Actor Billy Bob Thornton of the television show 'Fargo' speaks onstage during the FX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2014 in Pasadena, California

Billy Bob Thornton of  ‘Fargo’ speaks onstage during the FX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2014 in Pasadena, California

*During a TCA panel Tuesday for his new FX series “Fargo,” Billy Bob Thornton couldn’t resist mentioning Kanye West’s latest headline-grabbing incident while making a point about celebrity.

Thornton plays a creepy bad guy named Lorne Malvo in the series, which has a new case and new characters, but retains all of the charm, accents and small town quirkiness from the Coen Bros’ 1996 classic.

Asked if he was actively pursuing a television role, Thornton conceded that the quality of work on the small screen has surpassed that of feature films, citing “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” as examples.

(L-R) Noah Hawley, Executive Producer/Writer, Warren Littlefield, Executive Producer, actors Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks of the television show 'Fargo' onstage during the FX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2014 in Pasadena, California.

(L-R) Noah Hawley, Executive Producer/Writer, Warren Littlefield, Executive Producer, actors Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks of ‘Fargo’ onstage during the FX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2014 in Pasadena, California.

“Television has now taken that spot,” he told TV critics in Pasadena. “So for actors who really want to do good dramatic work or good work with dark humor and drama, you kind of have to do it on television, and it’s a great opportunity to develop a character over a period of time.”

Below, Thornton underscored his point by mentioning a certain rapper currently under police investigation for misdemeanor assault – after allegedly chasing an 18-year-old boy into a Beverly Hills medical building and punching him for using racial slurs against his baby mama.

“Fargo” will premiere on Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.