Who Is Kirsten Dunst’s ‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’ Costar Theodore Pellerin?
When Kirsten Dunst came to television it was big news. She’s a movie star with no shortage of opportunities, although TV has been where all the good roles have been for years. Dunst got a taste for it in Fargo season 2, so now she’s starting her own show, On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Her costar is a real discovery, Theodore Pellerin.
Pellerin plays Cody, a seller in the FAM pyramid scheme who recruited Krystal (Dunst)’s husband, thus leading to her family’s bankruptcy. Krystal is out for revenge, while Cody just wants to make FAM founder Obie Garbeau II (Ted Levine) proud. Pellerin and showrunner Esta Spalding spoke with the Television Critics Association about Cody and how they cast Pellerin. On Becoming a God in Central Florida premieres Sunday, August 25 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
Theodore Pellerin and Ted Levine share a spray tan in ‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’
Ted Levine will always be best known as Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. Now, instead of rubbing the lotion on his skin, he’s getting spray tans.
“For Cody it’s sort of like a dream come true,” Pellerin said. “He gets to this point where he’s very close to Obie and he’s finally made it, but it’s also a moment in the show where he starts to have not doubts, but he’s starting to realize that maybe what he truly believed in and what he thought was the answer might not be as perfect as he thought.”
Kirsten Dunst is in the middle of Theodore Pellerin and Ted Levine
Krystal is out for revenge on Obie, the mastermind of the whole FAM scheme. As a friend of her husband’s, Cody is concerned for Krystal, but he may need to watch his own back.
“Being this close with Obie, he’s also so scared for Krystal at that point,” Pellerin said. “It’s very sort of another crisis moment for Cody. So, it was a very strange scene to shoot, but it was fun.”
Cody worships FAM in ‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida.’
Pyramid schemes can be like a cult and FAM is no exception. Spalding said Cody treats it like a religion.
“I think we always thought of Cody as almost the one who sees the scheme as religious in some way,” Spalding said. “Like Obie Garbeau is a god to him. He’s like the father he doesn’t have. His own father you find out eventually is in prison and is there because of Cody. So his obsession with Obie as this god is what draws him and keeps him in FAM.”
Theodore Pellerin isn’t even a native English-speaker
Theodore Pellerin is a Candian actor. Spalding said he was a quick study to play Floridian salesman Cody.
“As far as Theodore goes, what do they say, like catching lightning,” Spalding said. “He read and we saw this taped audition and all of us just went like, ‘He is Cody.’ English is his second language. He’s from Montreal. There were so many things about it that were not exactly but he just was extraordinary. He embodied him, was so funny and he’s so amazing at everything.”
The shenanigans of On Becoming a God in Central Florida required Pellerin to pick up new skills too.
“We taught him to Bachata and he picked it up in two minutes and looks like an expert dancer,” Spalding said. “He’s just this extraordinary shapeshifter. We were so lucky to find him.”
‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’ will test Cody as much as it tests Theodore Pellerin
Early in the series, Cody meets a salesman for a rival pyramid scheme. His competitor is far more successful than he is. FAM will teach Cody that salesmanship will only take him so far.
“I think you just have to believe and you have to be willing to do anything,” Spalding said. “In Cody’s case, that means he’s going to have to decide whether he can stomach violence in the name of moving up the pyramid. So does he have that in him? That’s where FAM takes him, to a pretty violent place.”