Mike Milligan is distinct among Fargo's ensemble, but also in the landscape of your career.
When I first heard about the role and I got the e-mail saying I had to audition for it, I thought it was a mistake. I called my agent and said, "Hey, this is an audition for a 50-year-old, potbellied Italian cat. [Laughs] And their answer is generally, “Well, that’s what they have written, but just go in there and show what you can do and maybe you can change their mind.” Rarely does it happen, but I’ve been able to sway people. Fargo is such a specific thing and has such a specific resonance that I really didn’t see myself in that world, and the material that I got was so limited, so it really struck me as odd to say the least. But at the same time, being a Fargo-phile and having so much respect and reverence for the film -- and things that it represents as far as pushing the envelope -- I was definitely compelled to try.
So I dialed in, and 48 hours later I was in the room with Noah [Hawley, the series creator], and I read for it. I actually kind of flubbed the line; I put one word in a different space, and I kind of rearranged the line. So I figured it’s not happening. And then 48 hours after that, I got the call saying that I had the gig, and it was just crazy. Getting to play Mike Milligan was unexpected. This whole thing has just been a fantastic experience, and at the same time, so strange -- almost like an episode of Fargo in real life.