The snowy and blood-soaked world of Midwest crime is back for the second series of Fargo, which this year sees a brand-new cast dealing with murder and mystery in a world inspired by the Coen brothers’ original 1996 film.
Moving the action back to Minnesota in 1979, we have a lot of new faces to meet this series including many well-known stars of film and TV. Taking all bets for how long they’ll all survive…
Peggy Blomquist – Kirsten Dunst
Dunst is the big-name draw this year, with the movie actress internationally renowned for her youthful roles in Interview with the Vampire, Little Women and Jumanji and more recently as the female lead in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (which ended in 2007).
Over the years she’s also appeared in Mona Lisa Smile, Elizabethtown, Wimbledon and Melancholia, with her role as manipulative housewife Peggy in Fargo marking a rare foray into TV drama.
State Trooper Lou Solverson – Patrick Wilson
Wilson is also best known for his movie work, with the 42-year-old probably most recognisable from his turn as troubled superhero Nite Owl in 2009’s Watchmen.
In recent years Wilson has also popped up in the A-Team reboot as a villain, as well as several horror films including Insidious, The Conjuring and Bone Tomahawk. His role in Fargo is notable as one of several returning characters from series one, with the actor portraying a younger version of Keith Carradine’s original Solverson in the new run of episodes.
Ed Blomquist – Jesse Plemons
This 27-year-old actor isn’t a stranger to the –quist surname, having previously played Todd Alquist in AMC’s acclaimed crime drama Breaking Bad (which is probably his best known role).
Audiences may also know the young star from his role as Landry Clarke in Friday Night Lights, or from newly-released Lance Armstrong biopic The Program where he plays disgraced cyclist-turned-whistleblower Floyd Landis.
Now he’s playing the naïve butcher husband of Kirsten Dunst’s Peggy, who’s pulled into a dark and compromising world by the end of Fargo’s first episode.
Floyd Gerhardt – Jean Smart
The veteran sitcom actress plays the matriarch of a dangerous crime family in this series of Fargo, a million miles away from her previous roles in Designing Women, Frasier and Samantha Who? (winning Emmys for the latter two roles).
Still, it’s not Smart’s first role as a troubled woman in power – fans of 24 will remember her as United States First Lady Martha Logan, who conspired to bring down her President husband in season five of the ticking-clock drama.
Sheriff Hank Larsson – Ted Danson
After playing Cheers lead character Sam Malone for over 10 years, Danson has gone on to star in US sitcom Becker, legal drama Damages (alongside Glenn Close), Curb Your Enthusiasm and long-running police procedural CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
He currently stars in spin-off CSI: Cyber, and plays grizzled Sheriff Hank in this new series of Fargo – who just happens to be lead character Lou Solverson’s father-in-law.
Karl Weathers – Nick Offerman
Actor and carpenter Offerman has achieved cult status for his role as man’s man Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, widely considered to be that series’ breakout character.
Since then he’s appeared in 21 and 22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, The Men Who Stare at Goats, We’re the Millers and Hotel Transylvania 2 among other film roles, and stars as the titular Axe Cop in animation Axe Cop!
In Fargo he plays conspiracy theorist Karl, who becomes suspicious after three murders are discovered by his friend Lou Solverson.
Betsy Solverson – Cristin Milioti
The wife of Lou (Patrick Wilson, above), Betsy has just been diagnosed with cancer when the series begins and is starting her chemotherapy, to the evident upset of Lou. She’s also the mother of series one protagonist Molly Solverson (originally Allison Tolman), who is only six in this prequel.
The actress portraying Betsy is no stranger to our screens – Milioti is best known for her role as the long-awaited mother in US sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but she also played the ill-fated first wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort in stockbroker comedy-drama The Wolf of Wall Street.
Otto Gerhardt – Michael Hogan
The patriarch of the Gerhardt crime family is played by Canadian actor Hogan, who is probably best known for his turn as Colonel Saul Tigh in US sci-fi smash-hit Battlestar Galactica. He has also appeared in The Mentalist, Supernatural, Falling Skies, Smallville and Teen Wolf.
Dodd Gerhardt – Jeffrey Donovan
Donovan starred in US spy drama Burn Notice, and has also appeared in films including Changeling, Sicario, J. Edgar and Hitch. In Fargo he plays dutiful crime family son Dodd, who wants a shot at being the overall boss when his father becomes less able to fulfill the role.
Bear Gerhardt – Angus Sampson
Australian actor Sampson plays the second of the ambitious Gerhardt brothers, having previously appeared in films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Insidious and Where The Wild Things Are.
Rye Gerhardt – Kieran Culkin
The youngest of the criminal Gerhardt clan is played by Kieran Culkin, brother to Home Alone actor Macaulay and star of films including Father of the Bride, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, She’s All That and The Cider House Rules.
Ben Schmidt – Keir O’Donnell
Australian actor Schmidt is best known for comedy roles in films like Wedding Crashers and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but has also starred in more serious fare like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and American Sniper. In Fargo, he plays the ambitious and driven Ben Schmidt, who appeared as an older man (played by Peter Breitmayer) in the first Fargo TV series.
Ronald Reagan – Bruce Campbell
The actor-turned President (who visits the area later in the series) is portrayed by Evil Dead star Campbell, who may also be known to film fans for his frequent cameos in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.
More recently he’s appeared alongside Fargo co-star Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice, Oz the Great and Powerful, Cars 2 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Campbell only appears as Reagan on posters for Fargo series two’s opening episode, but has the unique distinction among the cast of having appeared in Joel and Ethan Coen’s original 1996 Fargo movie for a split-second cameo as a soap opera star.
Joe Bulo – Brad Garret
Actor and stand-up Garret made his name playing Ray Romano’s brother in Everybody Loves Raymond, and went on to lend his voice to films like Tangled, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life and Pocahontas 2. He also played the leading role of Eddie Stark on Fox series ‘Til Death for four years until 2010. He plays pragmatic mob enforcer Joe Bulo in the new series of Fargo.
Mike Mulligan – Bokeem Woodbine
Woodbine plays Joe Bulo’s sociopathic right-hand man Mike in Fargo, and is no stranger to action having previously appeared in 2012’s Total Recall reboot, Riddick, The Sopranos, Jarhead 2 and Black Dynamite.
Hamish Broker – Adam Arkin
Arkin is performing double duties as director and actor in this series of Fargo, having originally just signed up to helm the last two episodes of the series before being persuaded by creator Noah Hawley to play shadowy Kansas City crime boss Broker as well.
Over the years Arkin has appeared in series like Chicago Hope, Sons of Anarchy, Happy Days, Northern Exposure, Justified, Masters of Sex and State of Affairs.
Fargo series 2 begins on Channel 4 tonight (Monday 19th October) at 10.00pm