Interview with Bob Odenkirk of "Fargo" on FX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Sundi

Bob Odenkirk

Interview with Bob Odenkirk of "Fargo" on FX 4/24/14

Final Transcript
April 24, 2014/10:00 a.m. PDT

Kristy Silvernail / Senior Manager, Media Relations, FX Networks
Bob Odenkirk / ďDeputy Bill Oswalt,Ē Fargo


Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Fargo conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that. (Operator instructions given.) As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

I would now like the conference over to your host, Ms. Kristy Silvernail. Please go ahead.

Kristy Hello, and welcome to the Fargo conference call with star Bob Odenkirk, who plays ďDeputy Bill Oswalt.Ē Weíd like to thank everyone for joining us today and remind you that this call is for print purposes only. No audio may be used. Due a high volume of journalists on the line, we respectfully request that you limit yourself to one question at a time and then get back into queue for any follow-ups you may have. As a reminder, Fargo airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on FX.

So with that said, letís take the first question.

Moderator (Instructions given.) We do have a question from the line of Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

Jamie Jamie Ruby, SciFiVision. Hello, thanks so much for doing the call.

Bob Youíre welcome. Hello, Jamie. Hello, can I just say to everyone whoís listening. Hello, everybody. Sorry I canít hear you or talk to you until you get in the queue or whatever. Thanks for doing this. I love Fargo. I had so much fun making it and we could all tell we were making something pretty great around, Iíd say, week three or four, and itís so nice when it turns out and everyone is hoping that itíll turn out and working towards that. But the vibe around it was so good and it just got better as we made it, so Iím thrilled that itís playing well for people, so go ahead.

Jamie Yes, I really love it. I think itís hilarious. So can you just talk about what attracted you to the part, why you decided to do it?

Bob To do Fargo, I love the movie. I got the script and my first instinct on it was ďplease donít ruin the movie I loved,Ē and I would say by about page eight or nine of reading of the script, I felt, oh man, this is great. This is everything good. They took all the great vibe from the movie. They took the darkness and the comedy and they, well they, Noah Hawley is the writer and he did all this work and he took what you can take and not take the specifics of the movie; and I could just tell it was very entertaining, so I wanted to go in on it and I just worked on my part and went in and I read for it and hoped that I would get it and I did.

And then I was just surprised at how it grew over time as we were shooting it and how my part, ďBill Oswalt,Ē without giving away too many spoilers or any spoilers, he gets to go somewhere emotionally and itís pretty great.

Jamie Great, I canít wait. Thanks so much.

Bob Yes.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Kristi Turnquist with the Oregon newspaper. Please go ahead.

Kristi Hello there, hello. Itís Kristi Turnquist. Iím with the Oregonian Newspaper in Portland.

Bob Hello, Kristi.

Kristi Hello, what a pleasure to talk to you.

Bob Yes, is it raining up there?

Kristi Yes, of course it is.

Bob That was easy.

Kristi Yes. Youíre such an accomplished comedy performer, a sketch performer with such a long resume doing that kind of work; and now you have this whole second career as an actor in dramas, or at least dramas that have some comedic elements, Fargo would be an example, Breaking Bad obviously. Do you approach the roles differently when youíre preparing for roles in a show like Fargo than in your comedy work and if so, how?

Bob I wouldnít say I approach them differently, but theyíre pretty fundamentally different. My experience, and it might be just the kind of comedy that I do, which is usually sketch comedy, is that thereís a lot more texture and sort of subplot in drama than in comedy. In comedy you can read the script and you can know the motivations and the reason for the character very quickly and off a simple quick first read. With drama my experiences, and it comes off Breaking Bad, is as you read the dialog, which at first might look like just argument or obfuscation or something, you start to see these inner drives of the characters that were planted there by the writers; and so itís a more focused and it reveals itself to you, whereas comedy is just kind of right there when you first read it.

Kristi Okay, thank you.

Bob Yes.

Moderator You have a question from the line of Jerry Nunn with Windy City Times. Please go ahead.

Bob [indiscernible] Chicago.

Jerry Yes, Bob, guess what? I was an extra in Letís Go to Prison.

Bob Youíre a good guy. Thanks for doing that. How is everything going?

Jerry Itís going great up here. You have to come back soon.

Bob Iíll try to. Iím going to go shoot another show soon, but [indiscernible].

Jerry Okay. Can you talk about how was this shoot really different from Breaking Bad or how was it similar?

Bob The similarities were these are amazing casts of people who are completely professional and grateful to be working in this area. I know Iíve been lucky. I know that this isnít the norm, so I got to be real careful not to get deluded by these wonderful experiences that Iíve had in the last two years, or four or five years if you include Breaking Bad and Nebraska and Spectacular Now and now Fargo. These castsómaybe one of the reasons is most of those casts, not Spectacular Now, but most of the casts including Fargo are veterans. Do you know what I mean? They really know to appreciate good writing because theyíve seen not so good writing.

So when theyíre on a project with a great original voice and integrity to the work, they are thankful and you see it and you feel it all the time every day. Itís not just like the day they show up. Itís like they show up every day glad to be in something that has quality. And so I think Iíve been very lucky, but I got to keep that in mind and not get deluded and think and forget that this is just a special case for these great, great projects.

Jerry Congrats on Fargo and your spin-off here, so thank so much.

Bob Thank you, man, thank you.

Moderator You have a question from the line of Preston Barta with North Texas Daily. Please go ahead.

Preston Hello, Bob, how are you doing?

Bob Iím good, man, how are you?

Preston Iím doing great. Iím curious since you play a deputy on this show, how has being a part of this show changed the way that you view law enforcement?

Bob View law enforcement?

Preston Yes.

Bob I donít think itís changed it much. My godfather was a Chicago policeman and Iíve always looked at law enforcement as a challenging job, an interesting and challenging job. There are so many decisions that law enforcement officers have to make and the incident and the situation changes so much from moment to moment and day to day. I have a lot of respect for officers and what they go through.

We had a couple of officers doing background for Fargo, some real sheriffs from the Canadian sheriffs and I think some retired police as well. Iím going to give you the name of one of them because heís a great guy and heís in every episode that Iím in. Anyhow, yes, it maybe deepened my respect just from hanging out with the guys and chatting with them.

I think one of the things I would say is I always try to see my characterís side of whatever is happening, whether itís ďSaul GoodmanĒ on Breaking Bad or in this case ďBill Oswalt,Ē who is as you can see not helping ďMollyĒ with her investigation, but who has I think a laudable point of view. It might be misguided in this instance, but heís trying to protect the community and heís trying to maintain his own faith in the community and the people around him. Thatís not helping, but this is what heís doing, so I love playing ďBill Oswalt.Ē Itís really a great part and youíll see as it plays out that it has all these layers to it.

Iím trying to find that officerís card. He gave me his card. All right, if I find it, Iíll tell you his name before weíre done with this call. Heís a sheriff.

Moderator Shall we go on to the next person?

Bob Yes.

Moderator Okay, thank you. We do have a question from the line of Diana Price with Please go ahead.


Diana Yes.

Bob What the heck is that?

Diana Thanks for doing this call, Bob. Everyone thatís done these calls previously has gone on and on about the wonderful writing and youíre an accomplished writer yourself. Are you ever tempted to get into that writersí room, and if you did, is there something you would add or change?

Bob No. I am tempted to stay away from that writersí room on these complex dramatic shows that Iím a part of. I have too much respect for the sweat and suffering of these guys, whoíve written these shows and they just put so much into it, Iím a little bit intimidated by their talents to be honest.

The officerís name is Ryan Suffesick, S-u-f-f-e-s-i-c-k, and heís a sheriff up there in Calgary, Alberta and a great guy.

Anyhow, yes, I actuallyóit started with Breaking Bad, was getting a script and not attempting to manipulate the words at all. My challenge with Breaking Bad and with Fargo was how do I do this part as written literally word for word it was my goal and is my goal, and how do I make those words come to life and be a character and be natural and what do those words mean. I really take them apart, so really I approach these shows purely as an actor and itís been refreshing and a new way to look at acting. I think itís allowed me to be a much better actor than I was when I was constantly messing around with the words because I was either the writer on the project or I felt like it was my job.

Diana All right. Thank you so much.

Bob Okay.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Greg David with TV Guide Canada. Please go ahead.

Greg Bob, thanks for taking the time today.

Bob Yes, youíre welcome.

Greg Going on the heels of that last question, so is a show like Fargo in your sweet spot because you can come in and work in these huge ensemble casts that are well written and then go off for other parts of the year and focus your creativity on your own creative projects?

