and sweet and special about it, is that, like, you get that experience of going, ‘Oh my God.’” She did make a point to tease that Nikki will get to drive none other than a semi-truck, come episode 9.
To hear more about Fargo, check out the clip above.
Gloria follows the money; Nikki plays a game; Emmit learns a lesson about progress from Varga.
Television Productions > Fargo > Season Three > Screen Captures > 3×02 – The Principle of Restricted Choice
Television Productions > Fargo > Season Three > Screen Captures > 3×04 – The Narrow Escape Problem
Television Productions > Fargo > Season Three > Screen Captures > 3×05 – The House of Special Purpose
Television Productions > Fargo > Season Three > Screen Captures > 3×06 – The Lord of No Mercy
Television Productions > Fargo > Season Three > Screen Captures > 3×07 – The Law of Inevitability
FX has set the premiere date for the third season of “Fargo.” The newest installment of the anthology series from writer and executive producer Noah Hawley will debut Wednesday, April 19 at 10 p.m. on the cable channel.
Currently in production in Calgary, the third season of “Fargo” stars Ewan McGregor as twins Emmit and Ray Stussy — Emmit the parking-lot king of Minnesota, Ray a balding, pot-bellied parole officer who blames his brother for his misfortunes. Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and David Thewlis also star.
The new season is set in the year 2010, making it the most contemporary installment in the crime-drama anthology loosely inspired by the films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Speaking at the Television Critics association press tour in January, executive producer Warren Littlefield said of Hawley’s approach to the season, “Noah is enjoying that technology in many ways is supposed to unite; and, in fact, perhaps that’s not what happens at all. And so I think, visually and aesthetically, you’ll see Noah commenting on a world Carrie [where] has a scene where she’s going to be on a plane, and she notices everyone around her has their heads down and their face in their phone, and no one is communicating. No one is talking, and I think, from her perspective, that seems rather strange. That seems very alien. So Noah is going to have a lot of fun, I think, commenting on and embracing the world as it is almost today.”
“Fargo” won three Primetime Emmy Awards in its first season and two in its second season. The series is executive produced by Hawley, the Coen brothers, Littlefield, and John Cameron. It is produced by MGM Television and FX Productions.
FX’s Fargo continues to draw star power.
BrainDead and 10 Cloverfield Lane star Mary Elizabeth Winstead has joined the cast of the Noah Hawley anthology, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The Fargo casting is in second position to CBS’ summer drama BrainDead, meaning if the latter scores a second season and Fargo interferes with the production schedule, Winstead will do only BrainDead.
Season three of Fargo has been rumored to take place in 2010, following the events of the breakout drama’s freshman season. It’s unclear how or if it will tie into the events from the first run, though none of the stars from season one will return. Winstead will play Nikki Swango, a crafty and alluring recent parolee with a passion for competitive bridge playing. She is a woman with a plan who is focused on always being at least one move ahead of her opponents.
Ewan McGregor will topline season three and play the dual roles of brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy in what will be his first TV series regular role. The Leftovers‘ Carrie Coon is set as Gloria Burgle, a practical woman who is the chief of police in Edna Valley and a newly divorced mother. She struggles to understand this new world around her, where people connect more intimately with their phones than those directly in front of them.
Production on the third installment of Fargo is set to begin later this year for a 2017 debut on FX.
Winstead is repped by WME. Her other credits include Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Returned and Mercy Street.