‘Fargo’ (FX) Interview: Oliver Platt Talks Playing Supermarket King Stavros, and What’s Ahead for the Series

Fargo (FX) episode 5 The Six Ungraspables (3)

Veteran film and television actor Oliver Platt (The Big C, X-Men: First Class) is currently playing the tortured Supermarket King Stavros Milos on FX’s Fargo. As Malvo’s (Billy Bob Thornton) machinations to drive Stavros crazy enough to hand over his money continue onscreen, Platt joined in a conference call to discuss how he sees Stavros, what is ahead for his character and more. Check out the highlights of the interview below.

An all-new episode of Fargo airs tonight, Tuesday, May 13th at 10/9c on FX.

On Connecting Fargo the Series to Fargo the Film

Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed the ice scraper on Stavros’ wall from the beginning, but if you missed it, last week’s reveal that Stavros found his money in the ice with the scraper came as a shocking gotcha moment for movie fans. Platt revealed he did not know his character’s film connection until he received the script, so it came as a surprise for him as well. As for Stavros’ backstory, that Platt had discussed with writer Noah Hawley. “You know, we developed this idea that he had come from Chicago with his family, and that he was just on hard times; a devout man on hard times who is given this “gift” if you will,” Platt said.

The character’s unique journey was the biggest draw for Platt. “One of the first things you’re looking at is, where does the guy start and where does he end and how do they get him there? That’s what we yearn for as actors, is that sort of distance to travel, and Noah laid that out in spades,” he said. “It was a story that took this guy and took everything that he believed in and turned it on its head, and he didn’t know who it was, who was doing it to him even though he had his—and that’s the brilliance of the scheme, is the ninja mind tricks.”

How Calgary Helped Him Get Into a Fargo State of Mind

Fargo was shot in Calgary, a city in the province of Alberta, Canada, and the chilly town provided the story with perfect backdrop. Platt revealed the setting helped him dig into Stavros. “There’s a scene that takes place in Episode 6 that was pretty intense, and we were in, I think, ten degree below weather doing this stuff over and over again,” Platt said. “What can I tell you? It helps. It’s like in terms of you’re putting yourself in the position of what the character’s going through with Mother Nature gives you a huge assist. The landscape—it’s a very, very well chosen location in terms of feeding that sense of the expanse and sort of the desolation and maybe the loneliness of those people.”

On Malvo’s Tricks and What’s Ahead for Stavros

Malvo is systematically trying to drive Stavros to the brink in order to get the blackmail money he wants out of him. Now that Malvo has found Stavros’ weakness– a belief that his money was a divine gift from God –the con man is going to extraordinary lengths to exploit Stavros’ beliefs for his own gain.

“His head has been so successfully messed with, so artfully screwed with, and it’s just a delicious sort of menu of obstacles for an actor,” Platt gushed. “Is it God, is it my ex—who could possibly be doing, or orchestrating these things? On top of that, the way his medication has been messed with so that the way he’s perceiving it is– orchestration actually isn’t a bad word to describe the whammy that Billy Bob put on me.”

For those who were creeped out by last week’s plague of crickets, Platt divulged, “There were inanimate crickets, there were animate crickets, and then there were imaginary crickets.” He referred to it as “a pleasant mix.”

As for what is ahead for Stavros: more mind games. When asked if we would see Malvo’s tricks continue, Platt answer with a resounding, “Indeed you are.”

It sounds like Stavros needs to buckle up for more Biblical theatrics.

Fargo (FX) episode 4 Eating the Blame (5)

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