Bob The answer is yes. What a well stated observation about me and how I handle my career. I do have a lot of interests and I really enjoy being a part of these great, great shows, but also having the ability to juggle a couple of different balls in the air while doing it. Of course, I will not be able to do that on my next project, but weíre not here to talk about that, but maybe in a few months you can ask me how I handled that. Wish me luck, will you? I really hear you right. I have a book coming out in October, pieces that I wrote and when Iím doing Fargo, I was able to do these other projects, Birthday Boys and stuff. Iím supposed to talk about Fargo, though.

Greg All right, so letís go with a Fargo follow-up question. So on the surface so far, ďBillĒ does seem to be a pretty simple guy, doesnít want to think of ďLesterísĒ having anything to do with these crimes. You kind of alluded to it, can you tease a little bit more about what ďBillĒ is going to go through over the next several weeks?

Bob I donít think itís a spoiler because if you saw the other night, you saw how ďBillĒ feels. You started to scratch the surface of what ďBillĒ thinks his job is, which is I think his notion of to protect and serve, the motto of many police departments, I think he takes the protect part a little too far. Heís literally wanting to protect these people, in this case ďLester,Ē from suspicion. You know what I mean?

Greg Yes.

Bob Like I think he thinks itís his job to believe in his local community, and in this case, heís defending this person heís known his whole life from even being investigated. I think heís a frustration if youíre the character of ďMolly,Ē but heís a good guy. He just wants to believe in the goodness of his community and thatís a good instinct for a police officer to have, so itís a conflict and it will put him in a vice as time goes by in this show. Thatís all I can say, an emotional vice.

Greg Great, thank you.

Bob Heíll get squeezed, yes.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Virginia Rohan with the Record Newspaper. Please go ahead.

Bob Okay.

Virginia Hello there, Bob.

Bob Hello, how are you? Youíre from the Record?

Virginia The Bergen Record in New Jersey.

Bob Yes, the Bergen, yes.

Virginia A long way off, but youíre so great in the part, I just love the whole show. How did ďBillĒ get so far not having gotten used to the sight of blood and gore? Does he signal that theyíre not used to that level of violence in that particular town?

Bob I sure hope theyíre not. I hope there arenít these bloody fairly insane crimes happening in small towns across America on anything like a regular basis, so yes I think youíre right. I think your instinct on it is right. Heís not seen this; itís not a part of his life and heís been able to avoid this kind of violence and horror, so yes.

And also keep in mind it was purely by this horrifying incident that he became sheriff. It doesnít seem like he was really planning on it.

Virginia No, right, right, right.

Bob So maybe he wasnít preparing himself.

Virginia Exactly, exactly, exactly. What do you think about the level of violence in the show, because compared toóI have a hard time with violence, but itís like tolerable for me, more tolerable for me probably than for your character. But it seems like itís notósome of the shows I watch like Hannibal and thereís like a crazy amount of violence in those shows now.

Bob I think that itís heightened. I think that the violence is on some levels fairly outrageous and itís a little conceptualized and heightened.

Virginia [indiscernible]

Bob Whatís that?

Virginia On Fargo youíre talking about, right?

Bob On Fargo, yes.

Virginia Right, right.

Bob And so I think the signal is sent to the viewer that this is a performance, this is a story that youíre being told and youíre not forced to wallow in sort of up close darkness and itís allowed to be a story point and oftentimes I think a darkly funny one and that comes from the Coen Bros., that tone. Itís a little bit of a distance, honestly, on the violence; itís not asking you to feel the pain. Itís more like you watch it as a story point and itís gruesome and it shocks you, but it makes you laugh.

Virginia Right, right, right, exactly. Thank you.

Bob Youíre welcome.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Bill Harris with Sun Media. Please go ahead.

Bill Bob I was thinking when youó

Bob Hello, Bill.

Bill Hello, how are you? I wasó

Bob Good, whereís Sun Media?

Bill Toronto, Iím in southern Toronto.

Bob Great.
Bill I was thinking in terms of your obviously last two big roles dramatically speaking, I just wonder if thereís something inherently comedic about these types of guys, though, because at the heart of it I think when you look at your character in Fargo and you look at your character in Breaking Bad, theyíre always thinking more than theyíre saying. Like thereís something in their eyes going on and I wonder if, do you think thereís just something inherently comedic about that, because Breaking Bad and Fargo, they arenít really funny subject matter at all and yet when we see through your characters, we get a little bit of chuckle I think just because heís faking. Do you know what I mean? Does that make sense?

