Laura Linney Interview: ‘Ozark’
Reflecting on her character on the hit Netflix crime drama “Ozark,” Laura Linney reveals, “Wendy goes through a lot in season three. She is a reactive creature and that means, fortunately for me as an actor, there is lot I get to experience and go through.” The season opens with Wendy and her husband Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) are at odds with each other over their next play in their ongoing effort to extricate themselves from laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel.
SPOILERS BELOW FOR SEASON 3
Complicating Wendy’s life are the cartel’s lawyer Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) and local drug dealer Darlene Snell (Lisa Embry). For the four-time Emmy winner working with these other veteran actors was a joy: “They care it about is so much and work so hard. They make me better. We are having a ball. We are all older actresses. To have scenes with other women is uncommon and to have them with your contemporaries is a unusual thing.”
Adding to Wendy’s woes is a new arrival, her bipolar brother Ben (Tom Pelphrey). Their story comes to an end in”Fire Pink,” when Wendy is forced to sacrifice her brother to save her family. Linney recalls, “It was a beautifully written episode. Fortunately it was episode 9 and not episode 2. Tom and I had several months to work together, to get comfortable with each other, so that by the time we got to that episode, we had created a foundation on which to play. The words were so wonderful, the dynamics were all in place.”
Linney readily credits her co-star, Bateman, with setting the tone from the outset of the show. This Emmy champ has directed the first two episodes of each season. She says, “Our crew and cast function so well when Jason is leading the way because we know how invested he is in it. It is absolutely his show and we are all so happy to watch him thrive. When we go back each season and he starts us off we think, ‘Here we go, we’re off for another adventure together.”