‘The Waltons’ Star Richard Thomas Opens Up About His Time on ‘Ozark’

by Samantha Whidden

More than two months after “Ozark” came to an end, “The Waltons” alum Richard Thomas opened up about his time on the hit Netflix series. 

While speaking to Parade recently, Richard Thomas stated that working on “Ozark” was a blast for him. “Laura [Linney] and I go way back,” he explained. One of the things that is so funny about it was like four or five years, I played her husband on Broadway in ‘The Little Foxes.’”

Richard Thomas then joked about playing the father of Linney’s “Ozark” character. “I went from husband to father in a very short amount of time. We have great fun together, she’s a wonderful colleague and a terrific actress and it was a great part.”

Meanwhile, as he spoke about his “Ozark” character, Nathan Davis, Richard Thomas described Davis as being sort of anti-Atticus from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. “It was a great show, with wonderful actors. It was a great experiment, lots of fun. I loved it!”

Richard Thomas Talks Playing Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ 

Along with speaking about his time on “Ozark,” Richard Thomas discussed playing Atticus Finch on the national tour of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. When asked if the play is relevant to the racial issues of today, Richard Thomas stated that he and the rest of the cast have had many conversations during rehearsals about the issues that the play addresses. 

“The thing about this material,” he explained. “This novel, is that – and I don’t think about the movie because the movie’s another adaptation. This play isn’t a version of the movie, this play comes from the novel, and its very different in many, many ways from the film.”

Richard Thomas went on to reveal that his version of Atticus is very different from the film. “I love the movie, of course, it’s a wonderful film and Greg Peck is great in it, but I haven’t seen the film for many years. At some point, I will probably take another look at it.”

Richard Thomas Talks About How ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Is Still Relevant to U.S. Society

Richard Thomas also explained that the material from “To Kill a Mockingbird” is always to be relevant to those in the U.S. “Because we have such an admirable aspiration towards what we think we can be and ought to be as a society. Of course, as always happens with a lot of aspiration, one falls short. The material takes a hard look at what we aspire to be and how short we fall of that aspiration.”

In regards to what he learned about himself and his acting from the production, Richard Thomas said as a goal, actors are always trying to improve their skills and know where the laughs are. “In terms of its impact on me, you spend eight times a week thinking about the circumstances of the play so it brings you closer to the history of the play, when it takes place, our stories as Americans, the issues that are presented in the play.”