During the Ozark portion of Netflix’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television livestream event, star-producer-director Jason Bateman talked about how the show has suddenly exploded in popularity in its third season, and gave much of the credit to the times we are living through right now.
“We are very proud of what we did, but we would be lying if we said we didn’t have a little virus aid,” he said during a discussion featuring co-stars Laura Linney and Julia Garner and showrunner Chris Mundy. “We had some gratuitous timing with the show coming out when everyone had nothing to look at except their walls and television. Hopefully people liked what they were looking at,” he added, noting that while the captured audience was nice, it was the talented group behind the camera and in front that really made the difference.
Linney, who plays Wendy, credits the cast getting into a rhythm after working together for three seasons, but she confesses she likes each season equally. “There’s something about familiarity. You can hit the ground running,“ she said. Garner, who won an Emmy in Season 2 as the fiery Ruth, talked about creating the character right from a mock scene she did during her audition, saying there was a certain “hopefulness” about her that she has carried with her as the series has evolved.
Mundy said the secret sauce is the craziness around the two families at the center of Ozark. “Every single year and episode you learn a little more about them, so if you keep to that simple formula, even with all the craziness, then something good will probably happen,” he said.
Check out the panel video above.