Jason Bateman’s new show, Ozark, takes you into the depths of greed and excess when Marty Byrde (Bateman) gets involved with laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. This isn’t the first time Bateman has been cast as a morally-ambiguous businessman, and it probably won’t be the last—but will we ever see Marty Byrde again? Read on to find out why Marty Byrde might not be quite so bad after all. The Allure of Ozark: Jason Bateman as the Subversive Marty Byrde
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Is it worthy?
I don’t know if it’s worthy, but it sure is fun to watch. Netflix’s latest offering, a $5 billion bet on original content, is a neo-noir thriller in which money laundering has been transformed into an art form. Called the most bingeable show of 2017 by Vox, Ozark stars Jason Bateman as Martin Marty Byrde, a financial advisor whose business partner launders money for a Mexican drug cartel. In order to save his skin and avoid federal prison for his partner, he agrees to follow through with one last deal: moving $8 million across state lines.
Why does it matter?
The breakout Netflix series follows a financial advisor named Martin Marty Byrde. He lives in Chicago, where he’s a self-employed financial advisor and is actually married to Wendy (played by Laura Linney). However, at work he helps launder money for a Mexican drug cartel—meaning that his real life clashes with his professional one. But why would someone who seems to have it all go into a business like laundering money? It comes down to opportunity cost, which refers to what you give up by making one choice rather than another. For example, say you want to go see Black Panther but there’s only one screening at your local theater on Thursday night and seats are really limited.
Why do you care?
Many actors, particularly those associated with comedy, don’t get their due in other genres. But then there’s Jason Bateman. From his early days on Silver Spoons to everything since, including a number of criminally underrated films like Juno and Up in the Air, he has a proven track record for bringing humanity to every role. That talent is on full display as Martin Marty Bryde in Netflix’s Ozark. With a plot that could easily have devolved into action or thriller clichés, Bateman brings nuance and depth to what could be an unlikeable character.
What’s your purpose?
The main character, Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), lives in Chicago, Illinois and works as a financial advisor. He is married to Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) and has two children. His younger brother, Seth (Jimmi Simpson), is a lawyer who does illegal work with him behind his wife’s back. His partner in crime is former colleague Jacoby (Peter Mullan). Despite his life looking perfect on paper, he feels like something is missing. With all of his skills and connections, why can’t he take care of his family? His opportunity arrives when one night while watching a news report about Mexicans being massacred by drug cartels, he gets an idea to become rich and powerful himself through laundering money for a Mexican cartel.
Who else cares?
While many viewers might be drawn to Ozark because it’s a new show from Breaking Bad creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan, it stands alone as an entirely different story. While it is violent and brooding, also like Breaking Bad, there is a creeping sense of menace underneath its idyllic setting. Everything seems normal, even cute in some ways; but just below those surface appearances are dark forces at work and nasty consequences for getting involved with them. Its protagonist isn’t Walter White; he’s something else entirely. We spoke with series star Jason Bateman about his character Martin Marty Byrde.
How do you connect with people?
As a financial advisor, it’s important to gain and maintain trust among your clients. A subplot in Ozark revolves around Marty using his own cash to set up a side account for his teenage client, Charlotte, who is trying to get her hands on $5,000 to pay back a wealthy acquaintance that she slept with. When he learns that one of his associates has stolen some money from an unprotected stash, Marty asks him if he could transfer $5,000 into Charlotte’s side account. He says yes – but only after verifying that it was actually Marty’s money he was stealing in order to help Charlotte out. What does this tell us about their relationship? How does that change how we view Marty?
Q & A , The Allure of Ozark: Jason Bateman as the Subversive Marty Byrde
On a recent episode of The Chive podcast, Jason Bateman described his character, Marty in Netflix’s new show Ozark (premiering July 21) as Walter White meets Bernie Madoff. That sentence is so pitch-perfect you almost don’t even need to read more to know what he means by it.
When do you act?
There’s a scene in Netflix’s latest offering, Ozark, where Marty (Jason Bateman) tells his business partner that there are two times you can lie to people: when you have their attention and when you don’t. Much like what happens to bodies and organisms in nature, it takes something shocking or unexpected to change your ways. This is how showrunners Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams set up things on Ozark. We begin with little idea of who Marty Byrde is – he seems like a friendly family man, not someone ready to do reprehensible things – but over time, we learn more about him.
Did Jason Bateman create Ozark?
Jason told me that he was going to direct and produce it, Mr. Kelley recalled, and I said, ‘No you’re not. I want to do it.’ And then we both did it. Which is how we ended up in a room together with Laura and discussing what her life might be like if she were married to Marty Byrde instead of Walter White.
Why did Jason Bateman stop directing Ozark?
Take a look at their resume. These are seasoned filmmakers, with credits that include working on TV shows such as Breaking Bad and directing features such as The Gift. And according to director Bill Dubuque, Ozark was originally intended to be an anthology series where each season would follow a different story and set of characters; with season two they decided to continue telling stories in what they’ve now branded the dark heart of America.
What does Jason Bateman say about Ozark?
If you asked my wife to sum up Ozark in one word, she’d say ‘repulsive.’ And I wouldn’t disagree with her, says Bateman. But for me, it’s about a guy who is stepping out on his family and getting into business with criminals and doing terrible things. He makes bad choices, but then rationalizes those choices in order to sleep at night. … It was a personal risk to do something that might alienate some people. —Jason Bateman, Esquire Interview
How much does Jason Bateman make for Ozark?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Jason Bateman’s net worth is $30 million. He is best known for his roles in films such as Juno, Up in the Air, The Switch and Horrible Bosses. Nowadays he appears on TV shows like Arrested Development and It’s Your Move. As previously mentioned, most recently he starred in Netflix’s drama series called Ozark.
Where is Ozark filmed?
The show is filmed in Macon County, Missouri. The series started filming at a time when Springfield was seeking to become a film destination. In 2015, production began on Finding Dory, which was also shot in Macon County and cast many local residents.
Is Ozark finished for good?
The Ozark Season 1 finale ended with a whole lot of major cliffhangers, setting up a potential Season 2 that could go in any number of interesting directions. The series made plenty of changes to its source material — 2017’s Black Money miniseries — and it seems possible that some characters may be able to survive what appeared to be lethal circumstances at the end of Episode 10.