Plemons in September 2016
Jesse Lon Plemons
April 2, 1988
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Partner(s)||Kirsten Dunst (2016-present; engaged)|
Jesse Lon Plemons (born April 2, 1988) is an American actor. He began his career as a child actor and achieved a career breakthrough with his supporting role as Landry Clarke in the NBC drama series Friday Night Lights (2006–11). He subsequently portrayed Todd Alquist in season 5 of the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as part of the show's ensemble cast; he reprised the role in the television film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019). Following Breaking Bad, Plemons received his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination and won a Critics' Choice Television Award for portraying Ed Blumquist in season 2 of the FX anthology series Fargo. He received a second Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of Robert Daly in "USS Callister", an episode of the Netflix anthology series Black Mirror.
Plemons' film credits include Val Dodd in The Master (2012), Kevin Weeks in Black Mass (2015), Joe Murphy in Bridge of Spies (2015), Roger Clark in The Post (2017), Gary Kingsbury in Game Night and Kurt in Vice (both 2018), Chuckie O'Brien in The Irishman (2019) and Jake in I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020). He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for his role as David Mulcahey in Other People (2016).
In 2007, Plemons graduated from the Texas Tech University Independent School District, a distance learning program, which allowed him to earn his high school diploma. He attended schools in the Mart, Texas area, where he played football in middle school, junior high, and high school. He attended Mart High School until he received more acting jobs and needed to shift to the online program.
1991–2006: Early career
Plemons got his start in a Coca-Cola commercial when he was 3 1/2 years old. Then, when he was 8 years old, he started doing extra work, and with the support of his family, spent time auditioning in Los Angeles and landing small jobs.
After appearing in the films Varsity Blues (1999) and All the Pretty Horses (2000), and guest-starring on Walker, Texas Ranger and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Plemons' first prominent role was in the film Children on their Birthdays (2002). He later appeared in Like Mike (2002) and When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (2003), with guest roles on the television series Judging Amy, The Lyon's Den, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Grey's Anatomy between 2003 and 2006.
2006–2011: Breakthrough with Friday Night Lights
In 2006, when he was 18, Plemons joined the ensemble cast of NBC's television series Friday Night Lights, filmed in Austin, Texas, detailing the fictional events surrounding a high school football team in fictional Dillon, Texas. In the show's first season, his character Landry Clarke provided comic relief as the best friend of football quarterback Matt Saracen, though Landry himself was not on the team. Among the cast and crew, the joke was that Plemons played football better than most of the other actors, even though his character was one of the few who did not play.
Landry joined the Panthers football team in the second season, and Plemons, having played high school football, told director Jeffrey Reiner that he would do his own stunts. In his first football scene, Landry had to "get the crap beat out of [him] over and over and over again". When hit by co-star Taylor Kitsch (playing Tim Riggins) Plemons' chin split open, requiring eleven stitches. The show, a fan and critic favorite, after shifting to DirecTV, ended after five seasons, in 2011.
In 2012, Plemons reunited with Kitsch and Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg in the film Battleship. Berg, who directed the film, explained that he knew how comfortable Kitsch was with Plemons: "I know that he's really good for Taylor and he makes Taylor better. So, I wrote that whole part for Jesse. I never thought of it as a Friday Night Lights reunion. I thought of it as protection, bringing a trusted family member in."
2011–present: Breaking Bad, Fargo and film breakthrough
From 2012–13, Plemons portrayed the psychopathic villain Todd Alquist during the final season of the AMC drama series Breaking Bad. He was a recurring cast member in Season 5A and was promoted to series regular for Season 5B. In 2012, Plemons also had a supporting role in the Paul Thomas Anderson drama The Master.
In January 2014, it was reported that Plemons was in strong consideration to be one of the new stars of Star Wars Episode VII (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). In March 2014, it was further reported that Plemons, along with four other actors, were being considered for the lead role of Finn in Episode VII. The role, however, went to British actor John Boyega. Plemons played mobster Kevin Weeks in the Boston-set mob film Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp, which opened in theaters in September 2015. Also that year, he appeared in the Stephen Frears film about Lance Armstrong, The Program, and the Steven Spielberg film Bridge of Spies.
In late-2015, Plemons co-starred in the second season of the TV show Fargo (which is loosely based on the film of the same name). He portrayed Ed Blumquist, a butcher and the husband of Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst). For his performance, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.
In 2016, Plemons starred in the film Other People. In 2017, he appeared in the Doug Liman thriller film American Made, the Scott Cooper western Hostiles, and Steven Spielberg's historical drama The Post.
In December 2017, Plemons appeared in "USS Callister", an episode in the fourth series of the anthology show Black Mirror. Plemons played Robert Daly, the episode's main character and a sadistic introvert. Plemons received acclaim for his performance and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. In 2018, Plemons had supporting roles in two films, the comedy Game Night and Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic Vice, which he narrated. In 2019 he had a supporting role in the Martin Scorsese crime drama The Irishman, which premiered at the New York Film Festival on September 27, 2019 and he also reprised his role as Todd Alquist in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Plemons will next star in the supernatural horror Antlers, re-collaborating with director Scott Cooper, and has supporting roles in the adventure film Jungle Cruise, Jane Campion's western drama The Power of the Dog, and Judas and the Black Messiah, a film about civil rights activist Fred Hampton.
Plemons has long been noted for his resemblance to actors Matt Damon and Philip Seymour Hoffman. One of his first film roles, at age 12, was playing the younger version of Damon's character in the film All the Pretty Horses (2000). He also appeared as Hoffman's son in the film The Master (2012). When Plemons appeared on Breaking Bad, fans nicknamed him "Meth Damon", due to the show's centering on the meth business, and Plemons' resemblance to Damon.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2000||Walker, Texas Ranger||Russell, Jr.||Episode: "The General's Return"|
|2001||The Guardian||Lawrence Neal||Episode: "Paternity"|
|2001||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Bigger Kid||Episode: "Really Big Season Opener"|
|2003||The Lyon's Den||Ray Ferris||Episode: "The Other Side of Caution"|
|2003||Judging Amy||James Franklin||Episode: "Marry, Marry Quite Contrary"|
|2004||Huff||Dawson James||Episode: "Cold Day in Shanghai"|
|2004||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Owen Durbin||Episode: "Down the Drain"|
|2006||Grey's Anatomy||Jake Burton||Episode: "Yesterday"|
|2006||NCIS||Jason Geckler||Episode: "Deception"|
|2006–2011||Friday Night Lights||Landry Clarke||59 episodes|
|2008||Fear Itself||Lemmon||Episode: "The Sacrifice"|
|2009||Cold Case||Ryan Stewart||2 episodes|
|2011||Childrens Hospital||Jesse||Episode: "Father's Day"|
|2012–2013||Breaking Bad||Todd Alquist||11 episodes|
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012)
|2014–2018||Drunk History||Various||3 episodes|
|2014||Olive Kitteridge||Jerry McCarthy||2 episodes|
|2015||Fargo||Ed Blumquist||10 episodes|
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries (2015)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie (2016)
|2017||No Activity||Angus||8 episodes|
|2017||Black Mirror||Captain Robert Daly||Episode: "USS Callister"|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Guest Starring Role on Television
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