The best characters are not those that make you fall in love with them just by being perfect. In fact, it is the characters with a questionable moral compass, realistic tendencies, and sheer humanity to do the most unpredictable things that one would not expect to see in a show. There are characters like Walter White of Breaking Bad, Petyr Baelish of Game of Thrones, and many more who were fan-favorite because they were not always particularly good at behaviors. Similar is the case of Wendy Byrde, played by Laura Linney from Netflix’s Ozark.
While fans are in love with the show, it is not the same for Wendy. The character of the Byrde matriarch has been at the receiving end of a love-hate relationship. But is it like that? Why do people both love and hate Wendy at the same time? And how has Laura Linney truly mesmerized everyone with her acting? Let us try to understand that.
Wendy Byrde and the love-hate trope with the audiences
It all began with the very first season of the show, where Marty Byrde uprooted his family and their lives in Chicago to move to Ozark, Missouri. What initially looked to be a lot like Breaking Bad, with a male character running the show while Wendy takes the backseat, turned out to be a wholly different ride. Wendy took charge on a lot of occasions and did things that we never really expected her to do, and most importantly, she did it all with a straight face. Oh, that was fierce!
wendy byrde from #ozark possibly being my favourite television character of all time? it's more likely than you think.
i can't stop thinking about this character's journey, and laura linney's portrayal of her. i feel lucky to have witnessed this level of brilliance. pic.twitter.com/npW9vUSfC8
— brittany (@sick_muse) May 1, 2022
Fans really loved the journey Wendy Byrde had during the Netflix Original. And they also applauded Laura Linney for the portrayal of a rather complex character and for doing it with such brilliance. Many also called her the perfect actress to play the role of Wendy, and we kind of agree with it as well.
You really gotta give it up for Wendy Byrde. She had vision. She had ambition. She said if I’m gonna do this shit, I’m gonna make it worth my while. She may be a bitch, but she’s the baddest bitch! Played everybody like a violin. Including her kids. #Ozark #Ozarkfinale pic.twitter.com/HUnm6rNjR9
— Ari Limbrick (@arilimbrick) April 30, 2022
Laura Linney, her thoughts on the character, and her direction of episode 11
While the development and effectiveness of Wendy is something we are talking about right now, it all began in the very first episode of the series. Laura Linney talked to GQ this January, where she opened up about the very first scene that gave her the first breakthrough at Wendy’s character. “When we shot the episode where [Wendy] twirls the possum and it goes on top of the roof — I had a moment when I got that script where I thought, ‘How does she know how to do that?” Linney said.
While @batemanjason was so good as an actor and director (extreme move from comedy to criminal), I hated, loved and want to become a criminal due to Laura Linney's Wendy Byrde. Adored #OzarkSeason4. Sorry that it ended.
— Cecil (@CecilPadayachee) April 30, 2022
It can also be understood how involved Laura Linney got with the storytelling of Ozark, that she made her directorial debut with an episode in the last season. It is just absolutely crazy how she has managed to make the entire world hate Wendy for what she does, but at the same time love her because she never gives up on things she does. Truly, an amazing indeed.
Tell us what you think about Wendy Byrde as a character in the comments below.
You can witness the entire journey of Wendy on Ozark now, as all the seasons of the show are not streaming on Netflix.