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‘Ted Lasso’? ‘The Offer’? Nothing prepares you for the Juno Temple you see in ‘Fargo’

Juno Temple lies on a couch with her feet up against the mirror behind it
“People underestimating you can be an advantage. It’s good to surprise people,” says Juno Temple, star of “Fargo” Season 5.
(Ryan Pfluger / For The Times)
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If the dictionary ever needed a picture next to the word “moxie,” Juno Temple‘s image would suffice. The London-born star of this season’s “Fargo” has been a working actor since her first audition at 17 (2006’s “Notes on a Scandal”), gone on to pop up in such features as “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) and TV series like “Dirty John” (2018). She broke big as model turned PR maven Keeley in “Ted Lasso” in 2020 and stole scenes in 2022’s “The Offer.”

None of them prepare you for the Juno Temple you see in Season 5 of FX’s “Fargo.” As Dorothy “Dot” Lyon, she’s a pancake-making housewife with a hidden history and a powerful right hook.

Temple spoke with The Envelope on her way home in L.A. (no, she wasn’t driving — she doesn’t have a license) about being engaged, lobster pantyhose and running faster than Tom Cruise.

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“Fargo” returns to FX on Tuesday, and the series is centered once again in Minnesota, with a fifth season starring Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jon Hamm.

Nov. 20, 2023

Fans of 1980s music surely know your father, Julien Temple, directed videos by Janet Jackson and David Bowie, and movies like 1988’s “Earth Girls Are Easy” and 1986’s “Absolute Beginners.”

He’s the reason I do what I do, you know? I grew up with a mind like his. I can’t help but find a sliver of light even in the most bleak of concrete. I’ve always said he’s a musician, but his instrument is a camera.

Are you also a big music fan?

I love music so much. It heightens all your emotions. It can be the reason you remember things. It’s an extraordinary place to tap into, listening to music. And I make soundtracks for my characters. Music can take you to places you can’t get to on your own.

A woman and a girl sit together looking frightened in "Fargo."
Juno Temple may be petite, but she gets plenty physical in “Fargo.”
(Michelle Faye / FX)

Did you always plan to get into acting?

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I got a scholarship to the London College of Fashion because I wanted to design surrealist lingerie. I love surrealists and the art they make. I wanted to do melting-clock corsets and lobster pantyhose. But then I booked my first acting job [“Scandal”] and ended up deferring.

With “Ted Lasso,” “The Offer” and now “Fargo,” you’re getting some pretty dynamic parts. Your characters are scrappy, inventive, creative and self-confident. How much of that is you — or aspirational you?

I wish I could say more of it was me. I think their ability to love and be present — they feel very alive in the moment. That’s a gorgeous trait. I can be guilty of getting panicky and thinking ahead and screwing up the moment I’m in. So when I have a character that is more present in the moment, I try to take that home with me.

How difficult was it to nail Dot’s very specific Minnesota accent in “Fargo”?

My dialect coach, Liz Himelstein, did the original “Fargo” movie and has done every season since. I started working with her while I was shooting “Ted Lasso,” which was interesting for my fiancé [actor Michal Szymanski]. He was like, “There’s a lot of people in this apartment right now — Keely, Juno and Dot.” I have two younger brothers who are two of my best mates, and they came over for dinner and I did my best Minnesota [accent], and they both looked at me like, “How long will it be until you stop?” It’s fun, a really complex accent — and when it clicks, oh, my God. I started doing it everywhere. When we were filming, I stayed in the accent the whole time. Not the character, but in the accent.

Showrunner Noah Hawley discusses Season 5 of “Fargo,” which draws from the film and is set in a more recent period from past seasons, the writers’ strike and his upcoming adaptation of ‘Aliens.’

Nov. 22, 2023

Dot was also a very physical role, and you’re a very petite woman. Do you find sometimes you get underestimated in Hollywood because of your smaller stature?

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People underestimating you can be an advantage. It’s good to surprise people. I had to do a running sequence on “Fargo,” and Mitch [Dubin], our heavenly camera operator, told me I ran faster than Tom Cruise. So being able to surprise people with secret athleticism is something that surprised me, actually. I guess if I’m being chased by something that’s really frightening or I’m getting paid, I can run really fast!

Is there something you won’t, or can’t, do on a set?

I cannot work with spiders. I am truly arachnophobic. There was an incident during “Ted Lasso” where I was going downstairs to get some fresh air, and I’m in Keeley’s miniskirt, big platform heels, whole thing. I’m good in high heels — I can run through airports in them. But there was a spider the size of a tarantula in the staircase, and I fell down three flights of stairs. I landed at Jason’s [Sudeikis] feet. I sort of bounced.

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