Colin Hanks takes on bold new role (Exclusive Interview)

Colin Hanks takes on bold new role
Interview by Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net

On June 17, the critically-acclaimed series Fargo, concludes its 10 episode, limited run on the FX Television Network. With an all-star cast that includes Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton (Friday Night Lights), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) and Colin Hanks (son of the legendary actor Tom Hanks), the series is an adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ Academy Award-winning feature film of the same name.

In the series premiere, Hanks (who plays Duluth Police Deputy “Gus Grimly”) is faced with the difficult choice of whether to allow a killer to go free at a routine traffic stop, in order to protect himself and his daughter (played by Joey King). His decision to let Lorne Malvo (played by Billy Bob Thornton) drive away that night is something that later haunts him.

Hanks recently talked to me about his dramatic new on-screen role that Entertainment Weekly calls, “Hanks’ finest work.”

“I was really interested in the challenge of okay, well how do I make ‘Gus’ seemingly not so transparent. How do I keep a little bit of ‘Gus’ a mystery? So that people will actually be engaged and not just say, ‘Well, I know everything that this dude’s thinking, and I know everything that he’s going to do, and he’s just this pushover character.’”

Colin Hanks stars as Gus Grimley in the FX Original Series "Fargo." Photo by Matthias Clamer/FX
Colin Hanks stars as Gus Grimley in the FX Original Series “Fargo.” Photo by Matthias Clamer/FX

“At no point did I feel like I had ‘Gus’ nailed down. At no point did I feel like I knew exactly what I was doing,” Hanks said. “I was constantly trying to discover angles, discover facets of ‘Gus’ and how to bring that across.”

For Hanks, the complexity of the role and its unique conflict was something that attracted him to the part. “Those sorts of challenges, that kind of stuff, I really love doing,” he said. “That, to me, is always something that I’m looking for, that sort of naturalistic performance. That’s always something that I’m wanting to do. I was very happy that I got the opportunity to do it.”

With its original blend of dark humor and moments of violence and suspense, Fargo is not your ordinary tale of murder and mystery. Set in the wintry landscape of Minnesota, the series was written by Noah Hawley, who re-imagined the Coen Brothers tale with a new cast of characters.

“When you get an opportunity such as Fargo, where the writing is so good, the characters are so good – it’s a challenge,” Hanks said. “And yet it’s a challenge that you’ve been hoping for and waiting for. It’s really fun when you get that opportunity to be able to do it.”

At the age of 36, Hanks still relishes the thrill of acting, even with an already impressive resume of feature films and television roles.

“For me, I still really enjoy the creation of it. I enjoy the doing of it, if you will,” he said. “I enjoy being on set. I enjoy working. I enjoy collaborating with people and trying to make the thing come alive – make it hum.”

As the series approaches its finale, he is looking forward to his next project. “It may seem really sort of glamorous and all that stuff, but at the same time, we’re all still sitting here going, when’s the next job, when’s that going to come?” Hanks said. “I think that’s an inherent thing in all actors, regardless of where they’re at in their career.”

Fargo airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. For more entertainment news, follow Michael Aaron Gallagher on Twitter @MichaelTVNews.

Colin Hanks takes on bold new role
Copyright 2014 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photography courtesy of FX

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