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 and comedian. Beginning his career as a child actor, Plemons 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 the fifth season of AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad, winning a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as part of the show's ensemble cast. He subsequently earned his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination and won a Critics' Choice Television Award for portraying Ed Blumquist in the second season 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's film credits include All the Pretty Horses (2000); Like Mike (2002); Observe and Report (2009); Battleship and The Master (2012); Black Mass, The Program and Bridge of Spies (2015); American Made and The Post (2016); and Game Night and Vice (2018). He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for the comedy-drama Other People (2016).
Plemons was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Lisa Beth (née Cason) and Jim Bob Plemons. He was raised in Mart, a small town outside Waco. He has an older sister named Jill. On his paternal side, he is related to Stephen F. Austin, known as the Father of Texas.
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 the upcoming 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 had a starring role 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, comedy Game Night and Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic Vice, which he narrated.
Plemons is set to star in the supernatural drama Antlers, another collaboration with director Scott Cooper, that is likely to come out in 2019. He also has a supporting role in the upcoming adventure film Jungle Cruise, slated for a release in 2020, as well as in the Martin Scorsese crime drama The Irishman, which is yet to be given an official release date but is speculated for 2019. Plemons is also set to star in the films I'm Thinking of Ending Things, a drama directed by Charlie Kauffman, and The Bell Jar, the directorial debut of Plemons' partner Kirsten Dunst.
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 2000 film All the Pretty Horses. He also appeared as Hoffman's son in the 2012 film The Master. When Plemons appeared on Breaking Bad, he acquired the nickname "Meth Damon" from fans, due to the show centering on the meth business.
|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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- Lewis, Dave. "Complete list of 2016 Emmy nominations and winners". Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- Hoover, Carl (April 3, 2014). "Austin's Daniel James returns to Waco with bluesier sound". Waco Tribune-Herald. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
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