By Karen Daniels
If you like true crime and dark comedy, then you are going to love the new 10-episode mini-series based on the 1996 Academy Award winning film, Fargo, by the Coen brothers. With new characters and a new crime to solve, the show is “entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and ‘Minnesota nice’ that made the film an enduring classic.” Allison Tolman stars as Deputy Molly Solverson, an ambitious deputy “who is new to things.” According to Allison, she relates very personally to Molly in this way, since this is her first television series.
Her road to success was not traditional in the sense that she packed her bags and moved to Hollywood. “As long as I can remember I have wanted to act.” Allison’s journey began at the Fort Bend Community Theater during her elementary and middle school years. She joined the drama department at Clements, and after graduating, attended Baylor University, majoring in theater. “I wasn’t ready to leave Texas” after college, so Allison moved to Dallas with friends who had started a theater company, continuing to sharpen her skills. In 2009 she moved to Chicago, studied comedy, shot a few commercials and made some television appearances.
How did her big break come about? “Total fluke,” Allison says. “I had stopped thinking this was going to happen.” Not one to give up, she sent in an audition tape for Fargo. Every few weeks she would receive an update from her agent who said the producers were still viewing her tape. After several months of waiting, Allison was asked to provide her schedule. This is when things picked up speed. She was flown to New York to audition in person, and five days later got the call that the part was hers. Soon, Allison was in Calgary, Canada, filming Fargo, working daily with a dialect coach to perfect that unmistakable accent. Her advice to others? “Continue to work on your goal so when your total fluke occurs, you’ll be prepared.”
In the show, Deputy Molly is trying to solve the murder. She’s able and willing to see the truth, but “works with others who have blinders on.” Fargo also stars Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo, “a rootless, manipulative man.” Allison says that Billy Bob Thornton was “very giving on the set” and “the coolest guy in the room.”
Tune in on Tuesday, April 15, at 9:00pm on FX to watch the premier. Be sure to follow Allison on Twitter at @Allison_Tolman and @FXFargo for live tweets during the show.