Ozark picked up because of its outstanding plot lines, direction and acting but most importantly the character arcs. Fans were able to resonate with the characters because they knew their background; and that helped them justify the character’s unforeseen actions. The cast was rich with extremely talented actors, and Laura Linney had the most number of acting achievements among the cast when the show started. Roping her in to play Wendy Byrde was fortuitous for showrunner Chris Mundy, but the character wasn’t always the badass she became towards the end. So, how did Linney feel about taking up this role?
Laura Linney shared her experience on Wendy‘s character
Talking about their first meet in an interview Jason Bateman said it was in New York in 2016, when they met to discuss the show and convince Laura to get onboard. Laura still couldn’t tell what made her choose Wendy’s role when she did; she just had a feeling she should. Jason shared how the writer’s room battled to give Laura the kind of role she deserves. They wanted her acting skills to meet its full potential, which wouldn’t have if she was nothing more than a wife to Marty.
Wendy‘s background became more clear to Laura from the one scene that was written specifically to highlight the character’s importance in the show. It was the infamous episode 3 from season 1 of Ozark called ‘My Dripping Sleep‘.
In the episode, Wendy wakes up to find a dead animal in their front yard with some vultures picking on it.
The Langmore boys pass by their house in a speed boat, flipping at the Byrdes, indicative of their fight with Charlotte, Wendy’s daughter. When Wendy returns home to find another dead possum in their front-yard, she assumes it was them. She puts the dead animal in her trunk and drives to the Langmore house. She holds the possum from its tail, hurls it on top of their roof and threatens them to stay away from her daughter.
Laura says, “That changed everything for me. … Because that moment happened, I was like, ‘Oh, she’s not from Chicago. Her reasoning was that a person from Chicago would not know how to hurl a dead possum. This ultimately opened possibilities for the character and Chris Mundy.
What are your thoughts on Wendy?