In the classic tales of good versus evil, the flawless heroes wore white, rode in on their golden palominos and thwarted the dastardly plot of the black-hatted bad guy. But on modern television show’s like “Fargo,” the knight in shinning armor is often almost as banged up and bedraggled as the villain he’s trying to catch. Such is the case with Colin Hanks’ character, Gus Grimley, on “Fargo.” While the Duluth Police Officer may have the best of intentions, he certainly isn’t the man most people would call in their moment of crisis.
In a recent conference call interview, Hanks talked about the fact that Gus doesn’t even consider himself to be the champion of the show, “He doesn’t necessarily hold himself in a heroic stance. He doesn’t necessarily speak in heroic tones or anything like that.”
Gus Grimley Is Not a Typical Hero
And yes, as Hanks pointed out, Gus may be more representative of off-screen valor. As he pointed out, “Approaching this in as realistic a manner as we can, and that was a goal for all of us with the show, oftentimes, your real heroes are not necessarily six-pack abs and huge biceps that come and save the day. They’re people that maybe don’t want to be heroes. The thing that they’re doing, they don’t want to be doing, but they have to do it because they’re compelled to do it.”
He continued, “Oftentimes, I find that the people that you really call heroes, they’re just doing their job. They’re doing what they’re supposed to do because they have a sense of duty. But it’s not this super, queue the music telling the audience how to feel, here’s our hero moment. They call them hero moments for Christ’s sake.”
Colin Hanks Would Be Happy to Step Away from His Clean Cut Persona
Hanks has had his own hero moments throughout his almost two decade-long career, since making his debut appearance in his father Tom’s film “That Thing You Do.” He played a clean cut police officer on “Roswell,” a clean-cut Lieutenant in “Band of Brothers” and a clean cut priest on “Mad Men.” Even when Hanks went dark, he played a clean-cut serial killer on “Dexter.” But the 36-year-old actor says he’d be more than happy to break the mold and take on a scruffier on-screen persona.
“I always want to try and do different things, and I’ve had an opportunity to do it a couple of times and I’m always looking for a chance to do something different,” explained Hanks. “I don’t necessarily want to repeat myself at any time. And I don’t want to just do the same version, the same guy, over and over and over again. I want to be able to do different things and to evolve and constantly try to find those roles.”
Colin Hanks Always Has His Sites Set on the Next Gig
It seems Hanks is always on the prowl for the next gig. He may come from Hollywood royalty but that doesn’t mean he gets handed parts every day. As he conceded that when it comes to being a working actor, “it may seem really glamorous and all that stuff, but at the same time, we’re all still sitting here going, ‘When’s the next job? When’s that going to come?’ I think that’s an inherent thing in all actors regardless of where they’re at in their career.”
For his part, Hanks just wants to continue to get opportunities to hone his craft, “I still really enjoy the creation of it. I enjoy the doing of it, if you will,” he acknowledged. “I enjoy being on set. I enjoy working. I enjoy collaborating with people and trying to make the thing come alive, make it hum. And when you get an opportunity such as this, such as ‘Fargo,’ where the writing is so good, the characters are so good and it’s a challenge and yet it’s a challenge that you’ve been hoping for and waiting for. It’s really fun when you get that opportunity to be able to do it.”
And “Fargo” is also really fun to watch. Tune in every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on FX.