‘Fargo’ Premiere: Martin Freeman Talks Lester’s Contradictions

The Fargo premiere date finally came to FX for those who have anticipated revisiting the classic 1996 featured film by the same name, and it saw Martin Freeman taking on the the role of frustrated salesman Lester Nygaard, who is full of contradictions.

First, a bit of background on Martin Freeman. In case you are not sure where you have seen him before, he has actually been featured in a couple of high profile films and television series.

Freeman came to Fargo fresh from playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, the Peter Jackson trilogy, an adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel.

The 42-year-old actor also stars as Watson in the very popular televisions series Sherlock opposite British sensation Benedict Cumberbatch.

Martin Freeman in The hobbit

With that out of the way, Martin Freeman talked to Entertainment Weekly about his role in Fargo, the new FX series based on he 1996 Coen brothers Oscar winning film.

Warning: article may contain spoilers!

The Fargo premiere had some shocking scenes, such as the one in which Freeman kills his wife after she puts him down in very unkind terms, causing Lester to snap. It was presented with some dark humor, at least.

“It’s great the way it just comes out of nowhere. I really like that. There’s no finishing his sentence, there’s no big buildup, there’s no huffing and puffing before. It felt like a kind of nerdy (…) it’s like Lenny Bruce described the way that Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald as a kind of nerdy, Jewish, ‘meh.'”

The humor comes as each time Lester hits his wife with the hammer, he yells, “Aw, jeez.” Kind of funny, despite the gravity of the situation and Lester’s thoughts of trying to get away with it — which defines the character, according to Martin:

“Absolutely. That’s part of the interest — people incapable of saying what they really mean. And you know, I come from a country (Britain) where that’s also a stereotype of us as well. And like all stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth in it. So yeah, I’m kind of interested in what people say and what they mean. It’s interesting to play because that’s immediate conflict. That’s drama. If everyone’s just saying what they feel and doing whatever they want, there’s no drama in the world. And there’s also no truth to it, ’cause that’s just not the truth.”

Fargo series poster

In the Fargo premiere Lester is introduced to drifter Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton), who will have a big impact on how things will develop going forward, and Freeman even compared his character to a very popular Breaking Bad favorite:

“I think at first he’s kind of like Walter White — all of his actions are out of necessity. It’s like a wounded animal, a hunted animal, and then actually he starts to get good at it (lying) and enjoy it.”

Martin Freeman says he couldn’t wait to play how Lester develops in the coming episodes following the premiere.

You can watch Fargo on Tuesday at 10 pm on FX.

[Image via FX]