‘Ozark’: Jason Bateman Did Not Prepare for His Role as Marty Byrde

The Netflix series, Ozark, — starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Julia Garner — dropped its third series on March 27, 2020, and fans cannot stop talking about it. Bateman received two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama; however, he didn’t feel the need to prepare for his role as Marty Byrde.

'Ozark's Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde
‘Ozark’s Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde | STEVE DIETL/NETFLIX

What happened to Marty Byrde in ‘Ozark’ Season 3?

In the Ozark Season 3 finale, the Mexican drug cartel leader — Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) — solidifies his relationship with Marty and Wendy Byrde (Linney). Navarro gives the order to his hitman — Nelson (Nelson Bonilla) — to kill Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer). Showrunner, Chris Mundy, told viewers why Wendy and Marty are now more valuable than Helen to the cartel leader.

“As good as Helen is, there’s other lawyers in the world,” Mundy told Entertainment Weekly. “But Wendy and Marty have now pulled off two impossibilities for him. One is getting a casino to launder through in the first place, which is sort of the holy grail of money laundering.”

RELATED: Why Jason Bateman Almost Walked Away From Acting in ‘Ozark’

In season 3, Wendy takes the reins from Marty by securing a second casino for Navarro. She also proves her loyalty by having her brother murdered. Bateman’s character, on the other hand, is only doing enough to get by. He’s trying to sway the FBI to his side but also working on keeping Navarro at bay.  

“And the second is that, at least in Navarro’s mind, their claim that they have the FBI on their side and can swing the power of the U.S. government in the intervention in the drug war against their rivals,” continued the showrunner. “That’s something virtually no one else can do, and that essentially tipped the scales for Marty and Wendy.”

Bateman didn’t prepare for the role of Marty Byrde in ‘Ozark’

Bateman’s character does not show much feeling. He goes about his business doing what he needs to do to get by.

“I’m trying to not do ANY acting,” Bateman explained to AP News. “I’m trying to not be distracting at all. I don’t want to rock the boat. I don’t want to do anything where the audience goes, ‘Oh! Look at that performance!’ I’m just trying to service the story. I’m trying to be as natural and invisible as possible.”

RELATED: ‘Ozark’: Fans Argue Over the ‘Single Dumbest Plot Point in the Whole Show’

Bateman didn’t research cartels or money laundering before taking on the role of Marty.

“Acting changed for me a while ago when I started to become disenchanted with pretending to be other people,” Bateman continued. “I’m not interested in tricking you into thinking I’m somebody else. My challenge with acting has now changed into a different goal: to give me another hand on the wheel, along with directing, to steer the audience through the story.”

Fans love Jason Bateman’s natural character

“Jason Bateman plays only Jason Bateman,” one Reddit user wrote.

Many fans noticed that he’s not acting, but instead playing himself. However, they love every bit of it. 

“Yeah, but he’s good at it,” another fan added.

He didn’t have to prepare for the role because Bateman is the role. 

“Yes, I agree, but this is also why we love him,” one Redditor wrote. “It’s good enough to work in several memorable characters ranging from tv shows to movies. He’s done his job.”

He knows his role as Bateman works so well that he can direct the series at the same time. All three seasons of Ozark are currently streaming on Netflix.