Valley City native Tom Musgrave is set to appear in an upcoming TV adaption of the 1996 film Fargo, which is slated to air in 10 episodes on FX this spring.
Musgrave will play Bo Munk, the boss of main character Lester Nygaard, played by Martin Freeman, a well-known actor who's appeared in The Office, Sherlock and The Hobbit film trilogy.
The TV series of the same name will somewhat mirror the 1996 Academy Award-winning film, which, set in North Dakota, revolves around a car salesman who hires two men to kidnap his wife for ransom. While the film actors won’t be reprising their roles, the new rendition of the movie will focus on new characters in similar situations, in a story that takes place over 10 episodes.
Musgrave said the TV show's plot centers around Freeman's character finding himeself down on his luck and into some financial problems. By trying to better himself he digs himself a worse and worse hole.
"Billy Bob Thorton plays the outsider that comes to the upper Midwest and stirs the pot," he said.
Thorton's character is Lorne Malvo. According to Internet Movie Database, other actors and actresses set to star in the show are Kate Walsh, best known for her roles in ABC dramas Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice; Colin Hanks, best known for starring in the 2002 film Orange County, as well as television roles in Roswell, Band of Brothers and Dexter; Glenn Howerton, known for his role on FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; and Bob Odenkirk who played a lawyer in AMC's Breaking Bad.
Filming will take place in Calgary, Canada, beginning mid-November through spring next year.
Joel and Ethan Coen, who wrote, directed and produced the movie, will act as executive producers for the TV series project, Musgrave said. "To be working with the Coen Brothers is like a dream come true," he said, adding "they're from the upper Midwest too."
Musgrave said he hopes people watch and see the fun in the series and "what the Coen Brothers do with people of the upper Midwest. It's not trying to make fun of (them). It's a wonderful backdrop because in a way the upper Midwest is exotic to people, meaning they just don't know it."
"Our population is sparse, and so to put a dark story on that backdrop just works perfectly," he continued. "It's done with love."
The film's known for its actors speaking with what some call an exaggerated upper Midwest accent and dialect.
When auditioning for his role, Musgrave said, "The accent wasn't any problem with me. I just had to revert back to closing these vowels here."
"I think that was a big hurdle trying to get people to do the accent in a realistic manner and not go way too cartoony or over-the-top with it. I was lucky that was just there and I didn't have to work at it."
Musgrave grew up in Valley City, attending elementary school at St. Catherine's Elementary School. He later graduated from Valley City High School in 1992 and went on to attend the University of North Dakota for accounting. After realizing that didn't make him happy and with a little push from his dad, Tom Musgrave, Sr., Valley City, the younger Musgrave decided to transfer to the Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he entered its theater program.
His interest in acting began way before that, though.
"I remember one of my first roles, where I thought, 'This is awesome,'" Musgrave said. "We did Alice in Wonderland (at St. Kate's), and I played Tweedledee. I knew right then that this is something possibly I wanted to do."
When he was in the fifth grade, he auditioned for a role in Hansel and Gretel in City Park. He landed one of the lead roles, playing Hansel.
"I couldn't have been more excited for that," he said.
When he began at Minnesota State University Moorhead, he said, "I was a total fish out of water because I had no idea what was going on."
He soon realized acting is what he wanted to do and after graduating, he moved to Minneapolis, where he starred in Tony n' Tina's Wedding at Hey City theater as well as several commercials and in-house videos for Best Buy, which is headquartered in the metro.
He moved to Los Angeles, where he currently lives, after the suggestion from a friend working in a talent agency who'd seen him in commercials.
"I came out here and landed a recurring role on That 80s Show," a short-lived spinoff series of That 70s Show, Musgrave said. He also appeared in Beethoven's 5th film and has done several commercials and theater in LA. Those who want to stay current on Musgrave's acting career can visit www.tommusgrave.com .
Musgrave met his wife Shannon while attending Minnesota State University Moorhead and they have a five-year-old son Jack. Most of his family lives back home. His dad, Tom Musgrave, Sr., works as a caretaker at Maryvale Convent; his mom Colleen Musgrave manages and runs the hot lunch program at St. Catherine's Elementary School; his brother Dave Musgrave works at Heartland Flax in Valley City; and his brother Dan Musgrave is a Catholic priest in Fargo.
Musgrave's father said, "I remember when Tom moved out to LA to pursue his dream, he told me that on the average, it takes 13 years to be an 'overnight success' and he has been hard at it ever since. It is a very demanding job that requires a great deal of dedication and the ability to accept countless rejections. I truly admire his dedication to his trade."
Read this story in Wednesday's Times-Record.