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EXCLUSIVE Q&A: Meet Fargo’s Rodney L. Jones III

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EXCLUSIVE Q&A: Meet Fargo’s Rodney L. Jones III

From attending summer theatre camps to shining as Satchel in Season 4 of the hit FX series, the rising star shares his incredible journey.

Q: Where did you grow up and how did you discover your love of acting?

A: I grew up in Chicago, IL. I started out mostly doing theatre in summer camps and in regional theatre productions. That’s where I really got to understand what acting was all about, and when I decided it was something that I love doing and want to continue doing.

Q: How did it go from a personal hobby to a professional career?

A: Things changed for me when I transitioned from doing commercials and modeling into larger theatre, TV, and film roles. It allowed me to see all of the possibilities of being an actor.

Q. Tell us about your journey auditioning for Fargo.

A: It was a long process. I first taped for it in April. We never heard back, so I didn’t think about it anymore. Then I was asked to audition again in June. Usually you hear back in a few days to a week later. I didn’t, so I forgot about it again. Then, a few weeks later, I found out that I booked the role and I was really surprised and I was really excited!

I hadn’t seen Fargo (the TV show or the movie) because I was too young, so I wasn’t familiar with it. The things I did know about it are that it has a cult following because of the Coen Brothers (and I love their films), Noah Hawley would be the writer/director (and he’s a great filmmaker), and that in the TV series and the film, there’s always snow. Then I learned it would be filmed in my hometown, Chicago, where it definitely snows a lot, and that made it even more exciting!

Q: For people who might be unfamiliar with the show, can you tell us a little bit about it?

A: Fargo installment four is set in Kansas City, in the 1950’s. It follows two crime families fighting for power and a piece of the American Pie. My character, Satchel, is the youngest son of crime boss Loy Cannon (played by Chris Rock) who is traded to an Italian crime family as a means to keep peace during a time where war is looming.

Q: What’s Satchel like?

A: Satchel is a kid who has been thrust into his father’s crime business without even having a choice as to whether he wants to or not. Although he doesn’t give you a clear understanding right away of who he is and what he’s capable of, he will in time. Satchel is strong and observant. He soaks up everything that he learns in life. I’m like him in that way. He’s the type of kid that may be slightly unaware of life’s dangers, but as he faces them, he’ll learn and grow from them. In the first episode just before he’s traded, Loy tells him, “Keep your head down. If there’s any trouble, aim for the balls, then the eyes.” I think he really takes it to heart. Satchel’s always seen, but not heard with the Faddas. But it’s clear that when the time comes, he’ll be ready to swing.

Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever has given you?

A: Be the best “you” you can be. This is important because the only person you need to be is you, and as long as you’re the best version of yourself, one that tries hard and strives to accomplish their goals, then you’re perfect.

Q: What would you say to anyone out there with big dreams?

A: Whatever your dream is, it’s your dream so no one can tell you that it’s not. No one can tell you not to dream. Follow your dream how you want to follow it, and be who you want to be.

Season 4 of Fargo is streaming now on FX on Hulu. 

Photos: Elizabeth Morris/FX

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