Creator Noah Hawley on Season 3 of ‘Fargo’: ‘I Woke Up From a Nap With This Idea of Two Brothers’

FARGO -- Ewan McGregor
Chris Large/FX
Ewan McGregor as Ray Stussy in Fargo

Season 2 of Fargo was an astounding winner. How do you top it? The answer for series creator Noah Hawley: Sleep on it. An atypical siesta for Hawley became the genesis of Season 3. “I rarely take naps,” he says, “but I woke up from this one with this idea about two brothers played by the same actor. The characters were teenagers, their dad died and left the older one a sports car and the younger one stamps. Knowing that the latter rise in value, the older brother offers to trade with the younger one—and then uses the money to start a parking lot empire.”

The brothers became Emmit and Ray Stussy (both played by Ewan McGregor, pictured here as Ray), whose feud carries into adulthood. When Season 3 opens, in 2010, Ray is trying to turn his fortunes around, which leads to a petty theft and then to murder. Meanwhile, Emmit’s seemingly rosy life as the “Parking Lot King of Minnesota” is threatened by the arrival of V. M. Varga (David Thewlis), a creepy debt collector with teeth to match. Enter police chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon), a newly single mom who loses her normal cool when the case gets personal.

“The world Gloria thought made sense doesn’t anymore,” says Hawley. “As a result, she’s a little more standoffish and pricklier than [Frances McDormand’s] Marge from the Fargo movie or [Allison Tolman’s] Molly from Season 1. She’s not going to talk about her feelings. But she’s not going to give up either.”

Fargo, Wednesdays, 10/9c, FX