Mary Lynn Rajskub and Kiefer Sutherland
LOS ANGELES -- Some of the biggest stars of Fox and FX, including Zooey Deschanel and recent Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg, hung out with TV critics Monday night at a hotel cocktail party, but I focused on spending time with performers with a Minnesota connection.
That mainly consisted of chatting with actors from FX's "Fargo," which looks extremely promising. Billy Boy Thornton was surprisingly charming as he talked about his relationship with the Coen brothers and the state of music. Allison Tolman, who fills in as the female cop, seemed absolutely thrilled to be involved in the highly anticipated project.
Former Minnesotan Justin Kirk introduced me to his new boss, Gideon Raff, who created "Prisoners of War," the Israeli series on which "Homeland" is based. Kirk, who displayed a good sense of humor about the failure of his last series, "Animal Practice," now stars in Raff's upcoming series, "Tyrants."
Minnesotan Dan Bakkedahl was in good form as I chatted with him and the castmates of "Legit." Show creato/starr Jim Jeffferies was particularly charming as he talked about how his series will get even darker this season as it focuses on addiction.
Former Guthrie regular Rainn Wilson looked slightly weathered, which seemed appropriate since his new character in "Backstrom" is, as he describes him, "a crazy Columbo." He said he still keeps in touch with Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling and that he still hopes to find time to return to the Minneapolis stage.
"New Girl" cast member Hannah Simone talked about how funny and humble Prince was when he did a guest star stint on the episode that will air directly after the Super Bowl.
Things got slightly awkward when Minnesota comic Mary Mack, who voices a character on "Golan the Insatiable," asked me to introduce her to Martin Freeman, who also stars in "Fargo." Mack decided it was a good time to show off her British accent to "The Hobbit" star and then launched into the voice of Dick Van Dyke from "Mary Poppins." Freeman wasn't amused, responding by saying the accent was borderline racist.
Only in Hollywood.