'Fargo's' Allison Tolman chilling out with newfound fame

Allison Tolman on Fargo. (Courtesy FX)

Allison Tolman on Fargo. (Courtesy FX)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:47 PM ET

If TV acting had a “rookie of the year” award, it very well might go to Fargo's Allison Tolman.

Fargo, which airs Tuesdays on FXX Canada and has two episodes remaining in its first season, has been elevated by Tolman's performance as Bemidji, Minn., Police Deputy Molly Solverson. And that's really saying something, considering the cast includes the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh and Oliver Platt.

“When I auditioned for Fargo, when I put myself on tape originally, I was actually unemployed,” Tolman said. “I was sort of 'temp-ing' and auditioning and interviewing in the afternoons. So I put myself on tape for Fargo, and then sort of forgot about it and went about my daily life.

“In the time that passed, I got a job at a photography studio in Chicago as their post-production manager. So I was in charge of all the photos going out and being approved and being mailed to the right places.

“A few weeks later, they called me and asked me to come in and test in New York. Then five days after that, they called and told me I had the role. So it was a really fast way for your life to change that much.”

It was series creator Noah Hawley who called Tolman with the good news.

“The way he tells it, I said, 'Thank you' very politely, and then I had to get off the phone because I had to go back to work,” Tolman said. “I know inside I was definitely freaking out and losing my mind, but he said I was very calm and composed at the time.”

So Allison, you were a good actress on the phone, too.

“I guess so,” Tolman said. “I fooled him.”

It's far tougher to fool Tolman's character in Fargo. Molly Solverson has been the one who won't let things go, even with the crimes that are driving the plot having been “solved,” supposedly. Molly never has been satisfied with the result, and even though we as audience members know she's right, she hasn't had much luck convincing others in the Fargo universe.

“I think the good thing Molly has going for her is she’s a natural detective, her brain works that way,” Tolman said. “If she had remained untested and never had this case come her way, she might never have found that out about herself. But because this landed in her lap, she’s getting to find out just how good she is at this sort of analytical detective work.

“Molly is just driven by this really strong sense of duty. It’s not personal ambition. She’s not snotty about how she’s smarter than everyone. She just sees what needs to be done and feels very strongly about it being accomplished. So she falls into that role not because she wants personal gain or personal glory, but because no one else will do it. I think that’s one of the things that’s most endearing about her.”

Allison Tolman certainly has endeared herself to Fargo fans. Rookie of the year? There should be a trophy.

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