Allison Tolman was unemployed and unsure what she was going to do next with her life in Chicago when she sent in an audition tape to play Molly Solverson on FX’s Fargo. “I wore earmuffs, I think, for one of the scenes to signify it being cold, because I’m a master of my craft,” she remembers. A couple of weeks later, she heard her tape was still being considered. A couple of weeks after that, she heard it again. “I thought, ‘That’s awesome! Maybe the Chicago casting directors will get a bug in their ear and they’ll know who I am, and I’ll book a commercial for the Illinois lottery,’ which would’ve been cool.” Eventually, she got the call to come to New York and test. “I distinctly remember playing ‘Domino’ by Jessie J in my hotel room as I got ready. It’s not a Molly Solverson song at all,” she says, laughing, “but it was a good pump-me-up song.” And five days later, she finally had the part.
We got to know Tolman, a Texas native with a BFA in theatrical performance from Baylor University and Second City’s conservatory program on her résumé, when she stopped by to take our Pop Culture Personality Test. Watch the video below to find out which movie scene she acted out as a child (the photo may be a hint), which TV series she’ll insist you watch (Texas Forever!), and which shows helped shape her sense of humor.
And no, she didn’t fangirl on her Fargo co-star Martin Freeman: “I think I waited until my ‘thank you’ card that I sent him the last day of filming to be like, ‘I’m a really big fan of yours.’ I tried to avoid doing that when we were working together.”
Fargo airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.