The big US role An­gus al­most missed

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - SHAN­NON MOLLOY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

It’s not of­ten an ac­tor can look back on the fail­ure of their tele­vi­sion se­ries with re­lief.

But had the Chan­nel Ten drama Party Tricks not mis­fired and been put to rest last year, An­gus Samp­son would’ve missed out on a ma­jor US role.

The Aussie ac­tor plays Bear Ger­hardt in the new stand­alone sea­son of Fargo, the crit­i­cally ac­claimed and award­win­ning TV se­ries in­spired by the film of the same name.

“The op­tion on Party Tricks ran out on De­cem­ber 1, from mem­ory — (Ten) had to tell us by then if it was go­ing ahead,” Samp­son re­veals.

“I was test­ing for Fargo while that was all up in the air and a week or so af­ter the op­tion ran out, I got the call about this.

“So I would’ve missed it had things gone dif­fer­ently.”

It goes to show that even in show busi­ness, when one door closes, an­other can open.

“This wasn’t just a door — it was more like a tun­nel,” he says.

Sea­son two is set in the late 1970s in Min­nesota and South Dakota, and fea­tures a new all- star cast, in­clud­ing the likes of Ted Dan­son, Kirsten Dunst, Nick Of­fer­man and Pa­trick Wil­son.

“The script is a mas­ter­piece, it should be in the Smith­so­nian,” Samp­son says.

In ad­di­tion to mur­der and sub­se­quent po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he says sev­eral sub­plots are in­ter­twined, in­clud­ing one in­volv­ing his char­ac­ter’s or­gan­ised crime fam­ily.

“Bear is part of the Ger­hardt clan, who run this small town il­le­gal op­er­a­tion and have done so for a num­ber of gen­er­a­tions,” Samp­son says of his char­ac­ter.

“The dad has a stroke and a suc­ces­sion plan hasn’t re­ally been thought about un­til it’s too late.”

“The script is a mas­ter­piece, it should be in the

Smith­so­nian”

AN­GUS SIMP­SON ON WORK­ING ON FARGO

FARGO, SBS, WED­NES­DAY, 8.30PM

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