[Spoiler warning: This post includes plot details from “Fargo” season 2, episode 8, “Loplop.”]
With only two episodes left in its second season, “Fargo” is ratcheting up the crazy. This week’s supersized installment focused on Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) and Ed Blumquist (Jesse Plemons), as the Midwestern Bonnie and Clyde continued their haphazard crime spree in an attempt to evade both the vengeful Gerhardt family and the law. They took Dodd Gerhardt (Jeffrey Donovan) hostage and escaped to a remote cabin in the woods, but resourceful Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon) tracked them down. The ensuing tussle left Dodd deceased, and Peggy and Ed face-to-face with Lou (Patrick Wilson) and Hank (Ted Danson).
Variety caught up with Dunst and Plemons in Los Angeles, and it’s clear the real-life friendship they forged during filming is still intact. They shared what it was like to film the intense episode, teased what’s still to come and revealed why they do and don’t miss the Blumquists.
This was an incredible episode for Peggy and Ed. What do you remember about shooting it?
Kirsten Dunst: That was a tiny little cabin to shoot in. They built that in the studio. We would shoot there until 2 or 3 in the morning, it was all nights.
Jesse Plemons: 17-hour days.
KD: That was an intense cabin. And I had six pages of dialogue to myself. That wasn’t easy after already being exhausted; your mind just goes blank.
Was it the most challenging episode to film?
KD: I think it was for me.
JP: I think so too. There was a turning point where I had to readjust my mind about how Ed could possibly still be on (Peggy’s) side and going along with this. I had to come up with something because it’s really insane what he goes along with. What I ended up landing on is, at his core, he’s a caretaker more than anything. I think he realized, “Holy hell, my wife is not well. If I don’t look after her, I don’t know what could happen.”
Peggy says she feels like everything that’s happened is bringing them closer together.
KD: In a way, it is.
JP: I agree. There were a lot of scenes that played differently …
KD: How they’ve been edited, you mean?
JP: Like the scene in the car, before we get to the cabin.
KD: That can be insane. We were in the car and I’m a little high on life. It’s sort of like Bonnie and Clyde. [Peggy’s way of saying] “We’ve got the power within us.”
What was it like working with Jeffrey Donovan when he’s all tied up?
KD: It’s so funny when you’re bringing these crazy characters together, we’re all insane at this point. It’s like, “Your accent sounds different than mine.” It’s such a comicbook of people. Sometimes it was weird when we’re acting with someone new. Working with Jeffrey was like, “This is wild.” It was just me and Jesse for so long. When I had a scene with Ted it was like, “Ooohh, new person to interact with.” It was fun because of that; each episode started to bring together the different worlds.
Did you do anything to mess with him?
KD: We were nice …
JP: I just love the beans. So good.
Jesse, how did you handle the hanging scene?
KD: That was rough. It felt so real to me that I almost felt like Jesse was choking at some points. It felt too real.
JP: I only go that far so I don’t have to do it too many times. That’s my way of thinking about it.
KD: Just go for it.
How many takes did you have to do?
JP: It was a like, a day. You’re wearing this harness that’s smashing all of your parts together. It’s uncomfortable, but it made for a great scene.
What can you say about what’s coming up?
KD: They’ve got us in a corner.
JP: We’ve got to come up with another plan.
KD: That’s a good way of saying it.
JP: It’s possible the aliens may come back …
KD: It’s always possible.
JP: What you can expect is that everyone’s going to live happily ever after.
JP: Everyone’s really happy. They all have dinner together at the end.
KD: Peggy makes them dinner.
Did you miss these characters when you were done filming?
KD: I was just so tired. My last night of shooting was just brutal. You’ll see why. I was thankful to be done with the show. Not for any reason except I was drained emotionally as a person.
JP: It’s a lot to walk around with.
KD: I was having nightmares because of what we were going through. I was ready to come back to sunny California.
JP: I do miss Ed.
KD: I miss working with Jesse. That was one of the best parts.
JP: It did have that special feeling, which doesn’t always happen.
KD: And sometimes you have that special feeling and it doesn’t turn out to be good.
JP: The second to last day, we had a really long day of shooting when we did all this stuff for episode 10 and we had the DP operating the camera on this one shot that is probably my favorite scene that I’ve witnessed live. After that day, which was a really hard, emotional day —
KD: So hard. And the kind of day on normal movies you would probably have three days (to shoot), done in one day of work.
JP: — everyone was so exhausted and we finished at probably three in the morning, but no one wanted to leave.
KD: Everyone hung out.
JP: That was one of my favorite moments. I don’t know, I was just proud. Literally every person on the crew brought it. That’s a fun thing to be a part of.