Anyone who's caught Adam Goldberg on Fargo knows his character, Mr. Numbers, is not to be trifled with. He's one-half of a mysterious team of hitmen who have a penchant for tossing people in frozen-over lakes and are after Lorne (Billy Bob Thornton). I caught up with the actor to chat about the challenges of having a deaf partner (Russell Harvard) on the show, and to find out whether he'd heard the true story that inspired the original movie.
POPSUGAR: Did you have any hesitation joining a show that is based on a hit movie?
Adam Goldberg: No, my only hesitation was mainly whether I could work it out with my schedule and whether I would be able to learn sign language stuff well enough and in time. I figured between the pedigree of the network, the movie, and [writer] Noah [Hawley], with whom I worked on The Usuals, it all seemed really appealing.
PS: Have you been overwhelmed by the positive response the series has gotten?
AG: No. It's great! When we were doing it, it seemed good, and the early response from the network was extremely positive. I didn't read everything [in the script] all the time, so I didn't necessarily always have a grander sense of what was going on on the show, so when I saw the pilot, I was pretty blown away, and I expected it would get a decent response. It did probably have to do more in garnering that positive response because there was such skepticism. I think that's fair. If I hadn't been involved, I maybe would have been skeptical too.
PS: Your partner in Fargo, Mr. Wrench, is deaf. What do you think that adds to your relationship?
AG: I think it makes it an original relationship, especially given the context of their particular profession. It also lends itself to an old married-couple quality, because there's a certain irritability that my character has having to always deal with translating. They're joined at the hip for better or for worse, deaf or hearing. You can't have one without the other.
PS: How do you imagine Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench met?
AG: Russell would talk about that, but I chose not to delve into that too deeply. I felt I would benefit more from knowing less. The direction really was that we were "from anywhere," and I found that to be a very liberating thing. I like that they were born to do this and they're like automatons on a mission, in a way.
PS: There's a lot of of death on the show. When you signed on, was there any part of you hoping for a really gruesome death scene?
AG: I've been killed quite a few times, I guess Saving Private Ryan most notably, and it's kind of hard to top that when it comes to gruesome deaths.
PS: Have you heard the true story that initially inspired Fargo?
AG: There isn't one.
PS: There actually was: The Woodchipper Murder.
AG: Oh, wow, I did not know about that.
PS: In that case, got any spoilers for me?
AG: Superpowers! He has superpowers. You'll see.