During the filming of the 1996 Coen brothers’ movie Fargo, an infamous murder scene in the movie almost happened in real life—and no, it was not the woodchipper death, thankfully. In an interview with Huffpost, Peter Stormare recounted when he and Steve Buschemi were pulled over by a state trooper just hours after they filmed the scene in which Stormare’s character murdered a state trooper who pulled them over.
Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare were stopped by a real police officer after they had filmed the scene in which their characters murder one during a traffic stop.
In Fargo, Carl (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear (Peter Stormare) are driving around late at night with Jean, the woman they kidnapped, in their backseat. They get pulled over by a state trooper because their car has no tags. Carl tries to smooth talk the officer and even offers him a bribe of $50 to let them go, but Gaear ends up taking the matter into his own hands.
When the state trooper asks Carl to get out of the vehicle, Gaear smashes the trooper’s face into the car before shooting him in the head. Blood spurts all over Carl, and he utters the classic line “Whoa Daddy” as Jean screams from the backseat.
In real life, the cast and crew of Fargo were filming near the Twin Cities in Minnesota. After Steve Buschemi and Peter Stormare filmed the shooting of the cop scene, they hopped in a rental car to meet their fellow crew members at a pancake house.
Despite the opening scene claiming it’s “based on a true story,” the cast of Fargo are certain it didn’t really happen….they hope.
Since this was before GPS and they were driving late at night, Steve Buschemi missed the turn for the restaurant. He pulled an illegal U-turn and then headed the wrong way down a one-way to get to the pancake house. A state trooper saw their terrible driving and pulled the two actors over, practically recreating the scene from the movie.
Thankfully, Peter Stormare kept his cool and did not shoot the state trooper. Steve Buschemi did try and smooth talk his way out of the ticket, but the female officer was not buying it. She told him that just because he was an actor filming Fargo in their city that did not give him the right to drive illegally.
On top of the bad driving, the two actors also did not have the registration for the car since it was just a rental. Somehow, the two were able to get away without a ticket (or gunshots) and join their crew for pancakes, but not before they sat in the car for a while basking in the bizarreness of the moment.
Steve Buscemi’s terrible driving on the way to meet the crew of Fargo was what got him in trouble with the law.
After filming for Fargo wrapped, it went on to be a hugely success movie. It received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, and Best Director, and it won Best Actress for Frances McDormand and Best Original Screenplay for the Coen brothers. At one point, it was on the list of the 100 greatest American films in history.