Billy Bob Thornton is nominated for an Emmy award for his performance as the mysterious hitman Lorne Malvo on Noah Hawley’s TV miniseries re-telling of the Coen brothers’ 1996 cult classic Fargo.
The show stars Billy Bob Thornton as charming hitman Lorne Malvo and Sherlock’s Martin Freeman as average insurance salesman Lester Nygaard. Like the movie, it explores everyday life in the Midwest and how that life is disrupted (or not) by brutal violence. The story hinges around violent crime and the inexperienced police officers attempting to solve it. Malvo, a drifter, pushes the violence into action and drags the inept Nygaard along for the ride, while police officers Molly Solverson and Gus Grimly — who comes all the way to the town of Bemidji from Duluth due to his sense of guilt for a mistake that only made the case worse — try to make sense of the possibility that organized crime could have reached their neck of the woods.
The entire leading cast — Martin, Alison Tollman (who plays Molly Solverson), and Colin Hanks (who plays Gus Grimly) — are up for Emmy awards, as well as Hawley for the show’s writing, but Thornton is the biggest name attached to the project and, as the star, looks the most likely to take home the trophy.
Thornton has built his career on bad boy roles like Armageddon, Bad Santa, and Love Actually. Shying away from big blockbusters, Thornton has always preferred to style himself as a character actor, and the character of Lorne Malvo continues the strange bad guy parts that he’s gravitated towards. Malvo begins the series with a certain quirky likability typical of Coen brothers films, but as the ten episodes unfold, he becomes more openly psychopathic.