Bob I think both these characters that you talked about are trying to play a role. Do you know what I mean? In their own minds theyíre like in ďBillísĒ mind, heís trying to be the sheriff and the good man, whoís protecting his community and itís funny because heís wrong and heís floundering a bit and you can feel it. I think people maybe theyíre used to me being funny. I donít know. I just naturally go for small, funny human moments; I just look for that because itís what Iím trained to do.

Bill Yes. I know what you mean and yet do you think thereís something inherently funny about like any character who is kind of for lack of a better term faking it? Do you know what I mean? Like when you hear it, like you know Saul knows way more than heís saying, but heís not saying itó

Bob Yes, there is something inherently funny.

Bill I know for your character in Fargo, heís thinking way more than heís telling us, but heís putting up airs. Do you know what I mean?

Bob Yes, yes, I know and people love to laugh at hypocrisy and that distance between who you think you are and who you really are and who youíre trying to present yourself as and, yes, I think youíre right. Those characters are a little different from the other characters in the show in that they have these conflicts between who they present themselves as and who they really are; whereas I think some of the other characters, they donít have that conflict or that distance; and it is funny to watch because theyíre not world beaters. Theyíre failing a little bit, too. Itís funny to see somebody flounder, who is just putting on a show, whoís trying to delude everybody around him and itís not working. Thatís the fun part.

Bill Thank you very much, great talking to you.

Bob All right. Good talking to you, man.

Moderator And we have a question from the line of Anna Chan with Please go ahead.

Bob Hello, Anna.

Anna Hello, Bob.

Bob Whereís

Anna The Today Show in New York.

Bob Oh, fantastic.

Anna So youíve been talking about how the show has its darkly funny moments and there certainly are quite a few chuckles. I was wondering, itís obvious there must have been a lot of fun going on on set. Whatís going to make the blooper reel for the DVD?

Bob The blooper reel for the DVD, my moustache falling off and me continuing to do the scene.

Anna Did you know it had fallen off?

Bob Sometimes I could feel it and sometimes I couldnít. Usually you can tell, but not always. What is going to make it? I donít know. We had a lot of fun on set and we also had a lot of fun off set just off going and spending time together up on Calgary. Weíll have to see. Iíll tell you this, oh, Iím not sure I can say things that havenít appeared, right?

Anna Weíve seen the first four episodes.

Bob Yes, but have you seen Gary Valentine yet?

Anna Iím trying to remember.

Bob Gary is, he was on King of Queens. Heís Kevin Jamesí brother.

Kristy I donít believe thatís aired yet.

Bob Heís so funny and he and I together are great and we made each other laugh a lot, but I donít think Iím supposed to even tell you heís on the show, so wait until he comes up, youíll see.

Anna I canít wait.

Bob Yes.

Anna Thanks.

Bob All right, thank you.

Moderator We have a question from the line of David Caspi with [indiscernible] Israel. Please go ahead.

David Shalom from Israel.

Bob Hello. Shalom.

David I feel very ethnic among the other journalist today. Bob, I remember seeing you on Conan OíBrien a few months ago and you brought up like a photo of you guys 20 years ago with all the writing staff of the beginning of Late Night, [indiscernible] and yourself. What do you think brought upon this Renaissance in your career in recent years; yours and Louis C.K., for instance? Do you think itís the variety and richness in TV programming today?

Bob Yes, absolutely. Itís because there are so many outlets for shows and that encourages unique voices that wouldnít find a spotlight when there were fewer opportunities, fewer places to go, so people like Louie and I we were on staffs and we were helping other people to do more mainstream material. But now with all these outlets and people are able to narrow casts, I donít if thatís still a word, but you know what I mean, play to a smaller audience thatís more interested in a strong vision, thereís room for us. Thereís a stage for people like us.

If you think back to when we started, both Louie and I, the kind of show heís doing now there was definitely no place on TV for that; nowhere, not even HBO. There was room in movies for the kind of thing heís doing in Louie, but no room on TV for it. So yes, I think youíre right that the industry has changed and allowed and made room for us in a place where we can perform and find an audience.

David Thanks so much.

Bob Sure.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Jason Matthews with Please go ahead.

Jason How are you doing?

Bob Good. Jason, what happened?

Kristy Did Jason fall off?

Bob I lost him. That sucks. He had to wait around and then he gotó

Moderator His line dropped off.

