Patrick Wilson Q&A: ‘Fargo’
“I have played a lot of all-American guys but I have never played someone so steadfast, sure, his conflicts were clear,” says Patrick Wilson as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his starring role as state trooper Lou Solverson in season two of “Fargo.” This Vietnam vet is investigating a triple homicide tied to a powerful crime family in Fargo, North Dakota, while caring for his dying wife.
Set in 1979, three decades years prior to the events of season one, Wilson’s character is a connecting thread between the two installments of this anthology series. In season one, he was portrayed by Keith Carradine and guided his police deputy daughter (Allison Tolman) through a similarly gruesome crime. While Wilson looked to Carradine’s performance to inform certain aspects of his own, his approach was completely unique. “I’m at a different point in Lou’s life,” he explains. “The events in season two really inform how he ends up in season one. So there’s an innocence; I don’t think he’s given up on humanity yet.”
Inspired by the 1996 Oscar-winning film of the same name by the Coen brothers, “Fargo” is about ordinary people confronted by unspeakable acts of violence. “These horrible crimes that are just laying waste on his homeland are unfathomable to a guy who saw it in Vietnam,” Wilson says. And helpless against his wife’s cancer, “Lou is determined to solve this crime, because he can’t fix the war at home.”
Wilson earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role. He had competed there back in 2003 for “Angels in America” (2003), for which he was also nominated at the Emmys. “I’ve been fortunate,” admits Wilson. “I’ve got a lot of characters who are underplayed and not super flashy, so to be recognized for the work that I do versus some of the other flashier characters that either I’ve done or other people do is nice.”