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Ozark on Netflix: 16 things you didn't know about the drama
From filming locations to Marty's trainers - uncover 16 surprising facts about Ozark as its highly-anticipated fourth and final season on Netflix draws to a dramatic close.
After four exciting seasons, it's time to bid goodbye to Marty, Wendy, Ruth and the rest of the cast of colourful characters who have helped make crime drama Ozark one of the best - and most addictive - shows on TV.
The first half of season 4 dropped on Netflix in January, bringing with it some shocking moments, dangerous new characters but a suggestion that the end - in one way or another - is in sight for the Byrdes.
The show's final seven episodes arrive on Netflix on Friday 29 April.
Thankfully, seasons 1-3 are still available to stream, so if you've never seen Ozark - and you have a real adventure awaiting you - you can catch up ahead of the finale or just rewatch it at your leisure.
Here, ahead of the show's final episodes, we've unearthed the following facts, trivia and hidden meanings to add an extra layer of understanding to your Ozark adventure...
1. Jason Bateman was supposed to be the sole director of Ozark’s first season
Jason Bateman, who plays Marty Byrde in the show, was originally signed up to direct the entire first season. However, scheduling conflicts meant he only directed the first two and last two episodes.
To start with, Jason wasn’t that interested in taking the lead role of Marty, but the promise of directing helped to get him on board.
Also, Laura Linney was hesitant of taking on the role of Wendy Byrde too, because she didn't want to do a TV series. But Jason Bateman's involvement intrigued her to join the cast, because she wanted to see him stretch his acting range. Also, the chance to explore new ways to make Wendy more than 'just the wife' gave the role an even greater pull.
2. The actors learned about money laundering from the FBI
An FBI agent who investigates money laundering sat down with the actors for a day so they could pick her brain and ensure the stories were plausible.
Thankfully, it worked. Beam Solutions, a financial compliance software company, considered the series’ accuracy to be “both plausible and very creative.”
3. Marty sometimes makes a mess of the math
Despite being a money laundering whizz, there is one scene where Marty doesn't have a hold of the numbers.
In series 1 episode 7, Marty transfers some money into his account. He already has a balance of $15,736.42 and transfers in a whopping $906,352.17. His total balance displays as $932,088.59. It should be about 10 grand less though, at $922,088.59 – but who doesn’t like free money, eh?
4. Julia Garner didn’t think she’d get the role of Ruth Langmore
Talking of nice surprises, Julia Garner got one when she auditioned for the role of Ruth Langmore.
Garner explained how she auditioned in a small New York casting office where she was able to hear all the other actors trying out for the part. When it came to her turn, she auditioned the part using the Missouri accent which she’d developed for a previous movie role.
Despite thinking that the audition hadn’t gone well, Garner got a call back a week later telling her the part was hers. Garner admits, “it worked out for me. I thought there was no chance.”
5. Ruth’s a rap fan and Killer Mike is in season 4
Ruth likes rap music. During Ozark we hear her bumping the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., Gang Starr and Wu-Tang Clan while in her truck, so it’s pretty neat that in season 4 Ruth meets a real-life Atlanta rap superstar.
Killer Mike, from Run The Jewels, makes a cameo in the show. He explained to Billboard: “I went from waiting to find out what happens next to being part of it. I’m excited.”
6. Sometimes Julia Garner was hands-off
A hand double had to be brought in during a scene involving a mouse that Ruth Langford had to handle. Julia Garner hates rodents. She was supposed to pick up a mouse and drop it into some water, but she was on the verge of a panic attack. “The whole crew was laughing at me,” Garner told W Magazine. “It was so embarrassing. I couldn’t even lift it."
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7. Episode clues appear in the title sequence
During the title sequence at the start of each episode you’ll see clues about what to expect from the show within the letter ‘O’. Furthermore, the way these narrative clues are positioned within the 'O' spell out the rest of the word ‘Ozark’. The graphics were designed by Fred Davis - you can see his work here.
8. Jason Bateman wears his favourite trainers in Ozark
One thing you’ll definitely see throughout Ozark is Marty Byrde wearing his favourite brand of trainers – New Balance. This is something sneakerheads would’ve picked up on in Jason Bateman’s previous films and TV shows too, as he always wears shoes adorning the NB logo. In Ozark, he opts for the New Balance M1400DM trainers in a ‘Dark Military’ colorway, which is apparently made exclusively for US retailer J.Crew.
9. There are subtle references to Jason Bateman’s previous hit show Arrested Development throughout Ozark
Another thing you might’ve picked up on are the subtle references throughout the show to Jason Bateman’s other popular TV show, Arrested Development.
In that comedy there’s a running joke with his dad, George Bluth, about how he always hides cash in the walls, especially inside the walls of a banana stand. That was referenced in Ozark when Marty starts stashing cash in the walls of his resort.
Also in Arrested Development, Bateman’s character Mike Bluth is an expert on maritime law. There was a reference to this in Ozark when Marty and his family rode on the Queen Mary and he started talking about maritime law.
The title ‘Arrested Development’ is even mentioned in Ozark when one of the side effects of a sexual dysfunction drug called Teamocil is called out.
10. The same Canadian Football Match keeps appearing on the TV
In pretty much every scene where there’s a TV screen, they’re showing a Canadian Football League match – the same one. The game is Montreal Alouettes vs. Toronto Argos, and it can be seen in series one and two.
11. There’s an Ozark and 13 Reasons Why Easter egg
In the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, characters Alex Standall and Montgomery de la Cruz can be seen playing the video game Desert Duty, which Alex bought in series 2. It’s a made up game designed to resemble Call of Duty. The same game can be seen on Ozark, being played by Ruth and Boyd.
12. Show co-creator Bill Dubuque used to work on the Lake of the Ozarks as a teenager
As a youngster Bill Dubuque worked for the Alhonna Resort and Marina, where he developed a love for the place that inspires Ozark the series. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and no doubt his fond memories and knowledge of the Ozarks inspired much of the show.
13. Much of Ozark is actually filmed in Atlanta
While the scenes are planned and modelled on the Lake of the Ozarks, much of the actual filming for the show is done in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ozark’s Atlanta filming locations include Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona, which are about an hour outside of Atlanta and where the water scenes are shot.
Lake Allatoona is where you’ll find The Blue Cat, which is a real-life restaurant called The Little River Sports Bar and Grill.
Little River Marina at Lake Allatoona is also the real-life marina used for interior and exterior shots during the first few episodes, while Victoria Harbour Marina, Jones Bridge Park, Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q and the Silver Skillet restaurant all feature.
Chateau Elan is used as Camino Del Rio’s (Del's) lavish estate and many of the interior shots are filmed at Eagle Rock Studios in the city.
14. There’s a real-life Ozark bar and grill
The success of the show created a tourist boom on Lake Ozark, leading to the creation of Marty Byrde’s Bar and Grill, where you can tuck into Del’s Nachos, Ruth’s Smoked Wings and Wendy’s Philly Steak Sandwich.
15. It all in the Byrde’s name
On the surface, the Byrde surname seems pretty unremarkable. However, showrunner Chris Mundy revealed its hidden meaning, explaining at the virtual Paley Fest 2020:
“They had literally taken flight. But what we ended up doing in season one when we started talking about it, is talking about the Byrdes as an invasive species in the Ozarks. Look at everything, what would have... all the people that would still be alive, all the things that would still be OK, if these people had never picked up and moved here.
"So we sort of used the analogy, took it from wherever Bill (Dubuque) was thinking and used it as that, as this invasive species in this area, and look at the sheer havoc they've wreaked – and at the same time, the tiniest bit of good every once in a while."
16. House of Cards star Robin Wright directed two episodes in Series 4 Part 1
Robin Wright is best known for playing Carrie Underwood in House of Cards, but she also directed 10 episode of Netflix’s political drama over its six seasons.
And it was because of her directing abilities that she was asked to take charge of the final two episodes of Ozark Season 4 Part 1.
Showrunner Chris Mundy explained to the Hollywood Reporter, “It was just like, ‘We’ve got 14 episodes, let’s get her if we can,’ because we knew she was really talented.”
The admiration was mutual too, with Wright telling Collider, “It’s one of my favourite shows and has been from Episode 1, Season 1.
“And I just love that cast so much and the style of the show. And you think, ‘well, is it possible that something could be darker than House of Cards?’ Yes, this one!”
Ozark Season 4 part 2 is available to watch on Netflix from 29 April 2022.
Seasons 1-3 are avaialble to stream now.
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