Jessie Buckley didn’t have to look far when seeking counsel on whether to accept a role in the new season of ‘Fargo’. When the Irish actor was offered the role, she just happened to be on the set of the recent Charlie Kaufman film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, with Jesse Plemons and David Thewlis, both of whom starred in seasons 2 and 3 respectively of the acclaimed drama.
“When the offer came up, I said to Jesse [Plemons] and David [Thewlis], ‘Should I do it?’ and they were like, ‘Yes, of course you should!’” Buckley says during a Los Angeles Zoom interview with series creator Noah Hawley and the cast, which also includes Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman.
“They told me they both had such fun [doing it]. I mean, it was kind of a no-brainer to say yes, and then I sat down and watched all of them.”
In the latest instalment, which takes place in 1950 Kansas, Buckley plays Oraetta Mayflower, a murderous nurse with a penchant for poisonous pies and cocaine. Asked in what way she relates to her character, the actress laughs.
“Oh, God. I hope she’s nothing like me. I think part of the draw to do it was, like with all of the characters in Fargo, you’re dealing with kind of a heightened perspective – a person in a heightened point of their life – and there’s just such an opportunity to invent and create something,” she muses.
“And especially with Oraetta, I just felt like I could really go somewhere that I hadn’t really gone.”
Impressively, Buckley displays a spot-on Midwestern American accent, the cornerstone of any Fargo series. “I love doing accents – I don’t think I’ve not done one. I don’t think I’ve ever used my own accent,” Buckley laughs, adding she worked with two dialect coaches prior to filming.
“For me, an accent is like music – you kind of get into the rhythm of it and the musicality of it. But, an accent, it’s also part of her character. It’s the way she talks and moves and how she goes out in the world, so it was a lot of different things. There’s never just one ingredient; there’s always a few spices.”
Buckley has had a breakout couple of years, starring in the film Wild Rose as a Scottish ex-con who dreams of becoming a Nashville country star, and in the acclaimed miniseries Chernobyl where she played the wife of a doomed firefighter. But the star is resolutely down to earth about her recent rise.
“I’m always shocked, to be honest, that someone thinks I’m somewhat good enough. But it’s a lovely thing and I feel very lucky to be part of the Fargo family, so, yeah, I’m probably as shocked as everybody else,” she says.
In Fargo, she also gets the opportunity to show off those impressive vocal chops, which were on show so beautifully in Wild Rose.
“It’s always fun to sing a song, but you know, I’ll whistle away wherever.”
Season 4 of Fargo airs weekly on SBS at 8.30pm Thursdays. Episodes stream at SBS On Demand on the same day they go to air.
Watch season 4 episode 1 now: