I’ve been a fan of “Ozark” since the very first season dropped on Netflix. When Season 3 premiered in late March of this year, I was excited to watch something new, especially since the “shelter at home” rule had been in effect for about 2 weeks.
I think we can all agree that Season 3 is the best season of “Ozark.” In fact, it was just a couple weeks ago that the Emmy nominations came out and “Ozark” garnered a total of 18 nominations, including Best Drama Series and 3 acting nods.
“Ozark” Season 3 is critically acclaimed by both entertainment journalists and fans alike – in part, because of the shift in tone and the addition of a new supporting character, Ben Davis (Wendy’s brother). During PaleyFest LA, entertainment reporter Dave Karger interviewed the cast of “Ozark” as well as the showrunner, Chris Mundy.
Chris said that the writers wanted to dig into Marty and Wendy’s marriage more. Personally, some of my favorite scenes in Season 3 involve their marriage counseling sessions. 😉
Says Chris, “Having Ben come in was a big thing and moving Helen to the Ozarks was done so that we could create an extended work family.” Adding, “We just wanted to kind of throw them into the deep end together.”
What About Ben?
There’s a theory among Ozark fans that Ben isn’t really dead, partly because you never actually see Ben die. Showrunner Chris quickly debunked that theory by saying, “I wish it were true but it ain’t true, unfortunately.”
Love Story for Ruth
In this season, we see a whole new side of Marty’s loyal employee, Ruth. What was it like for actress Julia Garner to delve into that side of her character? Said Julia, “I was more nervous for myself. Ruth has such a wall, and this is the first time that you ever see her take down her wall.” Adding, “I had to know exactly what episode and what scene that Ruth was going to take down her wall in front of Ben and really show who she is.”
Helen as a Mom
Helen Pierce is played by the lovely British actress, Janet McTeer. Apparently Janet had some reservations about playing the part of Helen as a mom. Said Helen, “You’re playing someone scary, particularly in Season 2. I was sort of nervous that if we saw her being normal, like a normal mother with a cross teenager, that it would detract from her power somehow.”
In the end, she made it work and really came around to the notion of being a mom. For Janet, the fun and challenge of it was to be realistic as a perfectly normal mother, and then to tap into the psychotic nature of Helen’s job.
Teasing Season 4
Chris Mundy gave one small hint regarding the 4th and final season of “Ozark” saying, “You’re going to learn what they [Wendy and Marty] want their end game to be and they’re going to have to sort of reckon with it a little bit.” He went on to reminisce about a scene in Season 3 between Wendy and her brother Ben, where she says, “When you’ve been running for your life, everything else seems exceedingly dull.”
Chris adds, “If they’re trying to look to see if there’s an out, they’ve gotta figure out if that’s what they [truly] want, and if so, like, what’s the version that they want.”
Starting Monday, August 10th, videos of all PaleyFest LA panels, including this one, will be available on the Paley Center YouTube channel. Click here for more info!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I was provided media access to this panel which helped facilitate this review. All images are used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.