Why ‘Ozark’ Fans Have Fallen in Love with Wendy’s ‘Ruthless’ Personality

by Leanne Stahulak

If there’s one thing TV fans love, especially “Ozark” fans, it’s a character everyone loves to hate, and Wendy Byrde definitely fits that bill.

“Ozark” star Laura Linney perfectly portrays Wendy, from her manipulating, self-serving mind to her cutthroat behavior, even when it comes to family. At the end of the last season, many fans expected (wanted) to see Wendy killed off for her numerous crimes. But instead, she lived and rose to power along with her husband, Marty (Jason Bateman).

Despite some fans’ hatred of Wendy, many “Ozark” fans agree that the writing and acting of the character were exceptional. In one Reddit thread, a fan praised the character and admitted that they “love” her.

“Look, I’ll be the first to say she was absolutely insane, there is no debating that,” the original poster began. “But also, I enjoyed her character because she was someone who could get the job done… She just wasn’t the type to sit around, she knew how to play every role. From cold, heartless bitch to kind, persuasive political campaign woman.”

Many “Ozark” fans took to the comments with similar thoughts. “Agreed! Personally, I love her transformation into full-fledged villain by the series’ end,” one fan wrote. “She knew just how to use politics to get what she wanted, how to play people against each other, and was willing to do whatever it takes to reach her goals. Like, yeah, she IS a terrible person. That’s the point. She’s one of my favorite villains on TV.”

In a different thread, another fan discussed why she gains more praise than other female characters on crime television.

“I think some viewers are uncomfortable with Wendy because she doesn’t behave how some think mothers and wives are ‘supposed’ to,” the fan said. “She is selfish and egotistical. She takes bold risks and makes major business decisions without Marty. I love her character and Laura Linney plays it perfectly.”

‘Ozark’ Star Laura Linney Loves Her Portrayal of Wendy as Much as the Fans Do

According to Looper, “Ozark” star Laura Linney opened up about playing Wendy in a recent interview on Late Night With Seth Meyers. During the interview, she admitted that Wendy was “so fun” to play as a character. Linney added, “She was just out there and badly behaved. It was just delicious.”

Playing a morally grey character really allows you to do things that you’d normally shy away from in real life. “It gives you permission to just slide all over the place and just like, ethically and emotionally, just be sort of chaos,” Linney explained.

She also told GQ how Wendy’s “not very mature. She’s not. I loved playing that. She’s shrewd and she’s smart, but she’s not mature. And she’s not evolved.”

Maybe someday we’ll see Wendy’s evolution come full circle.