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See the Cast of ‘Fargo’ Then and Now

Fargo
Gramercy Pictures

Joel and Ethan Coen’s ‘Fargo’ tells the story of a pregnant police chief (Coen mainstay Frances McDormand and wife of Joel) as she tracks down the perpetrators behind a series of grisly homicides in Minneapolis, Minnesota — leading her to two henchmen hired by a local car salesman to kidnap his wife. The film, released in 1996, became an instant cult hit. Today we take a look back at the cast of the film and see what they’re up to these days.

Frances McDormand, Marge Gunderson

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Then: Frances McDormand, wife of Joel Coen, played Marge Gunderson — pregnant police chief investigating a series of homicides. McDormand previously made her big screen debut in the Coen brothers’ ‘Blood Simple,’ and also appeared in their films ‘Raising Arizona,’ ‘Miller’s Crossing,’ and ‘Barton Fink.’

Now: McDormand also appeared in the Coen brothers’ 2008 film ‘Burn After Reading,’ and has recently appeared in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and ‘Promised Land.’

William H. Macy, Jerry Lundegaard

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Then: William H. Macy was so convinced he was perfect for the role of Jerry Lundegaard (a car salesman who hires criminals to kidnap his wife) that, after not hearing back from the Coens after two auditions, he flew to New York where they were prepping to shoot the movie. Macy told the Coen brothers that he was concerned that they were making a huge mistake by not giving him the role.

Now: Macy stars on the Showtime series ‘Shameless,’ and has recently appeared in the films ‘The Sessions’ and ‘A Single Shot.’ He’s currently in post-production on ‘Rudderless,’ his directorial debut.

Steve Buscemi, Carl Showalter

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Then: The Coen brothers specifically wrote the part of criminal Carl Showalter for Steve Buscemi. Carl and his buddy Gaear are paid by Jerry to kidnap his wife so her father will pay a hefty ransom.

Now: Buscemi plays Nucky Thompson on HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ now entering its fourth season. He’s also recently appeared in ‘Monsters University’ and ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.’

Peter Stormare, Gaear Grimsrud

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Then: Swedish actor Peter Stormare regretted turning down a role in the Coen brothers’ ‘Miller’s Crossing,’ so he jumped at the chance to play Gaear Grimsrud, Carl’s criminal cohort in ‘Fargo.’

Now: Stormare is a very busy actor who appears in an incredible variety of films each year — in 2013 alone he’s appeared in ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,’ ‘Bad Milo,’ ‘The Last Stand,’ and Terry Gilliam’s upcoming sci-fi flick ‘Zero Theorem,’ to name a few.

Tony Denman, Scotty Lundegaard

Gramercy Pictures/Full Circle

Then: Tony Denman played Scotty, Jerry’s son. He had previously appeared in ‘Little Big League’ and ‘Angus.’

Now: Denman went on to star in ‘Sorority Boys,’ as well as a few of those direct-to-DVD National Lampoon movies. His last film credit is the 2009 comedy ‘Transylmania,’ and he’s spent the last year starring in short films. He also appeared in a series of commercials for Captain Morgan’s rum.

John Carroll Lynch, Norm Gunderson

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Then: John Carroll Lynch, best known for playing Drew Carey’s cross-dressing brother on ‘The Drew Carey Show,’ played Norm, Marge’s husband. McDormand and Lynch were asked to come up with a back story for their characters, so they decided that Marge and Norm were both on the police force until Marge became pregnant, and they had to choose who would quit working — Marge was the better cop, so she stayed on, and Norm became a painter.

Now: Lynch has appeared in films like ‘Zodiac,’ ‘Shutter Island,’ and ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’ He starred on seasons one and two of ‘Body of Proof,’ and can be seen next in the indie film ‘The Pretty One.’

Steve Park, Mike Yanagita

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Then: Former ‘In Living Color’ cast member and ‘Do the Right Thing’ star Steve Park played lonely Mike Yanagita, Marge’s old schoolmate.

Now: Park now acts under the name Stephen Park, and also appeared in the Coen brothers’ ‘A Serious Man.’ He’s starred in a series of Schick razor commercials, and appeared on ‘Elementary’ as Joan Watson’s brother, Oren. Park is married to fellow former ‘In Living Color’ cast member Kelly Coffield.

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