Now Reading
Juno Temple on Her Toughest ‘Fargo’ Scene and ‘Ted Lasso’ Criticism

Juno Temple on Her Toughest ‘Fargo’ Scene and ‘Ted Lasso’ Criticism

Juno Temple on Her Toughest ‘Fargo’ Scene and ‘Ted Lasso’ Criticism

After racking up three Emmy nominations for her fan-favorite comedic performance in Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, Juno Temple took a dramatic turn leading the ensemble cast of FX’s Fargo season five, playing a seemingly “Minnesota nice” housewife with a secret dark past and some particularly unrefined survival instincts. For the 34-year-old British actress, going from comedy to drama is hardly unusual, having played a widely diverse range of supporting parts over the years, from 2007’s Atonement to 2018’s Bravo series Dirty John. But with the inherent duality of Dorothy “Dot” Lyon, aka Nadine Tillman, a woman who sometimes has to be simultaneously nurturing and vicious, Fargo put her ability to switch roles to the test.

What surprised you the most about what you thought working on Fargo would be like compared to what it was actually like? 

I was nervous to join a history of extraordinary performances from some of the greatest actors who have been a part of previous installments. I was also trying to wrap my head around the comedy and the drama that Fargo brings together so well. I thought it might be really complicated. But the way everything was written meant you don’t have to think at all because it’s all in the writing and the comedy is all in the accent itself — all the Fargo stories are very dark if you remove the accents. 

What was the most interesting character note showrunner Noah Hawley gave you? 

The most important note he gave me was about the duality of Dot always being in fight-or-flight mode as a feral survivalist while also being a mother and a true nurturer, and to always remember to combine those two — like, even when she is being violent to find a way to incorporate her nurturing side.

As a person who doesn’t act, to me that just sounds really hard: “Can you be this, but also the opposite of this, at the same time?”

When [the script] initially came into my inbox, I was like, “Wow, everything about this extraordinary creature is going to be a challenge.” I asked so many questions, and I had so much guidance and so much so much help along the way.

Which is the scene you’re most proud of? 

There was a great day with me and David [Rysdahl, who plays Dot’s husband, Wayne Lyon] where we had an 11-page dialogue scene in the kitchen together. We had run that scene so many times because we wanted it to feel so engraved in our brain that we could really listen to the direction Noah was going to give us and have fun with it. At the end of that day, we looked at each other and were like, “Oh my God, we did it!” And the crew gave us a round of applause.

Everybody has asked you about working with Jon Hamm, so I’m curious about what it was like working with two other actors: First Jennifer Jason Leigh. You two have such a wonderfully tense dynamic in this, what struck you most about working with her?

Mesmerizing, but also intimidating, and I also want to be around her all the time. Just her hand gestures and the way she used her physicality I found amazing to watch. She brings so much power without having to raise her voice, and I’m in awe of that ability. And then the journey we got to play out together — which we didn’t know initially — we would talk about how we hoped that at some point maybe we would have a moment where our characters really connected and that Dot would be invited into the Lyon family. So when we got to episode eight, it really felt like such a beautiful payoff. 

The other actor I wanted to ask about is Joe Keery as Gator. He already has a big career with Stranger Things, but I could see him getting a huge one. There’s this intense and likable vulnerability that he brought to what should have been a really despicable character.

He is so different from Gator; they are polar opposites. It’s really brave for an actor who is having this incredible moment in his career — he’s beautiful to look at and has a beautiful brain and heart and soul — to dive in and play a character that has a vulnerability and buried sweetness that has turned to vulgar, brutish stupidity. He could have come across as a joke and didn’t. By the end, you care so much about what happens to him even with all the shit he has done. 

What has been people’s reaction when they meet you since Fargo

I’ve had people talk to me about Dot’s ability to booby-trap a home and that there should be a Dot Lyon home security setup. People talk to me about how powerful they found her to be and how it’s cool to see a woman who’s also a mom and a baker and a wife, living very simply and loving it at home, and then also having this ability to survive. 

Of course, I also have to ask: What’s the latest with the rumored Ted Lasso spin-off?

I know as much as most people, to be honest with you. We a pretty heartbreaking close and I don’t know if we’re going to do anymore or not.

See Also
MrBallen Launches First Live Tour This Fall

I saw some headlines from critics suggesting your character Keely wasn’t well served by the final season and that they should have done more with her. I was wondering if you agree with that assessment?

I haven’t heard that. I thought she had a pretty great journey in season three. I loved her ending where she has her independence. We also got to see her having a moment where she wasn’t okay and I think her friendship with Rebecca [Hannah Waddingham] was, for me, throughout the entire show, one of the most treasured parts of getting to step into Keeley’s shoes. I thought when she reaches out to Rebecca — when she has the sex video go public — that that was really important and I’m proud of that storyline. I thought her storyline opens the door to wherever she’s going to go. It didn’t feel like an ending for her. It felt like it was another another chapter, but the book is not finished.

You also have the upcoming film Good Luck, Have Fun, Don’t Die, which sounds like a blast of concept [it stars Sam Rockwell as a man from the future who arrives at a diner where he must recruit the precise combination of disgruntled patrons to join him on a one-night quest to save the world].

I’m having such a good time. What a cast. [Director Gore Verbinski] is magic. The script is phenomenal – I don’t think I’ve read a script that quickly in a while, it’s great. I’m playing another really interesting woman and I’m proud of seeing the world from her perspective, especially on the wild world that we’re creating. Yeah, I’m really excited about this one.

And you have the Venom sequel. I won’t be another reporter pressing you on what it’s like to work with Tom Hardy [Temple laughs, she’s recently answered, “He’s so excited about telling this story and is so thrilled to have other people be part of it”]. But I will ask: After Madame Web, it feels like there’s extra pressure on the Sony superhero films. Are you guys feeling that? Could this be the one that breaks Sony’s recent streak?

I can honestly say that I’m not programmed to think about it like that. It’s quite new for me to be a part of a movie of this size. I’m just hoping that I did the best job I could a [movie] that was a really amazing thing to be involved in. I hope that whether the five people go to see it or whether 500 go see it, or more, I hope that they enjoy it and it takes them out of their everyday lives for a minute.

This story first appeared in a June standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright © MetaMedia™ Capital Inc, All right reserved

Scroll To Top