Freeman: I didn't watch Fargo film
8:51am Friday 18th April 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Martin Freeman has revealed he stayed away from watching the Fargo film, once he signed on for the TV version.
The Hobbit star admitted he chose not to re-watch the Coen brothers' crime drama before shooting, so his performance wouldn't be a copy of it.
"I definitely didn't re-watch it, purposely. I like the film, but I didn't feel I wanted to be influenced by it," he said.
"I wanted to play what was in the script. The tone of the TV show is set by Noah Hawley's scripts, which obviously are influenced by the Coen brothers, and I always go on whatever script I'm working on at the time."
Martin plays henpecked insurance salesman Lester Nygaard in the TV show, who finds a new boost of confidence when he meets Billy Bob Thornton's character Lorne Malvo.
The 42-year-old likened his alter-ego to an "anti-hero" like The Sopranos' Tony Soprano.
"We give people titles such as 'anti-hero', but essentially they also have to be people you want to follow... They have to be relateable and likeable to a certain extent - like Walter White from Breaking Bad. I think people like the anti-hero at the moment because they demand something a bit more complex than just 'goodies' and 'baddies' in drama and I'm all for that," he said.
"Artistically it's a bit more interesting too, and as far as life is concerned, it's more instructive as nobody in the real world is either just a 'goodie' or a 'baddie'. And if good television is reflecting this more then I'm very happy."
He added: "I really loved it and had a thoroughly good time. The work was demanding and challenging, allowing you to flex your muscles as an actor."
:: Fargo begins on Channel 4 on April 20.