Bob He got booted? Thatís not right. Can he get to the front of the line when he calls back?

Kristy Yes, weíll re-queue him; donít worry about that. Go ahead and move on to the next question.

Bob Okay.

Moderator Okay, thank you. We have a question from the line of Anthony Marcusa with TVRage. Please go ahead.

Anthony Hello, Bob, thanks for taking the time.

Bob Good, man, whatís TVRage?

Anthony Weíre inter-webís entertainment outlet and Iím in Toronto.

Bob Great.

Anthony Iím just wondering if you could speak to some of the preparation you did for the role and specifically working on the accent and to what extent all of this was refreshing considering youíre in between playing ďSaul.Ē

Bob One of the reasons I was interested in it truly was how different he is from ďSaul.Ē This guy is, heís defiant, innocent and heís fighting like hell to hang on to his innocence about the people around him; and then ďSaulĒ is cynical and clever and heís ahead of everyone and builds behind everyone and trying to maintain that. So, yes, just having played ďSaul,Ē I was eager to play something like this and this is a great part for that reason.
What was your other question?

Anthony Just the preparation and specifically working on the accent, which everybody is just fascinated with.

Bob I will just say I hope I did a good job. Everyone in the whole cast from the get go was extremely thoughtful about trying to do a good job with our accents. One of the things we all agreed and we had two different voice coaches, one was on set. One of the things, you notice if you watch videos on YouTube of Minnesotans and the Minnesota accent is that it fluctuates; it comes and goes. Itís not strong all the time and itís like it can be very strong on some words and then it can kind of be gone completely on other words or even a sentence and so thatís a tough one to do. Itís tough to get it right, but I think what we all tried to do is to not push it too hard.

As far as doing accent, Iím from Naperville, Illinois and I spent a lot of time in Wisconsin as a kid because I was in Boy Scouts and I would go there pretty much once a month. My camp for summer camp there were a lot of Minnesota kids there; Iím not quite sure why, but there were a lot of Minnesota kids who were counselors, so Iíd heard this accent as a kid. Wisconsin accent is not exactly the same at all as this strong Minnesota accent, but there is a little bit of crossover. And also, like I said, there were kids from Minnesota at our camp and stuff, so thatís where Iíd heard it as a kid and I was familiar with it. And then all I can say is I hope I did a good job.

Anthony I think you did and itís a fascinating world, so thanks so much and congrats on the show.

Bob Youíre welcome; thank you.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Jason Matthews with Please go ahead.

Bob Hello, Jason.

Jason How are you doing? Can you hear me this time?

Bob Yes, sorry about that.

Jason Great. No, no problem, thank you. Thanks for doing this. I guess my question was actually sort of a follow-up on what the Israeli guy was asking you. Youíve got this extensive background in comedy and I think anybody whoís a comedy dork definitely knows who you are and a lot of other people who maybe passively follow comedy know who you are from Mr. Show and all these other great projects that youíve done in the past. Obviously Breaking Bad and probably Fargo have brought you to a new level as far as exposure.

Does it ever bother you that some of your earlier stuff thatís considered by people who are into comedy to be ground breaking stuff isnít as widespread as your character on like Breaking Bad, and has being on Breaking Bad, has that exposed some of your older stuff to a new audience from that you can tell? Do you have people going back?

Bob The answer is yes to the second question; it has exposed Mr. Show to people. People have gone online; theyíve maybe been a fan of Breaking Bad or my character and somebody else says on a chat room you got to see him, heís in Mr. Show. Heís in all these sketch shows and then they click on that and watch that, so thatís pretty great, especially since Mr. Show cannot be seen anywhere except illegally on YouTube. HBO refuses to replay it, so the only place it can be found is sort hidden on the Internet and so people go there and become fans and they go look and they see this stuff that Iím incredibly proud of.

Mr. Show was my life and it was my voice and I will always be super proud of having created and run that show with David Cross and the material we did. Iím always happy when people can find a way to see it. Itís not easy to find.

But the question of whether it bums me out that Iím more well-known or people donít know, actually Iím excited about, I like the idea of keeping these things a little bit separate. I donít know. I guess I like the idea of being kind of able to do different things and really kind of have people not know. I donít know whether Iím titillated by that or I think itís a useful quality. Itís sort of likeóI donít know. Itís just something I always wanted to be able to do was to do a variety of things and do them well and not beÖ, but to actually do them well. I think itís cool that people donít know about some of them and they know some and they donít know others. I think thatís kind of neat.

