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‘Fargo’ Grapples With Smartphone Era, Ewan McGregor Tackles Minnesota Accent In Season 3

Deadline logo Deadline 1/13/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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Two days after Ethan and Joel Coen announced they were partnering with Annapurna Television on their first TV project, Western anthology seriesThe Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Fargo EP Warren Littlefield got asked why the brothers had not done any writing or directing on FX’s series adaptation of their Original Screenplay Oscar-winning film.

“We’d love it; it would be sensational,” Littlefield responded at TCA today. “We have said, ‘Come on up, direct!’ I hasn’t happened so far, but how wonderful would that be?”

Asked what advice he’d give to the Coens as they get into television, the former NBC Entertainment chief said, “I don’t think the Coen brothers need any advice from me.” Borrowing from NBC’s famous ’90s advertising-turned-pop culture slogan, Littlefield added, “For me [Buster Scruggs] will be Must See because it’s the Coens.”

Season 3 of Fargo is set in “Fargo-today,” Littlefield said, which is to say 2010 – current but just long enough ago to seem slightly nostalgic. It’s the first time the series has been set in the world of social media, one TV critic observed.

“[Creator/EP] Noah Hawley is enjoying that technology that is supposed to unite us perhaps is not what happens at all,” Littlefield said, noting a scene in which Eden Valley police sheriff Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) boards a plane and notices everyone is looking down at their phones and not talking. “From her perspectivem that seems rather strange. Noah is going to have fun commenting on the world as it is today – for Fargo it is ‘today,’” he added.

Ewan McGregor, who plays brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy this season, said he was not familiar with the first two seasons of the series but ran into an FX executive while skiing in Utah who said they were looking for an actor to play two brothers in Season 3. He started watching and binged the first two seasons. “I was pretty obsessed by it,” he said.

McGregor, who is Scottish, called the Minnesota accent – which he has to do times two, in playing brothers – “the hardest accent I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a Dutch accent.”

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