Ewan McGregor talks new series of Fargo in interview

Ewan McGregor plays two brothers in the new series of Fargo, coming to Channel 4 soon. Here he talks about working in a brutally cold climate, ordering chips with everything and making Bridge sexy…

You star in season three of Fargo. What attracted you to the project?

I was in Utah, skiing with my family, and another family, who are friends of ours. We stopped for lunch, and they introduced me to this guy who is one of the head producers at FX. I’d been contemplating this other TV idea, which would have been a different ballgame – it would have been signing up for several years. So I was talking to him about that, just because I wanted to get some feedback about the idea, and he just said “Look, have you seen Fargo?” I hadn’t, so he suggested I watch them, and said that they were casting the third season, and they were looking for an actor to play two brothers who weren’t twins. He suggested I have a look at it and get back to him, so I went and watched them, and I thought they were amazing. Noah Hawley has managed to catch the essence of Fargo, but without it being the same story.


You filmed in Calgary in the winter. Did it feel cold, even to a hardened Scot?

Oh yeah! It was minus 29°C when we started, which is really brutal. I have to say, I’ve been so impressed with the crew here. I really like it here. I almost got killed in this town filming The Wrong Way Round. I got rear-ended by some kid on my motorbike in the fast lane of the highway, just north of Calgary. We were here in the summer then, and they have this enormous rodeo called The Stampede, and the town felt very different. I came back, and it’s freezing cold, but the crew are amazing, I really like the people, and it’s a nice small town, so you can get to know it quite quickly. If you’re working somewhere away from home, it’s nice to be somewhere where you can quickly find the places you like. But the crew were great, they just get on with it when it’s minus 29°C. They can film outside all day long in those temperatures. And they make sure that the actors were kept warm – we can’t always wear Canadian goose jackets, we’re in costume – they’re a really great bunch of people up here. I’m really sad we’re going to finish filming in a week’s time.

The show’s already out in America. What’s the reception been like?

It’s been really good. I mean, I never read reviews or anything, but I get a sense from Instagram and Twitter that people are really enjoying it. It’s got a long way to go, and I know how the story twists and turns and darkens – it’s really good. It’s been one of the most satisfying jobs I’ve done in many years. I’ve loved it so much. I’ve loved the relationship of Ray and Nikki Swango, I’ve enjoyed creating that with Mary Wanstead. It’s been a very easy process with her, and she’s an actor that I admire. And then, to get a chance to work with David Thewlis, who’s been a hero of mine since he did Naked with Mike Leigh back in the 90s! I remember seeing that film and it changed me. I loved it, it was so clever. So he’s always been a bit of a hero of mine, and I’d never worked him before. So I was so excited that he was playing Varga. And as Emmit, I get an awful lot of screen time with him. And Carrie Coon I worked with more towards the end of the season, and Michael Stuhlbarg I’d worked with before, and I really enjoyed working with them. It’s really nice to work with people you like.


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