Jason Thank you very much, and you have every right to be proud of Mr. Show, so thanks again.

Bob Thanks, buddy, thank you.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Kristyn Clarke with Pop Culture Madness. Please go ahead.

Kristyn Bob, thank you so much for speaking with us today.

Bob Youíre welcome.

Kristyn Iím curious to know what do you think will resonate the most with viewers about the show? Do you think that we have a fascination with looking at the darker side of humanity?

Bob Absolutely, why do you think they have the all Hitler channel?

Kristyn Exactly.

Bob What is that channel called, History? Oh I donít know what itís called, but there seems to always be a Hitler documentary on 24/7. Yes, I think people from the safety of their homes are fascinated with watching brutality and the kind of heightened pure evil that Billy Bob [Thornton] plays and this is entertaining and thankfully I think a little unreal. I think everybody feels that and thatís what makes it okay. Itís fun because we all agree that thereís an artifice to it, so yes I do think people are entertained by that itís clear; and I donít think thereís anything wrong with it as long as it establishes its rules and it establishes its reality/unreality quotient or scale and then sticks to it. I think the show does that and does it very well and thatís a tribute to Noah Hawley. Thatís not an easy thing to get right.

Kristyn Great, thank you so much.

Bob Youíre welcome.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Louie Schultz and please state your media outlet.

Louie Hello, Bob, how are you doing?

Bob Good, man.

Louie I was [indiscernible] Fargo and Nebraska Iíve noticed youíve been taking a lot of Midwestern projects and youíre from Illinois. Is there anything about those specifically that drives you to them, or is it just a matter of the writing?

Bob The writing is what draws me to them. I do think I probably relate to the stories being told in those projects and to the people being presented in those stories, so yes, youíre right. These are Midwestern stories and Midwestern people and I relate to them. I always, by the way, I always feel like I donít know what Vince [Gilligan] is going to decide, but on this new show, I always felt ďSaulĒ was from Chicago originally. Of course, I sound like a Chicagoan, so that probably forces his hand. But anyhow, yes, I relate to those people and Iím one of those people and thatís probably why Iím attracted to these.

Louie I also had a similar feeling about ďSaul,Ē so I hope that happens.

Bob Yes, weíll see, weíll see soon.

Louie All right, thank you.

Bob All right, man.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Melissa Girimonte with The Televixen. Please go ahead.

Melissa Hello, Bob, it is such a pleasure to speak with you today.

Bob Good to talk to you. Televixen.

Melissa Yes, weíre a Toronto based television site.

Bob And youíre all vixens?

Melissa No, weíre mostly women and weíre women who like kick butt television like Fargo and Breaking Bad and all that type of stuff, so.

Bob Fantastic.

Melissa Yes, so what I was curious to know is that with some of your roles, you tend to add some lightness to an otherwise dark story without being the ďcomic relief.Ē Is there anything that you consciously do when playing these roles to keep that balance in check, or are there any challenges to achieving that in your performance?

Bob Yes, there is a challenge and it is a conscious effort that you have to make or I have to make to try to get it to the right place, so that it belongs in the world that Iím playing in and isnít outsized too big. I think sometimes I do feel constrained and I want to be funny. Iíve had actually one or two instances where I asked if I could just do a silly version of the scene and then I just do a really crazy version and itís like I have to get that out of my system; and then I can go back to playing it in a more restrained and lower key manner. But I do enjoy doing both and I think one of the fun things about doing a drama is that you can modulate to a very low level your turns and twists and your little spins and you can get a big laugh out of small choices.

Melissa Great, thank you so much. I canít wait to see more.

Bob Thank you.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Brandon Rowe with Spoiler TV. Please go ahead.

Brandon Hello, Bob.

Bob Hello, Brandon.

Brandon Itís obvious that Fargo is a very different form of a dramedy than is really common on TV, so after being a part of such a well written and different dramedy, how do you predict that Fargo will compare to Better Call Saul in terms of balancing drama with comedy?

Bob Wow, thatís a good question. First of all, I havenít read anything from Better Call Saul, so I donít know anything except the vibe Iíve gotten. I guess Iíd have to say the vibe Iíve gotten is that that show is going to be pretty intense and dark, so I think Fargo might be more overtly comic and lighter than Saul, but thatís just conjecture based on guesswork based on wishes on the wind.

