Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman talk Fargo's season finale

Categories: Interview
gusmolly-560fargo.jpg
Chris Large/FX
Allison Tolman as Molly and Colin Hanks as Gus on Fargo
[Warning: Spoilers for FX's Fargo series]

Fargo's Molly Solverson and Gus Grimly seemed destined for each other, almost like two sides of the same coin -- the hard-working deputy and the earnest-yet-bumbling cop. Each time they got together, whether it was at Lou's Diner or out working on the case, there was an undeniable energy between them that first sparked while trying to solve the mystery, and then grew into Fargo's sweetest relationship. (Though considering most of the other relationships involve someone killing their partner, it's not that hard of a title to win.)

Then Gus shot Molly in the snowpocalypse blizzard. But it didn't seem to put a damper on their relationship; it just hampered Molly's ability to get back to the case she was working on between Lester and Malvo. And that's what we really loved about Molly: In spite of everything, especially when she was very pregnant and in the throes of domestic bliss with Gus and Greta, she pushed hard to make sure the truth got out there.

We got the chance to chat with both Colin Hanks (Gus Grimly) and Allison Tolman (Molly Solverson) together about that epic shootout, the season finale, and what's next for Fargo.

See also:
Fargo recap, season one finale: Aw jeez, this is the end


The shootout in the whiteout was a pivotal scene for Gus and Molly. What was it like filming that?

Allison Tolman: We filmed that in a place about 40 minutes outside of Calgary called High River, which ironically had been flooded the year before, so it was a little bit of a ghost town over in that area because a lot of people had moved out while things were still being repaired. It was quite cold. We had snow on the ground. We had a lot of snow cover, but we didn't have any snow falling. So, we had giant fans and just boxes and boxes and boxes of this fake snow that they were kind of blowing around at us.

I just remember it being very, very cold that day, and having to sort of take my gloves off so that I could hold my gun and thinking, 'Why did I choose these really thick wool gloves all these weeks ago?' But yes, we had quite a bit of this fake snow that we used. But that beautiful, kind of blurry like a whiteout blizzard effect? A lot of that came in post with John Ross our VFX guy.

Colin Hanks: Yes, that was not a fun sequence to shoot.

AT: Cold.

CH: It was very cold.


AT: Running on ice.

CH: Running on ice obviously. That was definitely some of the coldest weather in so much as they had these gigantic fans. We had our own personal wind-chill on camera, which was not fun. Then, I actually had to re-shoot some stuff, some close-up stuff that we were not able to get on the day. Obviously, when you read that it's basically these scenes that take place during a blizzard, you just know that that's going to be a hard day, that's not going to be a lot of fun to shoot, but you just try and do your best and hope that special effects help.

AT: It certainly did. I think it turned out awesome, better than I could ever have imagined.

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Chris Large/FX
What was it like to jump ahead a year on the show in episode eight?

CH: It wasn't very hard. It's all make-believe at the end of the day. Allison and I obviously get along quite well, and by that point we had been spending quite a bit of time together up there in Calgary. I think really the only thing that might have been difficult was the fake stomach that Allison had to put on. That's probably the only difficulty.

AT: It was easy to slip into that kind of like domestic rhythm. It was really easy and really fun, but I've never played pregnant before other than like in a two-minute sketch for something. So, that was the part that took the most work for me, but I got into it pretty easily.

Did you feel like you missed out on any onscreen character development having gotten past the initial stages of Gus and Molly's relationship off-screen during that one-year progression?

AT: I feel like we both think that getting past that kind of bumbling stage for both of them, we stayed in that stage for just long enough, and getting to skip past courtship was kind of cool actually. It kind of missed how painful that probably would have been between these two sort of awkward people. I didn't miss it. I don't think Colin did either.

CH: I thought that A, it was a fantastic choice on Noah's part, and B, I think that the way that the characters interacted obviously everyone was very much rooting for Gus and Molly to get together, so I thought it was really sort of a nice twist to let that be the sort of courtship that the audience sees because the audience can put everything else together, and they can imagine how the logging festival went and so forth. I thought it was really cool and it was nice to be able to just jump to the good stuff, so to speak.

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Chris Large/FX
How do you feel about the season finale?

AT: I hope that fans will feel like the ending is satisfying and makes sense, but also that they didn't see it coming. I think that's always kind of the goal. I don't want it to feel like they knew this is how it was going to end up, but I don't want them to feel like they were left hanging at all.

For me, I think that the finale grew on me the more we filmed it. When I read the final episode, I didn't like it as much as I like it now, and after we got to play it and after we kind of put all the pieces together, the more and more right it felt as things went through as we continued filming, and now, I really love it. I think that all the ends are tied up properly and everything is where it should be.

CH: Obviously, you spend quite a bit of time sort of working towards a goal, and we all came in knowing that there would be a beginning, middle, and an end to this. So, you sort of build it up in your mind when you're working on it. Keep in mind we worked on this for five, six months, so a little bit longer than those watching.

I really think that it comes to a pretty great conclusion that I hope is satisfying to the viewers -- that's always the hope -- and you don't want to alienate them, that's for sure.

What do you think might happen with the potential season two of Fargo?

AT: I can say without giving any spoilers that if we have a second season or a second installment in the anthology, they've talked about skipping around in time either backwards or forwards, so we could be back or we could not be back. It's just depending upon what they want to do and if they want to go forward or backwards in time, but -- unless Colin is privy to information that he hasn't told me yet, in which he'd be in big trouble -- we don't know anything yet. We're not certain about anything: if they're going to do another season, when it would start, what it would entail, if we would be in it. We just kind of are in the dark as much as anyone else.

CH: Yes, they haven't really said either way what they're going to do, but Noah was pretty adamant that if we were lucky enough to be in that position, that obviously the story would have to come first and I totally respect Noah to the utmost degree that he would come up with the most engaging second season of Fargo that he possibly could and whether Gus is involved in that or not is out of my control. But if he calls saying, "Hey do you want to come back?" I'd be there in a heartbeat.


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