‘Ozark’ Star Laura Linney Nearly Landed a Role in This Iconic 1990s Film

by Sean Griffin

Laura Linney has enjoyed a remarkable career in Hollywood, gracefully flowing from films to television screens to the stage for decades. These days, most fans know her as Wendy Byrde in Ozark. Her time as Wendy has earned her two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and one Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.

However, before she was Wendy in Ozark, she was still an established and celebrated actress. Before Ozark, Linney had won four Emmys for her work in Wild Iris (2001), Frasier(2003-04), John Adams (2008), and The Big C (2013). In fact, Linney is an historic television actress: only 10 women have more Emmy wins than her.

Linney’s talents aren’t restrained to television, however. She has starred in acclaimed movies such as The Truman Show (1998), Mystic River (2003), and Love Actually (2003). She has been nominated for three Academy Awards for her work in You Can Count On Me (2000), Kinsey (2004), and The Savages (2007).

She’s also well-versed in stage-acting. She has received an impressive five Tony Award nominations. She received them for her performances in The Crucible (2002), Sight Unseen (2004), Time Stands Still (2010), My Name is Lucy Barton (2020), and The Little Foxes (2017).

Clearly, Linney’s career trajectory went about as well as any actress could hope. Recently, she spoke about meeting a childhood idol and what she’ll miss most about her character Wendy. However, despite her recent and sustained success, she has still missed out on some big roles in the past.

Laura Linney in Jurassic Park?

Laura Linney was almost in the classic 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. In an interview with Vulture, Linney discussed the narrowly-missed opportunity.

“I was fresh out of Juilliard. I had auditioned for Jurassic Park. It was down between me and Laura Dern and it went to her, which is great. I think they had always kept me in mind. Then Congo came along, and I knew what that was, going in. I knew there would not be a whole lot of acting required, so I could learn about what it was to be on a set. I was always really intimidated by film and TV.”

As Linney states, the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler instead went to Laura Dern. After Jurassic Park, Dern also went on to enjoy a highly successful acting career. She reprised her role as Dr. Sattler multiple times in sequels, and she went on to have critically-acclaimed turns in Recount, Wild, and Enlightened. She is also recognizable as Renata Klein in Big Little Lies.

As for Laura Linney, even though she never starred in Jurassic Park, she’s had a career most actresses could only dream of.