But the thing is, like I just told the last interviewer, when things get dark around me in character, I find moments to play things to make things funny. Itís good; itís something to play against. Itís really a great vibe to have around you and find these funny little moments, so I think Iíll be making it funny.

Brandon Thanks. Youíre a fantastic actor and really Iíve enjoyed Fargo and I look forward to the rest of the season and Better Call Saul in November, so thank you.

Bob Thanks so much.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Amy Harrington with Pop Culture Passions. Please go ahead.

Amy Hello, Bob, itís Pop Culture Passionistas. Weíre really happy to talk to you today. Weíre big fans.

Bob Thank you so much.

Amy So this show has so many great twists and turns, so we were wondering how far in advance did you know what was going to happen to ďBill;Ē and in general as an actor, how far in advance do you like to know where the plot is going?

Bob I actually donít like to know anything about where itís going. I feel like my job as an actor is to play the character in the moment that I am doing and not have a sense of what could happen next and be as surprised as the character is by that when it happens and not lay any groundwork that comes from foresight that a real person wouldnít have about their fortunes. Did I answer your question?

Amy Yes, you did. Thank you so much. Itís a pleasure talking to you and best of luck with the show and your upcoming projects.

Bob Thanks so much.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellations.

Jamie Hello, itís such a pleasure to speak with you.

Bob Thank you.

Jamie I was wondering was there anything about this role that you added that wasnít originally scripted for you?

Bob I put the moustache on and I got the Super Cuts haircut, those werenít in the script, but other than that, I did it the way it was written to me. Youíd have to ask Noah Hawley if I added something that he didnít write or intend. I know that he changed things in later episodes and he was writing Episode 8, 9, and 10 when we were shooting the first couple and so maybe I did spin the character; I donít know. That would have to be something heíd have to answer, but the only things I added were the moustache and the Super Cuts haircut and everyone was very accepting of that.

Jamie Youíre part of social media. Are you enjoying the instant feedback youíve been getting from fans after the episodes air?

Bob You know, I approached the social media with a lot of fear and trepidation. I probably shouldnít. People have been very kind and accepting, but I think that can fly any which way. You can fall into a period of acceptance and encouragement coming from strangers and you can easily flow into a time of condemnation and anger. It just seems to be this kind ofóthereís a bit of a mob mentality that takes place there and you canít trust it. Itís not particularly trustworthy, so you got to be careful about that. I do Twitter and I do have a Facebook page and I do look at the comments, but I donít try to take them too seriously, whether theyíre positive or negative.

Iím just glad people are watching these things. You need that first. You need people to give you a chance, and then if itís in general positive, thatís great.

Jamie Thank you so much.

Bob Thank you.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Earl Dittman with Digital Journal. Please go ahead.

Earl Hello, Bob, how are you doing?

Bob Good, man, how are you?

Earl Doing great. Itís an incredible performance; it sounded like you had a great time making Fargo. Was there one aspect that was really challenging for you that you obviously accomplished, but that you initially went in thinking this might be challenging for me out of the whole production?

Bob On Fargo?

Earl Yes. Iíll give you a hintó

Bob I have some scenes that in the latter half of the season that took some concentration and effort, but thatís incredibly rewarding. I think that acting is no fun unless itís hard. Iím not titillated by acting or being an actor unless I have to work hard because otherwise youíre just a prop that talks, but if you have to struggle to feel those feelings and to understand where the person is, the character youíre playing, and you can feel like you can get there with some truth and dignity for the character, even if itís an undignified scenario or situation, then that can feel really great. It really can be a trip into another personís experience and itís really rewarding.

So, yes, I would say there are some scenes in eight, nine, and ten that where you see a whole Ďnother side of ďBillĒ and those were work, but they were great. Iím not intimidated by it; Iím thankful for it.

Earl Martin [Freeman] and Billy Bob said that one of the other things about doing Fargo was the nice chilly weather in Calgary. How did you handle that?

Bob Iím from Chicago originally, so I laughed at that cold wind. I laughed at their plus 15. You know what a plus 15 is?

Earl Yes.

Bob Okay. Iíve been in Los Angeles for 20+ years, so it was the usual acclimation process of two or three days of like, really? People live here why again? Do they know LA exists? But I also experienced it a lot as a kid, until I was 25 I lived in Illinois and in Chicago mostly. Calgary is cold, for sure, but itís sunny most days, which Chicago can go a week and a half, two weeks without sun. Thatís a bummer. And also itís theyíve got the Chinooks there. Do you know what the Chinooks are?

