Love The 'Fargo' Season 2 Cast? Check Out Their Best Pre-'Fargo' Work

One of the best things about Fargo Season 2 is the stellar cast. Every year the show somehow manage to assemble the best actors in television for any given year ranging from movie stars to long-beloved character actors. However, because Fargo has such a wide variety of stars, it's likely that you won't recognize everyone. For each person who goes, "Isn't that Charlene from Designing Women?" it's just as likely there is one who asks, "Where did this Patrick Wilson guy come from?" Luckily, I've done some police work and dug up the Fargo Season 2 cast's previous films and television shows you've got to watch if you're a fan of their work this season.

Fargo is noted for its willingness to cast against "type," allowing its actors to show off their acting chops by being more than just "charming and clever government official" or "clumsy, yet witty love interest." Therefore, some of the fun of show is missed if you don't recognize actors from previous instance. For example there's a sense of entertainment in realizing that the stoic, intimidating Sheriff Hank Larsson is played by a man who spent 11 years playing American's most beloved television bartender. But, miss these references no more! Here are some of the essential roles of Fargo 's Season 2 cast.

Patrick Wilson — Joe Pitt in Angels In America

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Patrick Wilson, who plays Lou Solverson in Fargo, is no stranger to being in an all-star cast. Wilson's first major televised role was as closeted mormon Joe Pitt in HBO's Angels in America miniseries. Wilson had been doing theatre for a few years beforehand, but Angels in America proved to be his big break into film and television, starring alongside legendary performers like Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, and Emma Thompson.

Jean Smart — Charlene Frazier-Stillfield in Designing Women

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Jean Smart may be playing the stern, chilling matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family, but she's most commonly known for her role as the goofy office manager Charlene in the sitcom Designing Women. Smart has had a long career that has seen her play roles in everything from The Brady Bunch Movie to Snow Day (She was the mom!), but Fargo has Smart playing her most villainous role ever, and doing it very well!

Jesse Plemons — Landry Clarke in Friday Night Lights

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Before Jesse Plemons was putting in late night hours at the butcher's shop as Ed Blumquist, helping get rid of the one of his wife's victims by giving them the ol' Sweeney Todd treatment, Plemons played one of television greatest high school outsiders on one of television's greatest shows about high school. Friday Night Lights focused on a high school football team in Texas, and Landry goes from comic relief best friend to kicker extraordinaire by the end of the series. He also fronted a metal band on the show, but let's not focus too much on that, just enough so that that mistake is never made again.

Ted Danson — Sam Malone in Cheers

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Ted Danson played lovable bartender and bar owner Sam Malone for all eleven years of Cheers' legendary run. As the main character of one of the longest-running sitcoms of all time, Danson did a lot of silly things for the show — including the most ridiculous rapping you're likely to ever hear — but has is taking a full dramatic turn for the role of Hank Larsson.

Kirsten Dunst — Justine in Melancholia

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Kirsten Dunst is often seen playing romantic comedy love interests — her role in Elizabethtown inspired the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" — but has been known to take dramatic roles before. While Peggy Blumquist is unlike any dramatic role she has played before, Dunst took home one of the most prestigious awards in acting — the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress — for her role in Melancholia. In it, Dunst plays a woman whose dissatisfaction with life leads to an incredibly cathartic wedding, and then she has to deal with the fact that her world is coming to an end. (Replace "wedding" with "car ride," and it's not that different from Fargo after all.)

The major cast members of Fargo have some fantastic filmographies, and that isn't even mentioning the minor cast which has stars from How I Met Your Mother, Battlestar Galactica, and Parks and Recreation. If you're ever struggling to find something to watch, falling into the IMDB rabbit hole of Fargo cast pages is a great way to find something worth watching.