NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 15: Laura Linney poses at the opening night after party for the new play “My Name Is Lucy Barton” on Broadway at The Copacabana on January 15, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
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HFPA in Conversation: Laura Linney’s Complex “Ozark” Character

Golden Globe winner Laura Linney describes Netflix’s Ozark as a family drama that deals with money laundering. “It’s a bit of a thriller and goes a bit of the subterranean deep dive on identity and who we are and why we are who we are,” she tells HFPA journalist Alexander Nevsky.

At the beginning of the story her character, Wendy Byrde, was a public relations consultant on political campaigns. By the end of season three she has become a trusted ally of the head of the Navarro cartel. “She’s not a great parent. Ethically she’s all twisted upside down. Psychologically she’s a mess. She’s extremely shrewd but doesn’t think deeply all the time. She’s extremely reactive but her survival instinct is so strong that she tends to be able to get through sticky situations. I don’t like her, I mean, I love her. Don’t get me wrong, I love her but would I want to be friends with that person? No.”

Throughout the seasons Linney has had an open dialog with the writers and together they have been polishing details about her character. “There’s a reason she knows how to swing a possum by the tail and have it land on a roof. That was the first big clue that there was more to her than people knew and we’ve been rolling it out slowly over the season so that you can see really who she is.”

She is proud of the show’s success. “I don’t take a day of it for granted and I’m going to savor every day that we have left. The fourth season will be our last. So even though it will be in the bubble of a Covid experience filming with all of those restrictions and a different way of filming we’re going to savor every day of it because these things don’t come along very often.’

Listen to the podcast and hear how she is doing during Covid-19; what TV series she is watching right now; how she feeld about going back to work; how she describes Jason Bateman as a director; whether she would direct; what she can say about season 4 of OzarClint Eastwood and what she learned from working with him; why she thinks the Golden Globe gala is fun; why was reading difficult for her and what were her favorite books as a child; and what’s next for her.