Emily Haine stars in season 2 of FX's "Fargo." Photo Credit: Atcha Kim.

Emily Haine stars in season 2 of FX’s “Fargo.” Photo Credit: Atcha Kim.

When FX aired season one of Fargo, a dark comedy-crime drama inspired by the Coen brothers 1996 film of the same name, most viewers were pleasantly stunned with the quality of the show. The acting was effortless. The storytelling was exceptional. And the scenery and costumes were authentic. It seemed that nothing could possibly top creator Noah Hawley’s efforts. And then came season two.

Following his 10-episode success, Hawley delivered another knockout punch with even more cheeky cynicism and top-notch thrills and surprises, transporting us into the depths of the late 1970s, all while staying true to the elements that made the first season such a riveting television experience. With the recent announcement of season three being given the greenlight (the cast and premiere date have yet to be determined), we can only imagine what journey he’ll take us on next.

In mid-October, we caught up with Fargo newbie, Emily Haine (Meridiem, The 100), to talk about her character, Noreen, lessons learned on set from veterans like Ted Danson, and what it’s like sharing a name with somebody who is also playing the fame game.

GALO: Alison Lohman (White Oleander) kind of came out of nowhere and gave one of the year’s best performances in season one of Fargo. You are doing a somewhat similar feat. Do you feel like you’re about to jump off with this role?

Emily Haine: Ha! It has been a whirlwind ever since [the season] was shot with all the promos and stuff coming up, and the hype with the debut. I’m just so excited for this year! I’m kind of in the same position as the viewers are because I’ve only been able to see the first episode. Noah Hawley, the show’s creator, had a couple of cast members over at his house before the wrap where he screened the first episode, and it was just so good. I can’t wait to see the rest of the season. I know what will happen [sometimes], but I also have no idea sometimes. When it comes together, it is just phenomenal television. Can I say that even though I’m part of it? It’s just so good!

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”It almost is like something from a book; you never know what direction it is going to take.” link=”” color=”#ff0000″ class=”” size=”15″][/pullquote]

GALO: Oh, I agree!

EH: It’s just such an amazing job — plus, the authenticity of the movie, too. You never know what will happen. It almost is like something from a book; you never know what direction it is going to take. I think that caught that magic and I just can’t wait.

GALO: Now when I was researching information on you, I kept running into Emily Haines, the indie rock singer/songwriter. I believe you both are Canadian, correct?

EH: Yeah, that is correct. She spells her name with an “s” at the end. I get that a lot, actually — the mix-up between the two. In the last year, I’ve been doing music myself with a group of people, but yes, she is a different lady in Montreal. I’ve seen her live and she has a great indie rock sound. But, no, she is not me and I am not her.

GALO: [Laughs] And there aren’t any hard feelings between you two for sharing almost the same name?

EH: [Laughs] No, definitely not. She’s cool.

GALO: That’s so funny. I just kept running into her on Google. I guess Fargo is going to have to put you on top in order to end this confusion.

EH: Yes, there will have to be something to blur the lines a bit creatively. Although acting is [the] thing I do, I also dabble in songs, too. We also [both] have blonde hair!

Emily Haine. hoto Credit: Atcha Kim.

Emily Haine. Photo Credit: Atcha Kim.

GALO: Joking aside, what got you interested in acting?

EH: It was kind of like this dream of mine ever since I was a little kid. I watched Top Chef with my parents, and then I wanted to be on Conan. I just started to get older and began watching movies that I really liked. There’s this one by [director] Lars von Trier. I knew that Kirsten Dunst (who is also in Fargo) worked with him, so I asked her about him. The movie is called Dogville (2003) and it stars Nicole Kidman. It is a really simple set. It is really broken down. Basically, there are lines on the floor like a stage. It is actually a pretty savage movie to just sit down and watch because it is really intense and hard-hitting, but the performances in it were so phenomenal, and it altered me in such a way that I just went “wow.”

There’s so much crash and so much depth to film acting, so I kind of went with a dream and bought a ticket for London, England, and got accepted in a Meisner program there. And that just reaffirmed how much there was in terms of growth [as an actor]. Going into it, I was really scared from all the hype you hear — the glitz and glam of Hollywood — and I never really knew what to expect. But going there, I really understood that you’re studying the psyche of this person — they’re a human being — and that really fascinated me more than anything. That inner dialogue with any character was really just a particular set of circumstances away from [them] being like you. It’s a weird dimension. I found it different.

GALO: That’s an important quality for working on this show, especially when you think of the “twisted” psyche of some of the season one characters. Did you have to take that approach when you were looking at these people or your character?

EH: You watch the show and going into it, I was like, “OK, this is clearly quality programming.” So I wanted to make sure [that] all the lessons I had heard before were being executed and all the resources I had. Noah [Hawley], immediately after I booked the part, sent me an email with a wealth of resources. Every person on that show, in Noah’s mind, has a full life from birth to present day. Not one stone is unturned with him. So to go into the show and to have that depth, for me as an actor, I could basically go as wild into it as I want[ed] to. I could create as many stories and memories for her as I possibly had time for. All of that work comes through in the final product. I know that I’m not alone in that. Everyone has worked so hard this year to make this show some of the best work that we’ve all ever done. I just can’t believe I’m a part of it.

GALO: I’m definitely excited for the show and am a big fan, so I’ll hold you to this: Is this new season going to be better than the first one?

EH: Oh, gosh. I don’t want to take anything away from the first season — not that I could at all. I had a few people on set say to me that this is the hardest that they’ve ever worked on a project, and so I think that the hard work and blood appears in everything. It is only going to mean that this season is going to shine. I’m sure of it.

GALO: You mentioned blood. This show is kind of known for having a lot of that. Without giving too much away about the new season, are you taking part in any of the violent scenes?

EH: I have to be really careful about what I say here. I don’t want to get in trouble. I think it wouldn’t be Fargo if there wasn’t a ton of bloodshed. I think if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed. I promise you that.

Fargo -- “Loplop” -- Episode 208 (airs Monday, November 30, 10:00 pm e/p). Pictured: (l-r) Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blumquist, Jesse Plemons as Ed Blumquist. Photo Credit: Chris Large/FX.

Fargo — “Loplop” — Episode 208 (airs Monday, November 30, 10:00 pm e/p). Pictured: (l-r) Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blumquist, Jesse Plemons as Ed Blumquist. Photo Credit: Chris Large/FX.