‘Fargo,’ the much anticipated quirky drama premiered last night fresh off the heels of FX’s season finale of the critically acclaimed series ‘Justified.’ Here to carry on the afterglow effects of that sizzling premiere is actor Kevin O’Grady who gave a magnificent performance in the first episode as grown-up bully, Sam Hess.
After viewing the show, it was easy to tell the Winnipeg native would have been great as series regular, but if he had to go I sure am glad it wasn’t death by ye olde wood chipper. No stranger to acting, O’Grady boasts an impressive roster of TV and film roles to his credit including: SyFy’s ‘Flash Gordon,’ and ‘Eureka.’ Also on the list are appearances on the CW’s ‘Smallville,’ ‘Life Unexpected’ and ‘Arrow’ as well as FOX’s ‘Fringe’ and the Hallmark Channel movie ‘Hitched for the Holidays.’ On the film front, he appeared in the blockbuster movie ‘The Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ and 2012’s ‘This Means War.’ But in the meantime, let’s find out what’s going on in the mind and world of Kevin O’Grady from the talented actor himself.
1. How great for you, landing a guest starring role in FX's Fargo. Tell us what you liked about your character?
Yeah thanks :) When I found out I got it, it took me a while for it to sink in. I mean “Fargo”! The “Coen Brothers”! To be honest it didn’t really hit me until I started getting to set how cool it truly was to book this and do a role like this. I’ve been a fan of the Coen brother stuff for so long, and Fargo is one of my all time favs…so it’s an honor really.
When it comes to a character like Sam Hess, what I love about it is it’s so not me. I can be a total douche bag without any real world consequences and just allow myself to really go for it. Not that that isn’t any different for any other character I get to do – but with one sooo well written as Sam Hess it was a treat because the work is already done for you. Plus, I grew up with dudes like this, so no research required :)
I just watched an interview with Billy Bob Thornton yesterday and he said the same thing, the writing was so good all you had to do was just say the words and you’d be alright.
What can I say, this whole Fargo experience has been very, very exciting. Working with Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, who are so fantastic, and hey having Kate Walsh as my wife what a tough life right?! Now I just hope the audience likes what we’ve all done…and hey I’m a fan now just like everyone else.
2. I know you're an actor and you started out as a comic book artist, but are there any plans to create a M.A.R.V.E.L. type empire with movie scripts and characters?
Well just to clarify, I never made it as a comic artist, but that was the goal for quite awhile. Anyone who knew me growing up, knew that I was (and still am really) a huge comic nerd and was always drawing some comic character or another whenever I had the time.
Being an old school comic fan, I’ll be honest, a lot of these yearly comic movies now are missing the mark. The Chris Nolan Batman movies are absolutely brilliant though, the Dark Knight is easily in my top 5 movies of all time!
So without going off on a tirade regarding my thoughts on all comic movies – to answer your question, always in the back of my mind when I’m watching some of these big spectacle blockbusters, there’s so many things I would want to do differently, which leads me to always think, “well crap O’Grady, then why don’t you write it yourself!”
So maybe in 5 years from now you’ll be hearing about my new X-Men script being made :)
3. Aside from playing the part of Sam Hess in Fargo, is there any other role you would have liked to sink your teeth into? If so, why?
Well living in Vancouver, there has for the most part always been a great opportunity for work as an actor. My resume proves that. But one of the things that we don’t get a lot of here is comedies. I’ve done some comedic type roles for sure, but I’m talking about a full on, very well written (I stress that) comedy.
Jason Segal has done a few good ones in the last 5 or 6 years, Forgetting Sarah Marshal, The 5 Year Engagement, comedies like that would be great. I have a bent for comedy and I’m good at improv, so that kind of opportunity would be amazing. I know it will happen so enough so I’m not worried about it.
Otherwise, if not a comedy, then something serious and super cool in the vein of the Bourne movies or being in one of the new Star Wars movies would be amazing (don’t get me started), but only because J.J. Abrams is directing them.
4. What genre of movies and television shows are your favorite?
Anything that’s good! :) I’m a huge movie buff so I watch at least 1 to 2 movies on average a week. I have my top 10 lists I make every year, yeah I’m a nerd. Anyway, last year “Her” was my favorite movie, so smart and creative, I loved it. But then I also love a big fun sci-fi action movie like the latest Star Trek too. This year my favorite movie so far is The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson creates these magical playground movies for grown ups—I could watch them all day! So going back to your last question, this kind of a Wes Anderson movie I would also absolutely LOVE to be in. :))
As far as TV- well the cable shows rule. Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, Newsroom, Homeland, Breaking Bad, Fargo (wink, wink). I mean these are all brilliant shows, more like 10 or 12hr amazing movies really.
5. What's next for you?
I have a nice little role coming up in a Supernatural episode next month. It’s a pretty fun character, so I’m hoping the rabid SN fans connect with it. I shot a role in a pilot for ABC starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead called ‘Exposed’ in March that I thought went well, let’s hope it gets picked up. And if you don’t blink you might see me in the big Godzilla flick in May too, the trailers for that look amazing!
Otherwise, it’s business as usual going for new auditions and call backs every week to get that next role. The goal is to always get on the coveted lead role in a show or big movie of course, so I’m always putting that as “next” on my to-do list. My Fargo role is a step in the right direction for sure.
How can fans keep up with Kevin O'Grady?
They can go to my website: http://kevinogrady.net
Or catch me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevinogradyofficial
I’m gonna start on Twitter in the next week or so too, so keep a look out for that.
Thank you, Kevin. It has indeed been a pleasure.
‘Fargo’ is based on the cult classic by the same name and brought to us by the Coen brothers. Be sure to watch ‘Fargo’ starring Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Kate Walsh and Colin Hanks on Tuesdays on FX at 10:00 PM.