Earl I think so.

Bob Chinooks are these winds that I believe come across the mountains from the ocean and it doesnít get as cold in general. They have a few days every winter where it gets brutal, but in general itís kind of a livable cold.

Now having said that, it was every time I would go there and I would ask the people at the hotel as I came in howís the weather been and I would get these smiles and I would get this upbeat response that did not match up to the information that they would give me, which was, itís been great. Itís four out. Itís been so nice. Yesterday it was two. Itís like are you joking? But no, they meant it; for them it was a wonderful day when it was 4į thatís Celsius.

Earl I appreciate the time and thanks for another great performance and I canít wait to see more.

Bob Thank you so much.

Earl Thank you, Bob.

Kristy It looks like we have time for two more questions.

Moderator Okay. We have a question from the line of Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

Jamie Hello, again. So weíve talked about what was challenging, but do you have like a particular favorite scene that youíve done so far?

Bob For sure. You havenít seen it yet. You mean in Fargo, right?

Jamie Yes, yes.

Bob I canít tell you.

Jamie Okay, how about from the first few then, do you have a favorite scene?

Bob The scene where we confront ďLesterĒ in his house and Iím sort of begrudgingly doing it; ďMollyĒ is forcing me to question him. It was on the episode two nights ago. It was so fun to play because Iím not helping and if you watch me in it, my character ďBillĒ is kind of distracted the whole time; you donít get a whole lot of it, but when I played it, it was really funny. Martin, I think I almost made him laugh because heís very in focus and intensive character, because he can feel this pressure coming at him. Meanwhile, Iím looking around the room drinking the grapes drink, talking about Hubba Bubba. Totally my brain is like thereís like a couple of gnats in my head flying around. Heís not present really. That was really fun to play.

Jamie Thank you so much.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Preston Barta with North Texas Daily. Please go ahead.

Preston Hello again. Iím calling on the behalf of my university, so most of us are really curious if you could teach a college course of your creation, what do you think you would teach?

Bob Wow, what a great question.

Preston Thank you.

Bob My God, thatís going to take me a second to think about. I think that I would want college kids to recognize the difference between the legends that are printed about people and their achievement in their careers and their lives and the realities. I would encourage college kids to try to see and take apart the kind of stories they hear and are told and tell each other about making it, becoming yourself, becoming important or becoming fully who you are or fulfilling your life and the realities of life and stories.

Because I think for me show business was an impossibility when I was in college, it was just something that I didnít even consider until my last year of college, even though Iíd been writing comedy and performing every single day in college. I had radio shows. I had performances I did. I made tapes. I put groups together, but I never thought Iíd do it for a living because I donít even know anyone who ever did that and it seemed like an impossibility. And even when I got into it and even when I wrote for Saturday Night Live for four years and even when I came to LA, I still thought of it as not real and that was in a good way. Obviously it probably made me work hard because I felt like this is almost an impossible thing Iím trying to do, so I have to work really, really hard to try to make it happen.

But it also had its negative sides to it and I think that a realistic, an ability to be real about your chances and about what people do to make it in any business is helpful to a college kid to make good choices. Itís to not make anything seem too hard because you are capable of almost anything you want to set out to do, but also obviously itís not good to believe itís too easy, but the kind of kid that I was in college didnít think that what Iím doing now would be anything like easy. And it isnít easy, but itís also not impossible and, as a result, you can make plans and you can make an effort to get those things that you want; you can make a realistic plan to do it. You should open your mind up to what you can do because these things are all possible and in the end when you finally arrive at them, theyíre not as glamorous as they look from afar, either, so just trying to make these a realistic vision or achievement and effort and pursuing your dreams.

Preston Great, thank you so much.

Bob What would you call that class, Dreams 101?

Preston Yes, Iíd say thatís accurate.

Bob All right.

Preston Have a good rest of your day.

Bob Okay, cool, man.

Kristy Thank you so much to everybody for joining us today and especially Bob. We really appreciate your time.

Bob Thank you to all of you.

Kristy As a reminder, Fargo airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on FX. A complete transcript of this call will be emailed to everyone within approximately 72 hours and you may now disconnect.

Bob All right.

Moderator That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and using AT&T Executive TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.

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