Watch after ozark and his characters’ progression through the seasons has been one of the best things audiences have seen on television in recent memory. Each character has their own arc (despite the many twists and turns), and the fate of these characters becomes increasingly clear with every decision they make.
A farewell to the Ozark (now streaming on Netflix along with all four seasons of the series) gives a glimpse into the talent working tirelessly behind the scenes and into the dynamics of the show. The cast and crew members share their incredible experiences working together and their efforts to make great television.
The crew loved working together
It’s no wonder all the cast and crew loved working and collaborating on the set of ozark. Sofia Hublitzwho played Charlotte Byrde, mentioned the cast’s close ties and love for one another — whether you’re a showrunner, Grip, or in the art department — everyone is valued and gets along well with one another.
Felix Soliswho played drug cartel head Omar Navarro also mentioned that in his 22 years as an actor he had never worked with a better crew than on ozark. Laura Linney adding that the show has been the most collaborative environment she’s ever been in. What a cast!
Jason Bateman as director
Jason Bateman has proven to be not only a talented actor but also an incredible director. Bateman was initially drawn to the series as a director and not as an actor. But after being offered a lead role by the showrunners, he countered, “I’d be willing to star in it if I directed it,” and he did. Even though ozark is not his first directing appearance, his mastery as a director on this show and the success achieved speak for themselves.
As for his approach to directing, one of the writers of ozark mentioned that he felt lucky as the show’s writer because Bateman trusted his writing (and that of the writing team) and they in turn trusted his direction. The author also noted that Bateman spent so much time filming on set that “he absorbed everything. He absorbed everything. And he has a great passion for it, and he obviously brings that to the direction of Ozark as well, the visual style.” Patrick Marky, one of the show’s producers, noted Bateman’s influence on Ozark: “He set the look. He set that feel and then maintained it through the seasons.”
Janet McTeer is indeed British
Yes, you heard that right. The actor, Janet McTeer, who played Helen Pierce, is actually British. If you didn’t recognize her as an actress, you wouldn’t have known that she used an American accent for her character ozark (which is flawless!)
The Season 3 finale left us hanging for one reason: Helen Pierce was killed right in front of the Byrdes. in the A farewell to the Ozark, McTeer reveals how many times they had to rehearse for that particular scene. Despite rehearsing it many times, they only managed to do it in one take, or in film terminology: a miracle.
Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore
Julia Garner made a name for herself through her role as Ruth Langmore, and as she said, ozark changed her life not only professionally but also personally. She reveals that she made some of her best friends during her filming years ozark Garner also shared her struggle to feel comfortable with Ruth Langmore during production of the first season. She’s a far cry from who Ruth is — “I’m not aggressive, I don’t have Ruth’s confidence.” But over time, she adjusted to the role to the point that it almost became a second entity to her.
showrunner Chris Mundy said the hardest decision he and the ozark team had to make was the decision to kill Ruth at the end of the series. The Byrdes, in his mind, had been an invasive species that had come to the Ozarks, changed the place, and wiped out all the Langmores. And so they chose to kill Ruth’s character because “it wouldn’t have been true if Ruth hadn’t gone”.
Darlene and Wyatt’s relationship
Nobody expected Darlene Snell and Wyatt Langmore to get together — not even the real actors (Lisa Emery and Charlie Tahan) believed in the idea when they heard about it from the showrunners. Their relationship was seen as controversial and highly unusual to be seen on screen. An older woman dating a much younger man does not equate to normalcy. Upon hearing it, Emery thought that “it was very daring, daring thing of theirs.” Even when Mundy first called Charlie Tahan and suggested this idea to him, “he (Charlie) laughed for a full two minutes.”
And what started out as a “joke” in the writers’ room quickly became a reality: that Darlene and Wyatt would die together. Emery was devastated when she heard Darlene was going to be killed off the show. However, she understood the decision behind it — that Darlene had to “get her compensation.”
Laura Linney’s natural talent as a director
Laura Linney wasn’t initially interested in being involved ozark until Jason Bateman got in the picture. Intrigued by what Bateman would bring to the table, she eventually agreed to become one of the main stars of the series. She admitted that Jason and her producer Patrick Marky had pushed her to direct since the first season. She eventually made her directorial debut by the 11th episode of the final season of ozark.
Bateman on Laura Linney as director: “Her taste is undeniable. And an hour into day one everyone was seeing that, and it was just like she’d been doing it for as long as she’d been acting.” Chris Mundy also praised Linney’s impeccable preparation as both an actor and director. Let’s hope to see more from Laura Linney directing in the near future!
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