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3
6 MOS

'Fargo's' Kate Walsh on Character's Arc: 'She Has a Pretty Great Finish' (Q&A)

The actress tells THR of shooting her awkward sex scene with Martin Freeman: "It's so real and awful and funny and dark and horrible that it eclipses any kind of discomfort."

Fargo FX Kate Walsh - P 2014
FX
Kate Walsh in "Fargo"

Kate Walsh is making her mark on FX's Fargo as the foul-mouthed widow Gina Hess.

The actress, known for her work on  Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice goes toe-to-toe with star Martin Freeman in some of the series' most memorable moments -- including last week's disturbing sex scene between her character and Freeman's Lester Nygaard.

"When (showrunner) Noah (Hawley) told me 'Eventually you and Martin's character hook up,' I thought 'Oh, yeah. That'll be funny.' But it's kind of this violent, rage f---. You're like, 'Oh, no. Now I have to do that,'" Walsh tells The Hollywood Reporter. "That's always challenging, but it serves the story. It serves the characters. It's so real and awful and funny and dark and horrible that it eclipses any kind of discomfort."

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Here Walsh also talks her upcoming NBC comedy Bad Judge and where her character is going in Fargo:  "There's more Gina -- and she has a pretty great finish. Stay tuned."

You get some of the funniest parts in the show. What did you think when you first saw the script?

It's so rare to find a character that is that great. She's an amazing crazy person, and they are going to let me play her. How awesome is that? I mean, I get to say "I've taken shits I wanna live with more than them." When I read that scene, I said, "I can't wait to say that line."

The shoot was strenuous for many for the actors. How long were you there for?

I got off easy, because I'd go back and forth. I was there for a couple of days here and there. I really did miss the polar vortex, and most of my stuff was interior. Martin and Colin (Hanks) and Billy Bob (Thorton) and Allison (Tolman) -- they shot through a long, brutal winter.  

You had a disturbing sex scene with Martin Freeman. What was shooting that like?

It's always a weird thing. When Noah told me "eventually you and Martin's character hook up," I thought "oh yeah, that'll be funny." But it's kind of this violent, rage f—k. You're like, "Oh no, now I have to do that." That's always challenging, but it serves the story. It serves the characters. It's so real and awful and funny and dark and horrible that it eclipses any kind of discomfort. You've got a great director and a very nice crew. I don't think anybody grows up saying "Hey, you know what I want to do when I grow up? Do a violent sex scene when I'm in my 40s!" But that's the great thing about art. There is stuff that is bigger than you, and it serves the story and the characters.

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It starts off comical and then gets dark quite quickly.

That's the genius tone Noah and the directors found -- riding that line between humor and darkness. I feel like he captured that brilliantly in every aspect of every script. That's rare and awesome.

You're also starring and executive producing Bad Judge for NBC in the fall. What can you tell us about that?

It's a very fun role. The role is sort of like if a lady lived like a dude. I describe her as a human mullet -- business in the front and party in the back. She is this hard-living , fun-having, not necessarily the greatest judge in her life, but is a very proficient judge. It has been a total thrill and exciting, and a humbling experience to executive produce something and be in it.

It's from Gary Sanchez Productions. What's it like working with them?

Adam (McKay) I've known for 20 years, and Will (Ferrell) for 15. It's a huge gift. We have Liz Brixius, who created Nurse Jackie, as our showrunner, which is amazing. Adam is one of the smartest and funniest people ever. We go back to Chicago doing improv. I introduced him to his wife and to be able to go and work with him -- it's been really, really sweet.

What else can you tell us about Fargo?

Fargo just gets better and better with every episode. There's more Gina -- and she has a pretty great finish. Stay tuned.

Fargo airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch