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Olivia Sandoval

In the dark yet humorous world of “Fargo,” Olivia Sandoval plays a chatty cop who winds up working with Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) on one of season three’s main narratives. As she said in our interview, “Expect the unexpected!”

What sparked your initial interest in acting?

Both of my parents are actors and I was raised in a community of actors and artists. Going to the theatre was a big part of my childhood. It was seeing Julie Taymor’s “The Green Bird” when I was seven that made it official for me. I could not believe the magic I was seeing and I knew I always wanted to be a part of that world. It was a profound moment that I will never forget!

How did you get your role on “Fargo”?

The old-fashioned way – I auditioned! Of course I was thrilled to have the chance to go in for such a respected show, and then when I read the scene, well… I wanted the part so badly I could hardly stand it. I felt immediately connected to Winnie and the writing was at a level unlike anything I had ever read. I felt so lucky just to have the opportunity to say those words and embody Winnie even if just for the audition. After the initial read, a long period of time went by and I did not hear anything, so I let it go in the way you get used to letting things go in this business. So the callback was a complete surprise! I feel so honored to have been entrusted to play such an incredible character alongside such brilliant actors. It is extremely humbling.

What personal characteristics did you bring to your character Winnie?

We are definitely both talkers! That is for sure. I also consider myself a pretty open and friendly person. It is easy for me to have a conversation with just about anyone and I think in Winnie’s case that is both a genuine aspect of her personality and also a strength when it comes to her police work.

What has it been like working/promoting with this particular cast of “Fargo”?

It was/is the most fun, fulfilling and transformative experience of my life. Sounds dramatic, but there is no hyperbole. It is such an incredible group; I cannot say enough. Here we have actors from all over the world, in all different stages of our careers and we got along like we had known each other our whole lives. Both on and off camera. I cannot remember a time I laughed so much. Not only did we have an absolute blast, but I will forever be grateful to the mentorship they provided me as a newcomer. They are wonderful friends and I love them all dearly. We were so sad to say goodbye at the end.

Have you had a favorite moment in-front of the camera or behind the scenes on “Fargo”?

So many! I could go on and on about the privilege of working with such accomplished actors – that is a given. One memory that comes to mind would be when most of the cast were out eating dinner and Mary, my favorite dance partner in the world, started dancing in our chairs to the music in the restaurant. We eventually took our dance party out into the streets and did like 20 minutes of choreography. We did this all the time. I remember Mike Barker, one of the director, once said, “Would you look at these two nutjobs?!” We could not help ourselves. If there were any music on at all, anywhere, we would be dancing.

What can fans expect from the rest of the season?

Things have only just begun! There are lots of intense action and a new character is introduced who is one of my favorites. Noah Hawley is a genius when it comes to twists and surprises. He is also just a genius. Definitely expect the unexpected.

How has your experience on “Fargo” compared to your past opportunities?

I do not think it can compare. This is by far my favorite thing I have ever done, not to mention my first big role, so needless to say I am a little spoiled. I have been out chasing pavement for some time now and I will say is that it was worth all the struggle and rejection and self doubt to get to this moment. I said to my family after my first day of work – after my wedding day – this is the best day of my life!

If you could play any character besides Winnie, who would it be and why?

Varga. I mean, c’mon! Although no one can touch what David has created. But I just want to put the teeth on. Once.

What other projects have you been working on/can we expect to see you on in the near future?

The future is unwritten as of yet! I cannot wait to see what is next. In the meantime, I play in an Irish American folk band called Whiskey Sunday (I play the upright bass), so that keeps me busy! I also write and I have a husband and a cat that I love very much. Life is good.

Watch a preview for tonight’s episode of “Fargo” below!



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