- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Residents in North Dakota’s largest city are ready to celebrate the premier of “Fargo” the TV show, along with an actor from the area who plays a part in the series.

The 90-minute pilot episode on FX will be shown Tuesday night at the historic Fargo Theater. The Joel and Ethan Coen production stars Billy Bob Thornton, who plays the outsider, and Martin Freeman, an insurance salesman corrupted by Thornton.

North Dakota native Tom Musgrave plays a character named Bo Munk, an insurance salesman, travel agent and notary public who is Freeman’s boss.

Musgrave, who was born in Bottineau and grew up in Valley City, appears in five of the 10 episodes. He said his North Dakota background gave him a distinct advantage.

“I was kind of the expert on set,” Musgrave told The Associated Press Monday. “A lot of times Martin would ask me how to say a word just right. The second day of shooting he asked me, ‘What the heck is a hot dish?’”

Musgrave had a discussion with Noah Hawley, the executive producer and writer of all 10 episodes, on the use of the Scandinavian-American expression “uff da” and when it could apply. Musgrave asked if he could substitute “ouch” with “uff da” in the first episode.

“I told him that uff da was all encompassing,” Musgrave said. “Uff da is ‘ouch,’ but it’s also ‘you dummy’ and ‘what we’re you thinking’ and ‘boy, that’s going to sting.’”

Musgrave plans to attend the premier at the Fargo Theater and take the stage for a question-and-answer session afterward. The pre-show celebration will include homemade bars, a Fargo staple, and the Wood Chipper India Pale Ale beer made by the Fargo Brewing Co.

A similar party was held at the theater in 1996 for the premier of the movie “Fargo,” which wasn’t greeted with rave reviews from the locals. Some considered the heavy accents to be over the top and others were offended by the language.

Musgrave, who at the time was attending college across the river at Minnesota State University Moorhead, said he loved the movie.

“We do talk like that and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I think for some reason we get defensive about it and I’m not sure I understand that,” he said. “I think there’s a pride in being who you are. We are a nice, prideful community that supports each other. Let that be what it is and be OK with it.”

Musgrave, who now lives in Los Angeles, said the Coen brothers, who grew up in St. Louis Park, Minn., know the culture and the show is “made with love.”

Charley Johnson, president and CEO of Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the movie put the city in the “consciousness of America” and he’s embracing the TV show.

“There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s a phenomenon,” Johnson said. “Even the movie still has legs after all these years. Now you add a TV series … it’s not going to go away anytime soon.”

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