Jesse Plemons Talks 'Friday Night Lights,' Fictional Bands and Tiger Woods Advice
Landry seems to be the favorite character of just about every 'FNL' fan. Any idea why?
"I don't know why other people to connect to Landry so much. I know why I do. I think it boils down the fact that he doesn't fit into any particular stereotype. On TV, a lot of shows - especially about high school - tend to have their little stereotypes the characters are supposed to fit in. Landry, you can't really peg, can't really figure him out. Which is something that's kept it interesting for me these last four seasons. He's got a really good heart, really loyal and he's super quirky. I can never really do too much with Landry, which is a lot of fun."
Are the two of you very similar?
"I think with any role that you do, there will be a fairly large portion that you inevitably carry over to what you're doing. He's definitely much more out there. But I played football since I was a kid and we both love music. We have that in common. I'd like to think I was a little bit better with girls than Landry -"
Have you seen Tyra (Adrianne Palicki)?
"I guess he does figure it out."
When he does it, he does it pretty well.
"[Laughs] He doesn't play around."
See Jesse Plemons as Landry Clarke
As a football player, how do you feel about the game scenes in the show? I've heard complaints that they're unrealistic, but for a sports moron like myself, they're exciting enough to grab me.
"Our football coordinator, Justin Reamer, he's been doing this for a long time. All of our football players are just unbelievable athletes. As far as the reality of it, those guys are beating each other up out there. We've had quite a few injuries - there's nothing fake about that. The plays are obviously set up, but they're really hitting each other. As far as the reality of it goes, they do an unbelivable job. I'm really glad that we have those guys. I think it would get a little old after a while, doing hit after hit after hit."
"I think the good thing about the show is that there's just enough - if you are a football fan, you get your fix. In Texas, it is such a prominent part of the makeup of these small towns. There is enough there, but if you could care less, there's enough drama going on to hold you over through the football game stuff."
You mentioned that you and Landry have music in common. Are you a musician?
"I grew up listening to my day play guitar and my mom sang in a choir. Music is another huge passion of mine - whether it's something I'm going to pursue, I couldn't say. But I love music, love playing guitar."
So you're really playing in your 'FNL' band Crucifictorious?
"I am, and they let me write, which is fun. I normally write these full songs and they show about 5 seconds of it. That's some of my favorite stuff, the Crucifictorious jam time. I think it's one of the most realistic high school bands you could find on TV."
The band sucks a little.
"Exactly! That's the point. They're not going on tour any time soon. But they're having fun."
Did you have anything to do with naming Crucifictorious?
"I wish. That came from somewhere deep down in Peter Berg's mind. I have no idea how he pulled that one out."
It's honestly my favorite fictional band. Yours?
"Oh, Spinal Tap. That's sort of obvious, but it's in my top 5 favorite movies."
Landry has changed a great deal since the first season. Do you find his emotional development realistic?
"I do. This is Landry's senior year, so I feel like the last two seasons - for every character - were sort of growing seasons. I think we learned a lot about every character and I definitely learned a lot about Landry. He's over at East Dillon, which is a new experience with new people, he doesn't really know anyone other than Julie (Aimee Teegarden) and Devin (Stephanie hunt). It's nice to see him stand up for himself, rather than try to just get by in this new situation. I think he definitely learned a lot from Tyra."
Can you tell us anything about the episodes coming up?
"Zach Guilford needs an Emmy for episode 5. He was brilliant."
The problem with series centered around high school students is that they graduate and then - what do you do with them? If you keep those characters on, it's awkward and inorganic. 'FNL' let most of them move on, and while that makes sense from a story perspective, it's painful for fans. How was that experience for you, as a cast member?
"It's rough. It's even powerful for me - I'm good friends with Zach, I'm good friends with all these people - and I know it's not real. I'm acting right across from them. But just watching this episode last night, I'm even so attached to these characters - aside from the people, which is its own separate thing - it shouldn't be, but it's a really tough thing. I'm invested in all these characters probably as much as any fan, cause I've lived with it for the past four years. It's tough to see them go, but at the same time, in the strange way you want the characters to do well, be happy. Like you said, it's one of those things, where 'Friday Night Lights' is so realistic, it just has to happen. We all kind of knew that going into it."
While we're discussing characters as though they're real people: all of this nonsense with Tiger Woods... what would Tim Riggins do in this situation?
"Crack a few beers and really let it sink in. Then he might pass out."
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