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Jon Hamm: 'Fargo' character unaware of his hypocrisy

"Fargo" Season 5 -- starring Jon Hamm -- wraps up Tuesday night. Photo courtesy of FX
"Fargo" Season 5 -- starring Jon Hamm -- wraps up Tuesday night. Photo courtesy of FX

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Fargo Season 5 star Jon Hamm says he can sum up all of his character's personal relationships in one word: "problematic."

"He certainly has a non-traditional sense of family, and Roy is someone whose patience is not very admirable," Hamm, 52, told UPI in a recent Zoom interview, explaining that the way he sees the character and the way the character sees himself are two very different things.

"I certainly don't judge him, but I certainly see the contradictions in his character. I don't know if Roy is able to see that as much. That's what makes Roy a fun antagonist for this particular season of Fargo," the actor added, trying not to give away too much of the plot.

Wrapping up Tuesday on FX, this season of writer-producer Noah Hawley's crime dramedy is set in 2019 and casts Hamm as Roy Tillman, a ruthless North Dakota sheriff, who doesn't believe in anyone's authority aside from God's and his own.

He goes to extraordinary lengths to bring home his second wife, Nadine, a young woman he abused until she escaped from his clutches a decade earlier.

Jon Hamm arrives for the 81st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on January 7. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Jon Hamm arrives for the 81st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on January 7. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI

Juno Temple plays Nadine, a smart, resourceful woman, who until recently was enjoying her hard-won new life as the unassuming housewife and mother Dorothy Lyon in Minnesota.

Now married to wife No. 3, Roy is alerted to Nadine/Dorothy's whereabouts when she gets into an altercation at a school board meeting and her fingerprints are entered into a national law enforcement database.

Juno Temple arrives on the red carpet at the "Wonder Wheel" screening at Museum of Modern Art in 2017 in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Juno Temple arrives on the red carpet at the "Wonder Wheel" screening at Museum of Modern Art in 2017 in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

David Rysdahil plays Wayne, Dorothy's adoring second husband, while Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Lorraine, her wealthy, disapproving mother-in-law.

Dave Foley plays Lorraine's right-hand man Danish Graves; Joe Keery plays Roy's long-suffering son Gator; and LaMorne Morris and Richa Moorjani play Witt Farr and Indira Olmstead, respectively, as the cops trying to help Dorothy.

Jennifer Jason Leigh attends the premiere of "Annihilation" at the Regency Village Theatre in the Westwood section of Los Angeles in 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Jennifer Jason Leigh attends the premiere of "Annihilation" at the Regency Village Theatre in the Westwood section of Los Angeles in 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

"Noah had mentioned to me that Roy is very much the embodiment of the Marlboro man," Hamm said, referring to the rugged cowboy who appeared for years in cigarette ads.

"He's the strong, silent type, and yet, he can be quite vociferous in his own way," Hamm said of the sheriff he plays.

Dave Foley attends the premiere of "Mirror Mirror" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 2012. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Dave Foley attends the premiere of "Mirror Mirror" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 2012. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Even though Roy regards himself as a self-reliant "man-of-the-land" ranch owner and law-enforcer, he has great contempt for the federal government, according to Hamm.

"He certainly takes their money and equipment when he can. Like a lot of those guys who claim to be very independent, they are often very dependent on the things that they disdain," the actor added.

Each season of Fargo shares a uniquely dark comedic tone as it focuses on different crimes, characters and time periods.

This requires the actors to walk a tightrope of sorts.

"Part of that is placing a tremendous amount of faith in the creator of the show and what they're going to put in front of us week to week and what we have to work with," Hamm said.

"With Noah, you get a smorgasbord of tremendous creativity, and it's your job to use it and fill yourself up with as much as you can. It's a great opportunity. You see it all on screen -- the creativity and the storytelling are, I think, matchless in the current landscape."

Hamm was also recently seen playing the angel Gabriel opposite David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Season 2 of Neil Gaiman's celestial comedy, Good Omens.

"Those are pretty much two opposite ends of the spectrum, but both, I will say, are tremendously fun working environments," he said of his back-to-back TV shows. "They were two great projects that I was happy to be a part of."

The star of 2022's Top Gun: Maverick and Confess, Fletch can also be seen in The Morning Show, the movie musical Mean Girls and the upcoming Apple TV+ series, Your Friends and Neighbors.

"My first project after [the coronavirus pandemic] lockdown was in October 2020. I did a film with Steven Soderbergh called No Sudden Move and then I kind of kept working until June [just before the Screen Actors Guild went on strike]," the Mad Men alum said.

"I got to do a lot of wildly disparate, fun things," he added. "I've stayed busy, which is good. I enjoy working and I enjoy, not only getting the opportunities from other people, but also manufacturing them for myself and, hopefully, people don't get sick of me."