Oscar Actors: Plemons, Jesse–Background, Career, Awards (Cum Advantage, Emmy, Spirit)

March 3, 2022
Jesse Plemons Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance:

Social Class:

Race/Ethnicity/Religion: Dallas, Texas

Family: family support, auditions in LA, landing small jobs

Education: Texas Tech University, grad in 2007

Training: child actor

Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: Finding North, 1998; aged 10

Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role: Power of the Dog, 2021; aged 33

Other Noms: Emmy, Fargo, 2015; aged 27

Other Awards:

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film:

Career Output: 1988-present

Film Career Span:

Marriage: actress, Kirsten Dunst (nom in the same year for same film)


Death: NA

Jesse Lon Plemons (born April 2, 1988) is an American actor, who 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 (2006–2011).

He subsequently portrayed Todd Alquist in season 5 of the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad (2012–2013) and its sequel film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019).

Emmy Noms: 2

For his role as Ed Blumquist in season 2 of the FX anthology series Fargo (2015), he received his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination and won a Critics’ Choice TV Award. He received a second Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Robert Daly in “USS Callister,” episode of Netflix anthology series Black Mirror (2017).

Plemons has appeared in supporting roles in several films including The Master (2012), The Homesman (2014), Black Mass, Bridge of Spies (both 2015), Game Night, Vice (both 2018), The Irishman (2019), Judas and the Black Messiah, Jungle Cruise, and The Power of the Dog (all in 2021). He starred in the psychological thriller film 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).

For his performance in The Power of the Dog, he was nominated for the BAFTA and the Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Plemons was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Lisa Beth (née Cason) and Jim Bob Plemons. He was raised in the city of Mart, near Waco. He has an older sister named Jill.

In 2007, Plemons graduated from the Texas Tech University Independent School District, a distance learning program, which earned high school diploma. He attended schools in Mart, playing football in middle school, junior high, and Mart High School, until he received more acting jobs and shifted to the online program.

Plemons got his start in a Coca-Cola commercial when he was 3+1⁄2 years old. 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.

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 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 Taylor Kitsch (playing Tim Riggins) Plemons’ chin split open, requiring eleven stitches. The show, a fan and critic favorite, ended after five seasons after shifting to DirecTV 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.”

From 2012 to 2013, Plemons portrayed the psychopathic villain Todd Alquist[14] during the final season of the AMC drama series Breaking Bad. He was recurring cast member in Season 5A and was promoted to series regular for Season 5B.

In 2012, Plemons also had supporting role in Paul Thomas Anderson drama The Master.

In January 2014, 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 September 2015. Also that year, he appeared in Stephen Frears film about Lance Armstrong, The Program, and Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.

In late-2015, Plemons co-starred in the second season of the TV show Fargo, loosely based on the film of the same name).He portrayed Ed Blumquist, a butcher and the husband of Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst). 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, American Made, Scott Cooper’s western Hostiles, and 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 supporting role in Scorsese crime drama The Irishman, which premiered at the New York Film Festival on September 27, 2019. He also reprised his role as Todd Alquist in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

In 2020, Plemons received critical praise and a Gotham Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actor for his lead performance in Charlie Kaufman’s psychological drama I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

In 2021, Plemons gave notable supporting performances in the critically acclaimed Judas and the Black Messiah, a film about civil rights activist Fred Hampton and Disney adventure film Jungle Cruise. In the same year, Plemons starred in the supernatural horror film Antlers, again collaborating with director Scott Cooper, and starred once again alongside his real-life partner and Fargo co-star Kirsten Dunst in Jane Campion’s western drama The Power of the Dog, for which he has received praise and a number of award nominations including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2021, Plemons was announced to be reuniting with Scorsese for lead role in his western-thriller, Killers of the Flower Moon, starring alongside DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, De Niro. Plemons is also starring in Charlie McDowell’s noir thriller Windfall, which will mark his first time producing.

In May 2021, it was announced that Plemons would star alongside Elizabeth Olsen in the HBO Max true crime series Love and Death.

When Plemons appeared on Breaking Bad, fans nicknamed him “Meth Damon,” due to Plemons’ resemblance to actor Matt Damon. One of his first film roles, at age 12, was playing the younger version of Damon’s character in All the Pretty Horses (2000). He also appeared in The Master as the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, another actor to whom his physical appearance has been compared.

Plemons began a relationship with his Fargo co-star Kirsten Dunst in 2016. They got engaged in 2017. Their son, Ennis Howard Plemons, was born in 2018. In 2021, Dunst gave birth to the pair’s second child, James Robert Plemons. In 2022, he and Dunst were one of two couples to be nominated for Oscars in the same year; the other couple was Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.


1998 Finding North, Hobo

1999 Varsity Blues Tommy Harbor

2000 All the Pretty Horses Young John Grady Cole

2002 Children on Their Birthdays, Preacher Star
Like Mike Ox

2003 When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, Jay
The Failures Boe
2008 The Flyboys Bully No. 1
2009 Observe and Report Charles
Shrink Jesus
2010 Happiness Runs Chad
Meeting Spencer Spencer West
2011 Paul Jake
2012 The Master Val Dodd
Battleship Jimmy “Ordy” Ord
2014 The Homesman Garn Sours
Flutter David
2015 Black Mass Kevin Weeks
The Program Floyd Landis
Bridge of Spies Joe Murphy
2016 Other People David Mulcahey
2017 The Discovery Toby Harbor
American Made Sheriff Joe Downing
Hostiles Lieutenant Rudy Kidder
The Post Roger Clark
2018 Game Night Gary Kingsbury
Vice Kurt

2019 The Irishman Chuckie O’Brien

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Todd Alquist

2020 Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short Short film
I’m Thinking of Ending Things Jake
2021 Judas and the Black Messiah Roy Mitchell
Jungle Cruise Prince Joachim
The Power of the Dog George Burbank
Antlers Sheriff Paul Meadows


2000 Walker, Texas Ranger Russell, Jr. Episode: “The General’s Return”
2001 The Guardian Lawrence Neal Episode: “Paternity”
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Bigger Kid Episode: “Really Big Season Opener”
2003 The Lyon’s Den Ray Ferris Episode: “The Other Side of Caution”
Judging Amy James Franklin Episode: “Marry, Marry Quite Contrary”
2004 Huff Dawson James Episode: “Cold Day in Shanghai”
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Owen Durbin Episode: “Down the Drain”
2006 Grey’s Anatomy Jake Burton Episode: “Yesterday”
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 Bent Gary 6 episodes
2012–2013 Breaking Bad Todd Alquist 11 episodes
2014, 2016,
2018 Drunk History Various roles 3 episodes
2014 Olive Kitteridge Jerry McCarthy 2 episodes
2015 Fargo Ed Blumquist 10 episodes
2017 No Activity Angus 8 episodes
Black Mirror Captain Robert Daly Episode: “USS Callister”


2012 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Breaking Bad Nominated
2013 Won
2015 Critics’ Choice TV Award Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Fargo Won
2016 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Nominated
2016 Independent Spirit Award Best Lead, Other People Nominated
2017 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in Limited Series/Movie, Black Mirror: USS Callister Nominated