Jon Hamm On Collaborating With Noah Hawley & Playing The Villain


  • Jon Hamm was drawn to Fargo season 5 because of his admiration for the show and his trust in creator Noah Hawley.
  • Hamm’s collaboration with Hawley involved both discussing the character of Roy Tillman and diving headfirst into Hawley’s vision for the show.
  • The storyline of season 5 involves a cat-and-mouse game between Hamm’s character and Juno Temple’s character, with their paths eventually colliding in a unique and creative way.

Much like the Coen brothers’ movie that preceded it, FX show Fargo is best known for its blend of dark humor and outlandish Midwestern characters partaking in blood-filled adventures. Season 5 of the hit series, created by Noah Hawley (Legion), takes place in 2019 and returns to its Minnesota roots after season 4 strayed to Kansas. The new season stars Ted Lasso‘s Juno Temple as Dorothy “Dot” Lyon, a housewife in hot water with authorities — and on the run from a mysterious past that unfurls over the course of 10 episodes.

Fargo season 5 also stars Jon Hamm in yet another villainous role after his turn on The Morning Show. Hamm plays North Dakota Sheriff Roy Tillman, a so-called constitutional lawman who thinks his word is law, and who is on the hunt for Dorothy due to their shared history. He is joined by Joe Keey as Gator, Roy’s disappointing son, and Sam Spruell as Ole Munch, a potentially mystical hitman who tracks her down. The iconic Jennifer Jason Leigh is also part of the cast, playing Dot’s mother-in-law Lorraine Lyon, who cannot believe the kind of woman her son Wayne (David Rysdal) married.

Related: Jon Hamm’s Fargo Season 5 Role Looks Great, But These 2 Characters Are The Real Ones To Watch

Screen Rant interviewed Jon Hamm about joining Fargo season 5, collaborating with Noah Hawley to flesh out the character of Roy Tillman, and the nuance of being consumed by an opponent you don’t get to see onscreen

Jon Hamm Talks Fargo Season 5

Screen Rant: I imagine that any actor with a funny bone in their body would want to be in Fargo, but what drew you specifically to Minnesota?

Jon Hamm: Obviously – I don’t know if it’s obvious, but it’s obvious to me – I was such a fan of the show from the snap. I remember thinking, “Who has the balls to adapt this beloved movie into something, and what are they going to do?” And then, when I saw what they did, I was so tremendously impressed.

I got to know Noah over the course of not only the show but the ensuing decade or so. It was a mutual admiration society, and I’ve been able to work with him on a couple of things. We still like each other, which is nice. And so when he offered me the chance to work on this, I knew it would be something special, and I trusted him. And I’m glad I did.

When working with Noah, who is clearly a genius, is it a back-and-forth when discussing Roy and who he is? Or do you really just dive into his vision headfirst?

Jon Hamm: I think it’s a little bit of both. I love talking to Noah because he’s a smart guy and he’s got a lot of insight on a lot of angles on character, storytelling, and everything else. So that’s fun to do, to talk to somebody like that. But when it comes to the specifics and the ins and outs, that’s not my job. I’m very happy to leave that up to somebody where the proof is in the pudding. And his pudding is very proofed at this point.

I’m loving the cat-and-mouse game between Juno Temple as Dot and yourself, but I’m waiting for this real showdown. What can you say about their dynamic and why her escaping him is so detrimental to his worldview?

Jon Hamm: It’s an interesting way that they tell this story because I haven’t seen this in – I don’t think ever, especially in a season of television where the two main characters spend the majority of the season not interacting with one another. They’re sort of on parallel tracks until, of course, they aren’t, and they come smashing together. I think that’s an interesting way to do it.

I think that we hear about their history more than we see it. You get sort of a Rashomon sense of, “Well, who’s telling the real story and who do we believe?” And both of them have their darkness, for sure. It’s very much a story of what exactly happened here, and what is it, and who do we believe? How dark is it? And what will we come to find out? So it’s done in a tremendously creative way, as we’ve come to expect from “Fargo.” And I very much look forward to people seeing the rest of the season.

Between Roy, Paul Marks, and Coach Carr coming up, you’re a bit on a little bit of a villainous streak. Do you have more fun playing the bad guy, or the varying shades of gray guy?

Jon Hamm: I mean, Coach Carr, what did he ever do? He’s just trying to teach people how to play kickball!

It’s fun to play the antagonist, for sure. Obviously, if it was something like The Morning Show, you’re coming into something that’s established, so you sort of know where your place in the firmament is. I came into that show as a bit of a disruptor, which was also quite fun. I don’t think he’s necessarily a quote-unquote “bad” guy, maybe misunderstood. But Roy is a pretty bad guy, for sure.

It is very fun to play those, especially when they’re written as well – as they are in this particular show and, of course, in The Morning Show as well. When you get to work with people at such a high level, whether it’s Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Jason Leigh for that matter, it’s very fun. It’s fun to come to work when those are your scene partners. And I had a blast working on this, on both of those shows, actually.

Last but not least, many moons ago there was a conversation about you being Mister Sinister, and X-Men Comics even had you cameo for a page. Now that the X-Men are finally in the MCU, are we any closer to seeing you on that screen?

Jon Hamm: I don’t know. Those decisions get made at such a high level at this point, definitely above my pay grade. I would love to. I’ve been a fan of Marvel Comics and comics in general since I was probably single digits. I think there are tons of stories that I’m familiar with, at least, that are still out there to be told.

Hopefully, whatever their plans are, they include me. But if not, Is know that they have a pretty deep bench of folks that are ready to be a part of those stories. There are certainly a lot of stories in the X-Men world to be told. Fantastic Four as well, [like] Doctor Doom. There are so many great things out there. But yeah, I hope I get a chance. Who knows?

About Fargo Season 5

Collage of Joe Keery, Jon Hamm, and Juno Temple in Fargo season 5

The latest installment of Fargo is set in Minnesota and North Dakota, 2019. After an unexpected series of events lands “Dorothy ‘Dot’ Lyon” (Juno Temple) in hot water with the authorities, this seemingly typical Midwestern housewife is suddenly plunged back into a life she thought she had left behind. North Dakota Sheriff “Roy Tillman” (Jon Hamm) has been searching for Dot for a long time. A rancher, preacher and a constitutional lawman, Roy believes that he is the law and therefore is above the law. At his side is his loyal but feckless son, “Gator” (Joe Keery), who is desperate to prove himself to his larger-than-life father. Too bad he’s hopeless. So, when it comes to hunting Dot, Roy enlists “Ole Munch” (Sam Spruell), a shadowy drifter of mysterious origin.

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The first two episodes of Fargo season 5 premiere November 21 on FX at 10pm ET, with new episodes airing every Tuesday. Each will be available to stream the next day on Hulu.

Source: Screen Rant Plus

  • Fargo Season 5 Poster Cropped


    Release Date:

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Martin Freeman, Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Chris Rock, Jessie Buckley, Jason Schwartzman, Juno Temple, Jon Hamm

    Anthology, Crime, Drama, Comedy, Thriller



    Story By:
    Joel and Ethan Coen

    Noah Hawley


    Streaming Service(s):


    Noah Hawley


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