Article taken from New York Post.
Quality, not quantity, is what Jean Smart is after at this point in her career. It’s also why she turned down a more lucrative network TV job to play Floyd Gerhardt, the mousy matriarch of a Midwestern crime syndicate, in the second season of “Fargo,” premiering Monday night on FX.
Smart, 64, is a 1980s sitcom vet (“Designing Women”) who later became known for Emmy-winning guest roles (“Frasier,” “Samantha Who?”) and for taking surprising dramatic detours (first lady Martha Logan on “24” and serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 1992 TV movie “Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story”).
Her turn on “Fargo” gives her a chance to display her flair for drama and comedy — the dark kind.
How did you come to “Fargo”?
I didn’t know about the part. I had just passed on a series even though I thought, “It’s paying well, I should do this.” Unless I have to, I can’t take a job for the money. Unless my children are going to be out on the street, I have to be a little bit picky. After that, my agent said, “I have a reading for you. ‘Fargo.’ ” I thought, I’m being rewarded.
“Fargo” has an impressive cast: Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, to name a few. Had you worked with any of them?
I worked with Patrick. I know Ted. Jesse [Plemons] I’d never met. Nick Offerman, I’m a big fan, but I’d never worked with him.
When “Monster” came out, did you scream, “Hey, I did that role, too”?
In the privacy of my bedroom I did. I was pea green with envy. I would have loved to have had the freedom they had. No sponsors to answer to. Park Overall played my partner and the network wanted nothing that alluded to the fact that we were a couple. I understand. It’s a business. The networks have to answer to their sponsors. That’s the difficult thing you learn.
You starred on Broadway in a revival of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” When are you coming back to New York?
I’m going to be there the first week in December to do a reading of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” to celebrate the anniversary of the Roundabout Theatre. I can’t wait to see [my former co-star] Nathan Lane. And I may come back to do a play on Broadway in the spring. It’s a mean little comedy, with four actors. I’ve done a reading of the play a few times.