Jesse Plemons on His Recent Roles and 15 Minute Scenes: “This is exactly why I do this”

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“It’s always a tricky position when your opinions start to slip into a character.” – Jesse Plemons

Since his breakthrough televisions roles on Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, and his Emmy Award-nominated role in Fargo, actor Jesse Plemons has been building an impressive resume in film, including roles in The Master, Bridge of Spies, The Post, and The Irishman. In an interview with The Irish Times, Plemons spoke about two of his more recent roles in acclaimed films and the unique circumstances surrounding both of his roles in those movies.

Plemons recalls the unique circumstances of shooting Charlie Kaufman‘s Netflix release I’m Thinking of Ending Things, in which Plemons spends nearly the entire film in a car. He reveals, “Time didn’t exist for us. We were in that car for four days, but you could have told me it was two years or 20 minutes and I’d have believed you. The vehicle was being rocked like a boat – it wasn’t even on a sound stage, it was in this warehouse filled with antiques and oddities. There were guys throwing fake snow at the windscreen for the entirety of these 15-minute takes. And I thought to myself: ‘This is exactly why I do this.’ I mean, who else gets to do that in their job, you know? I enjoy being pulled in different directions and going down all these rabbit holes.”

In his more recent film Judas and the Black Messiah, Plemons portrays Roy Mitchell, a FBI agent whose investigation of the Black Panther Party eventually leads to the assassination of organization leader Fred Hampton (portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya). Though Plemons disliked the action of the character when he was reading the screenplay, as an actor he knew he had to put those feelings aside to properly portray the character. He explains, “As I was reading, I felt myself starting to have some judgments about Roy. I had to back away from that and focus on the purpose he serves in the film. It’s always a tricky position when your opinions start to slip into a character.”

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