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Fargo’s Allison Tolman: “60% of People Become Assholes as Soon as They Get Behind a Keyboard”

And how seeing women on TV with different shapes and colors helps us all.

AllisonTolmanFargoWe’d have to concur.

Tolman, star of the TV version of Fargo, has previously ingratiated herself with us by laying the smackdown on an internet troll who called her character Molly a “plumper.”

“The explicit use of a weight related adjective to describe a female (fictitious or otherwise) is really troubling,” she wrote to the Twitter user. “It furthers the notion that a woman’s most important contribution to the world is her appearance, and that women deemed insufficiently fuckable by societal standars are somehow lacking.”

In an interview with Time, Tolman discussed the reaction she noticed when following the responses to the show online. To her “own detriment in some cases,” she said.

It was so new and so exciting that I wanted to know what everyone was saying. I read the Fargo hashtag and what people Tweeted at me and every article and every comment on every article. I really just ate it up. But I wasn’t prepared for hearing what everybody thought of me. [Laughs]

I feel like 60% of people become a**holes as soon as they get behind a keyboard. So I had to learn not to read the comments because I’d inevitably come across something nasty somebody said about me, and it’s difficult not to let that be hurtful. So by the end of the show, I wasn’t reading as much as at the beginning because I got burned a few times.

Yet the problem remains that when she does see it, she feels like she should respond.

I’m like, “You make it so easy. I’m so much smarter and funnier than you are, troll.” But that doesn’t end up making you feel better. So that’s my problem, I read these things and could fall into a hole where I sass back every a**hole that I come across, but it would take up all my time and I’d rather be making television and movies.

Or, if you’re Tolman’s friends, you could spend your time making graphs about her success:

I started getting Twitter followers after I started doing press for Fargo. One of my best friends from college is a librarian, and she started tracking after each interview how many Twitter followers I got. She and her librarian friends were like, “We’re going to make a graph.” And I was like, “Alright, nerds.” But apparently somewhere there is a graph showing when my popularity increased and why.

Those are great friends.

Tolman also discussed with Time how she thinks the show’s realism when it comes to female police officers helped set them apart:

I also think having me in that role as someone who doesn’t look like most other actresses and other ingenues helped. Our TV and movie cops are usually in heels and pencil skirts. It’s not a super realistic view, especially for a small town in Minnesota. So I think that people enjoyed seeing someone where they could be like, “Oh I know that woman. That’s my big sister or someone I went to college with or a friend of mine.” I think that people found that comforting. I certainly know that I would if I were watching that.

I do find that when I see women who flesh out the television or film world and make that it look more like the world I actually live in, I gravitate towards those characters.

“How we shape our worldview is what we see in pop culture,” she continued, “so we need to be presenting a little more realistic view of how the world works so people don’t have such a hard go of it when they get into the real world.”

The actress also praised The Mindy Project, a show she’s guest-starred on, for having a more diverse world. “Where women are different shapes and different colors, and that looks more like a world I understand. I hate to always bring it back to weight, but that’s an issue that’s near and dear to me because that’s an issue I get picked on for all the time now that I’m on television,” she told Time. “Any time I see an actress that’s over a certain size that we’re used to seeing on television, I think, wow not only is that really fantastic but unfortunately that means that somebody made a really brave choice by casting that woman in that role. I wish we didn’t live in a world where that was such a great thing.”

Us, too.

(via Pajiba)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."