The pedigree of Fargo is such that big name stars have been angling to get on board the anthology series since it began in 2014. Billy Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Martin Freeman and Patrick Wilson have already featured, with the likes of Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and David Thewlis on board for season three. You’ll surely recognise one Ewan McGregor (two to be precise), but for the rest of the thesps, here’s where you might have seen them before.
Ewan McGregor + Ewan McGregor
Plays: twin brothers Ray and Emmit Stussy. Emmit is a real estate supremo nicknamed the "Parking Lot King of Minnesota", while Ray is a paunchy, balding parole officer who resents his successful brother and becomes embroiled in crime. McGregor’s Ray is truly transformative.
This guy needs no introduction, though surprisingly, Fargo is not McGregor’s first foray into TV. In 1993, the actor actually starting out on the small screen in musical drama miniseries Lipstick on Your Collar as a rock 'n’ roll obsessed war office clerk in the 1950s.
But his mainstay has been movies. In some 75 screen credits to date, McGregor has racked up some iconic roles - Renton in Trainspotting and its recent sequel, a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episodes I-III and lovelorn Christian in Baz Luhrmann’s lavish musical, Moulin Rouge!
Plays: Eden Valley Police Chief Gloria Burgle, who's on the trail of murder, mobsters and general Minnesotan chaos.
Coon is having a big year starring in two acclaimed TV series, Fargo and the final season of The Leftovers. In the latter, she plays the bereaved Nora, who lost her family to "The Departure", a global phenomenon which saw millions of people vanish without a trace.
Coon’s also known for playing Ben Affleck’s twin sister in Gone Girl and is an accomplished theatre actress, picking up a Tony nomination for her performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Plays: Nikki Swango, an ex-con and a parolee of Ray’s. They’re partners in love and crime that, true to Fargo form, is a combination that will likely not end well. Nikki is also fond of competitive bridge.
The chameleonic Winstead’s breakout role came in 2010 as Ramona Flowers, the punkie object of affection for Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), who must defeat her seven evil exes to be with her in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Winstead’s first regular TV gig came in 1999 on kooky soap Passions. Since then, she’s gone on to play a host of eclectic roles, including Lucy McClane, daughter of John (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard 4.0 and A Good Day to Die Hard, the resourceful Michelle in 10 Cloverfield Lane and a staffer on zombie-riddled Capitol Hill in TVs BrainDead.
Plays: mysterious loner VM Vargas, who brokers an unwelcome business proposal with Emmit.
Another chameleon, Thewlis is best known as half-blood wizard Professor Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies and for his memorable turn as eccentric video artist Knox Harrington in The Big Lebowski. He scored a breakout role as the deeply complicated Johnny in Mike Leigh’s celebrated 1993 feature, Naked, and along with it the Best Actor Award at Cannes in the same year.
You may also have seen Thewlis in The Island of Dr. Moreau, Seven Years in Tibet, Kingdom of Heaven, Macbeth, War Horse and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Look out for him in the upcoming Wonder Woman.
Plays: Emmit’s right hand man, Sy Feltz.
To date, Stuhlbarg is best remembered for his turn as the genteel and malevolent Prohibition-era gangster Arnold Rothstein in Boardwalk Empire. He received plaudits for another breakout role in the Coen Brothers’ Oscar nominated A Serious Man as Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher with a life in turmoil.
Lately, it seems you can barely step into a cinema without Stuhlbarg popping up onscreen. An in-demand character actor, recent credits include Arrival, Dr. Strange, Steve Jobs, Blue Jasmine, Lincoln, Hitchcock, Men in Black 3 and Seven Psychopaths.
An all-new season 4 Fargo story will premiere with two weeks of double episodes, beginning 8.30pm Thursday 8 October on SBS. Episodes will continue weekly at 9.30pm from Thursday 22 October. New episodes will be available at SBS On Demand each week on the same day as broadcast. Relive the first three standalone seasons of Fargo now at SBS On Demand.
Watch the season 4 trailer here:
Missed season three? Start with the first episode at SBS On Demand: