The Netflix series “Ozark” is kind of like “Breaking Bad,” but with money laundering instead of meth cooking.
The series stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as Marty and Wendy Byrde, a married couple who get caught up with the wrong crowd. For Bateman, it’s a departure from his work in comedies like “Arrested Development,” and it’s also given him the opportunity to direct and produce.
The Frame's host, John Horn, met with Linney and Bateman recently when they were in Los Angeles, just as they were about to start production on season two of "Ozark."
On whether "Ozark" should be watched as episodes or one long movie:
LINNEY: I think it's more important to look at it as a whole. It is for me anyway. Because then you can also be more specific about the type of work that you're doing. It's easy to have these 10 episodes that don't really connect to each other if you think of it as one piece. How you look at time and how you consider time when you're working on something that's not really time-friendly is important to do. Psychologically, for me, when I'm looking at a big long piece, I like to think, What can I possibly place in episode two that then would pay off in episode eight?
On how Jason Bateman approaches directing himself:
It is uncomfortable to say, Okay, now my single. Let's do another take of that. I think we should go even a little bit tighter here. I think there's a way to say it that deals with your own horror and also doesn't get too ribbed by the rest of the crew. Somehow, I've got some weird ability — it's probably not a healthy ability — to completely turn off from my own acting and just be a director and look at me as an actor [like], This one guy is incredibly cooperative! He's reading my mind on every take. I don't know how he does it. He makes these small little adjustments. I didn't even have to say anything to him. I can concentrate on all these other things, other departments, other actors. So I do have this out-of-body thing that, again, I should probably grab a couple sessions with a therapist about.
On how season two builds off season one:
BATEMAN: It gives us an obligation to escalate things, both in the criminal challenges, in the moral challenges and the intelligence challenges. We need to keep getting smarter, which then puts a burden on some of the logic in the show. Dummies just have to figure out, Why shouldn't I go to the police right now? That's a simple one that you just have to jump over. Once you answer that, which we did early in the first season, now you have to continue to put barriers and obstacles in front of increasingly intelligent lead characters. Why can't you finish the show in this episode? Because that needs to be the objective of the main characters. They have to be obligated to continue on because these people want to get the hell out of this. They're not interested in a five-year series. They want to get home and get things simple. So the obstacles need to be able to hold up to high-brow scrutiny which these people claim to be in this show.
On Linney's plans to direct future episodes:
People have been pushing me to do this for a very long time. I've really been dragging my heels about it. I made a deal with one of our producers that if our show goes a certain number of seasons, then I'll jump in.