Who Is 'Fargo's Allison Tolman? The Up-and-Coming Actress Is One to Watch
By now you've definitely seen the teasers and heard the buzz for FX's 10-episode series Fargo , which premieres Tuesday. How could you not? The chilling, yet darkly hilarious saga is loosely based off of the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning chilling, yet darkly hilarious cult darling of the same name (the show is more of an homage to the movie than anything) and features a wildly impressive ensemble cast. Among Fargo 's notable names are Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Glenn Howerton, Kate Walsh, Adam Goldberg, and Oliver Platt. And while the established stars of Fargo all turn in some pretty incredible performances (you can pretty much lock Thornton in for an Emmy nomination now), the one who steals the show is a newcomer you probably haven't heard of before. But don't worry, you will soon... because Allison Tolman is about to become a household name.
Tolman — whose short list of previous credits include a one-episode stint as "Nurse" on Prison Break — plays detective Molly Solverson, a Marge Gunderson-like character (remember, it's not the same story or people, just similar elements like vicious crimes, unbearably cold scenery, and hilarious Midwestern accents) trying to solve a series of murders that have unfolded in the town of Bemidji, Minnesota. (The show is says it is based on true events, with only the names changed.)
Tolman's Molly is a smart, determined, sensitive, headstrong, and downright lovable character who is always about ten steps ahead of her dopey or distracted male counterparts. Fargo may be a dark, cynical and cold world, but Molly Solverson gives it the heart and soul it needs to survive in such a climate. She is one of the best characters, female or otherwise (step aside, Hart and Cohle), in recent memory on TV and that's all thanks to their leading lady.
If the age of troubled male antihero has reached its peak, then Fargo's Molly Solverson is the antidote for that. And if Molly Solverson is the type of character you root for (and you will), then Allison Tolman is exactly the kind of actress you root for. She's not only has the adorable girl-next-door look, but she has a captivating presence that goes well beyond that. Tolman may remind you of your best friend or your sister, but she can take hold the screen and strike a balance of funny and authentic and deadly serious as well as the best of them. As well as Frances McDormand in the very role that won her an Oscar for Fargo.
From interviews (like the one she conducted with the Wall Street Journal ) to her Twitter (come on, you'd totally take selfies with Bob Odenkirk if you had the chance, too) to her delightful website (which promises a blog of "funny and insightful shit" that's coming soon) Tolman seems as approachable and down-to-Earth as you'd expect. If the past past years have taught us anything from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o, it's that we like our it girls to be humble and genuine and fun, and Tolman certainly seems to fit that bill.
Just like Molly, Allison is a new, strong female to root for in an oft male-dominated world who was already ahead of the curve before everyone around her knew what hit them. Keep an eye out for both of these two, they'll surprise you... in the best way possible.