Laura Linney Keeps On Shining
It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite performance of Laura Linney’s. She’s stunned on both stage and screen over the past three decades, bringing depth and originality to projects like Mystic River, Kinsey, and The Little Foxes, and leaving countless accolades (including five Tony Award nominations, three Oscars nominations, and four Emmy wins) in her wake.
Given her phenomenal range and impeccable track record, it’s no wonder Ozark executive producer, director, and star Jason Bateman was keen to cast Linney as the ruthless Wendy Byrde when the series was first getting off the ground. “The thing I was focused on by trying to land Laura was what she would represent internally and externally about the show . . . she is unapologetically real and serious,” Bateman remarks, “She is just so restrained and so classy with the way in which she goes about doing what she does. I knew that authenticity was going to be important for what this family is going through.” Over the course of the last four seasons, watching Linney sink her teeth into one of the most complex, conniving, and dynamic female characters of recent years has been a wildly satisfying experience. Equally satisfying is the recognition Linney has received for the role, manifested partially in the form of three consecutive Emmy nominations (including a nod for her performance this past season and a nod for her work as co-executive producer).
In celebration of the tour de force that is Laura Linney and the unforgettable mark that Wendy Byrde leaves on the Ozark universe, we’ve pulled together some of the quotes that Linney’s Ozark peers have shared over the years about their beloved co-star, collaborator, and friend.