Jesse Plemons: I Would Play Steven Avery in a ‘Making a Murderer’ Movie!

Jesse Plemons and Steven Avery
Jesse Plemons and Steven Avery Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival; AP Photo/Morry Gash

Recognize him? Jesse Plemons broke out at 18 as Landry on Friday Night Lights and quickly graduated to critically acclaimed roles in Breaking Bad, Fargo, Black Mass and Bridge of Spies. In his new indie flick, Other People (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21), he plays a comedy writer who moves back home to care for his dying mother (Molly Shannon). The 27-year-old Texas native caught up with Us Weekly at Sundance in Park City, Utah, to chat about his new film, those Matt Damon comparisons and his thoughts on Making a Murderer.

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Us Weekly: You play a comedy writer in Other People, which is something a little different for you! How did you prep? Did you have any stand-up routines up your sleeve?

Jesse Plemons: [laughs] Absolutely not. My roommate, one of my best friends who I worked with on Friday Night Lights, has been doing stand-up for a long time. I watched him and also spent a lot of time with [former SNL writer and Other People director] Chris Kelly.

Jesse Plemons in
Jesse Plemons in ‘Friday Night Lights.’ Bill Records/NBC Universal, Inc.

Us: Speaking of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ any chance of a reboot?

JP: I think they should wait until we’re all really old. Maybe 2025? 2050? We’ll just be on there talking s–t about the new class.

Us: You have a lot of experience playing murderous types. Have you watched Making a Murderer?

JP: I was at my parents’ house over the holidays, and I don’t know how I found it, but I was on some newsfeed that said it was coming out tomorrow. And I looked at the time and it was almost midnight. I was like, “What!” So I watched it all right then. Whether he’s guilty or not, he deserves a retrial.

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Us: You know, if they make a Making a Murderer movie … Steven Avery could be the role for you.

JP: Oh, I would do that! Yeah!

Us: And the Internet also loves to compare you to Matt Damon—

JP: I know. Meth Damon, Fat Damon…

Jesse Plemons and Matt Damon
Jesse Plemons and Matt Damon. Steve Granitz/; Matt Carr/Getty Images

Us: You actually played a young version of him in All the Pretty Horses, but your scene got cut. Do you remember working with him?

JP: Oh my god, yes. I was probably 9 or 10 or 11. I still remember everything. He said something like, “You look more like me when I was young than I did.” [laughs]

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Us: Have you had a reunion since?

JP: You know, I attempted at the Critics’ Choice Awards last week. He was sitting 10 feet away from me. I knew if I didn’t go up to him, my mom would be really mad, so I waited in line and his security guard was like, “Take your hand out of your pocket!” [laughs]

Matt Damon in
Matt Damon in “All The Pretty Horses.” Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

Us: Did Matt recognize you right away?

JP: It took him a second, but then he was like, “Oh, yeah!” I just said, “Thanks for being so nice back then.” Because he really was great to me.

Us: What’s your current Top 40 jam?

JP: I don’t really listen to the radio too much. I know that one song, “Hotline Bling.”

Us: Can you do the dance?

JP: No, I cannot. [laughs]

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