‘Ozark’: Why Laura Linney Thinks Her Character Acts in a ‘Really Warped Way’

by Chase Thomas
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One of the more terrifying characters in the hit Netflix drama “Ozark” is Wendy Byrde. Byrde, played by the big-time Hollywood actress Laura Linney, is a difficult character for fans to get a hold of. Even her son, Jonah, and her husband Marty don’t have the greatest feel for the mother in the family. With only seven episodes remaining in the series, Linney talked about her cerebral character with GQ.

She said, “I think she knows how to survive. [She’s] someone in the political arena who doesn’t come from an academic background, who doesn’t come from a historical background, who comes from someone who’s trying to survive, who believes there is something better for everybody. I think she really does believe that. It’s just her. She doesn’t have the tools to do it in an ethical, dignified way. She does it in a messy, hot mess, really warped way.”

Wendy spent Season 3 making progress with the casino and turning that avenue into real political capital both in the town and state as a whole. Her ambitions in the show have always been strong. However, in the final season, she wants to expand even more. She pushes to use a big deal with a pharmaceutical company for the Byrde Family Foundation to become a huge deal nationally. Yes, there is a crisis at home and constantly all around her, but Wendy is seemingly unphased in “Ozark.” Often.

So, Linney points out that Wendy is capable and might mean well deep down. However, her personality and upbringing prevent her from really reaching that level. She can’t overcome who she is for the greater good. When she finds herself back in the Ozarks, she goes back into who she was a bit before Chicago. Everything falls apart, ethically, and it ends up causing all sorts of problems for the family.

Marty Byrde on ‘Ozark’

Another one of the most fascinating characters for folks to figure out is Marty Byrde, Wendy’s husband on the show “Ozark.” Wendy and Marty have competing goals in Season 3. They both have their issues. Consider that they both paid off their marriage counselor to side with them. However, in Season 4 we see a bit of a more united front between the two parents. They both want to get out when the opportunity of a deal between Omar Navarro and the FBI presents itself.

However, Ruth Langmore and Agent Maya Miller have thrown a huge final wrench into that happy ending. How will both Marty and Wendy get themselves and their children out of the business for good? Will they help Ruth versus Javi and the cartel in the end? You can watch “Ozark” on Netflix.

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