‘Ozark’ Star Tom Pelphrey Reflects on ‘Trippy Experience’ of Returning to Show

by Samantha Whidden

Months after the full release of “Ozark’s” final season, Tom Pelphrey reflects on the “trippy experience” he had while reprising his role on the hit Netflix series. 

During his recent interview with Gold Derby, the Pelphrey reflected on his return to the “Ozark” set. “They reached out and asked me if I would come do a flashback,” he recalled. “Which obviously the answer was yes. I was really excited. It was kind of a trippy experience, because the flashback picks up exactly where we left off [in Season 3]. And so here, you’re continuing the scene that you finished – I mean, I finished filming that scene probably two and a half years earlier, at least. And so it was wild, there were so many emotions.”

Pelphrey notably played Ben Davis, the bipolar brother of Laura Linney’s Wendy. The character notably dies at the end of the show’s third season. However, the character returns for a brief flashback during the 10th episode of the show’s final season. Pelphrey scored Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Emmy nomination for that performance. 

When asked about his reaction to the Emmy nomination, the “Ozark’s star recalled how he found out about the nomination to begin with. “We were very excited, started celebrating,” Pelphrey noted about how he and his partner, Kaley Cuoco reacted to her own Emmy nomination. “Then, we sort of walked away from the computer and we were FaceTiming with her friends and family.”

However, 10 minutes later, he was announced for a nomination as well. “I picked up, and they said, ‘You got nominated for an Emmy!’” The “Ozark” star declared. “I was shocked. And then obviously very, very happy. So it was a pretty special day.”

‘Ozark’ Star Tom Pelphrey Says On One Level He Believes His Character is ‘Very Intelligent’

Meanwhile, Tom Pelphrey spoke highly about his “Ozark” character, despite the unfortunate Season 3 outcome. The flashback on Season 4 features Ben pleading for his life as he goes to the abandoned barn with Nelson. While being transported to basically his death, Ben apologizes to Nelson and asks the hitman to send an apology to Wendy. All while knowing his sister shared his whereabouts with his killers. 

“On one level, I believe that Ben is very intelligent,” Pelphrey explained. “I believe that Ben understands, on some level, that what he’s done – which is also why it is so upsetting to him as he was doing it – has put everyone in a position where he kind of has to go.”

Then Pelphrey says that on another level he believes that as a human being that’s deeply upsetting and horrific. “If there’s a way to have more agency in what’s happening, that might provide some relief or a little bit of peace. So, I think for Ben, who is so in touch with his feelings. That the idea of like, ‘Okay, this is how it’s going to end, and there’s no changing it’ — there was some comfort, some solace and some agency in saying, ‘I understand, I really do, and I do love my sister. And that’s how I want it to end: on my terms, in that way.’”