FX brings Chris Rock to ‘Fargo’ for se­ries’ fourth sea­son

Medicine Hat News - - COVER STORY - BY JAY BOB­BIN

Though the last visit to “Fargo” was a while ago, it’s still on the tele­vi­sion map.

Last seen in 2017, the FX drama se­ries in­spired by an Os­car-win­ning movie be­gins its pan­demic-de­layed fourth sea­son with two episodes Sun­day, Sept. 27 (also stream­ing start­ing the next day on FX on Hulu). As is cus­tom­ary, the Emmy- and Pe­abody-win­ning show re­boots with a new story and cast, with Chris Rock now head­ing the en­sem­ble as a Kansas City mob­ster circa 1950. He strikes an ac­cord with a ri­val fam­ily (a mem­ber of which is played by Ja­son Schwartz­man) to main­tain peace, but un­ex­pected cir­cum­stances soon up­set that agree­ment.

Other char­ac­ters in the new saga in­clude a fed­eral mar­shal (Ti­mothy Olyphant, re­turn­ing to FX fol­low­ing his run in “Jus­ti­fied”), a de­tec­tive (Jack Hus­ton) who can’t fil­ter his im­pulses, and a “Rabbi” (Ben Whishaw) – per his nick­name – who has his own agenda in observing what de­vel­ops among the crim­i­nal com­peti­tors, within their own fam­i­lies in some in­stances.

While Rock is known pri­mar­ily for com­edy, “Fargo” ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, writer and some­times direc­tor Noah Haw­ley says that with Sea­son 4, “Once I had the idea for it, I im­me­di­ately thought of Chris. And be­fore there was a script, I met with him and pitched him what I wanted to do, and he agreed to sign on ... and then, it was four or five months be­fore he saw a script. I def­i­nitely was writ­ing with him in mind. I tend not to, but with Chris, he’s spe­cial.”

Rock ad­mits he had a big ad­just­ment to make to the “Fargo” way of work­ing. “It’s in­tri­cate, the way they shoot,” he notes. “The cam­era’s al­ways mov­ing, so it’s not like comedic act­ing where you kind of wait for your closeup and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m go­ing to give you 13 dif­fer­ent ver­sions of this funny thing.’ This is like the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, and you have to run the route and (ex­pect) the ball will be there. You’ve got to run the ex­act route for it to work. The chal­lenge is get­ting the part down but still get­ting some of my per­son­al­ity in there.”

Haw­ley en­joys work­ing el­e­ments of his­tory into any sea­son of “Fargo,” since he re­flects, “The story of any fam­ily is the story of Amer­ica. What we’ll come to re­al­ize with this African-Amer­i­can man who was raised by an Ir­ish­man – who him­self was raised by both Jews and Ital­ians – is that his­tory is a liv­ing thing. And the way that we keep it alive is that we tell sto­ries about our his­tory to keep it fresh in our minds. Oth­er­wise, we for­get, so it’s ex­cit­ing on some level to ex­plore.”

Chris Rock

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