Laura Linney Might Attend the Emmys in Her Pajamas
Netflix’s “Ozark” became the go-to watch for many Americans stuck in their homes during quarantine — and now it’s netted 18 Emmy nominations, tied for the most of any drama with HBO’s “Succession.”
Laura Linney was nominated for best actress in a drama for playing the tough-as-nails mother and blackmailer-in-chief Wendy Byrde. It’s her second Emmy nomination for that role and her seventh overall — she won four, “Wild Iris,” “John Adams,” “Frasier” and “The Big C: Hereafter.”
As “Ozark” looks toward its fourth — and final — season, Linney claims she knows no more than the casual fan. On Tuesday afternoon, the actor spoke about her newfound baking obsession, her favorite quarantine binge watch and the possibility of taking home a top honor in her pajamas. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Where were you when you got the news?
I was in the doctor’s office and, quite frankly, forgot the nominations were coming out this morning. Then my phone exploded.
Does it feel odd to be getting this recognition at a time when things are tough for so many people?
It’s completely upside down. Is it the main thing people should be focusing on? No. Is it nice that it happened for my insulated little group of people? Yes.
The audience for “Ozark” keeps building. Why do you think that is?
I hope it’s because all of us — not only the actors, but the writers, production staff and our technical people — work really well together. And I hope that it’s just that, with time, we’re getting better.
Why do you think the show has struck a nerve with people?
Right now, everyone is trying to figure out who we are, who we want to be, how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves — and I think that all has something to do with it. It’s also suspenseful, and there’s a really good ensemble.
How have you been spending the quarantine so far?
I’ve been baking a lot. And I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family, which has been a very nice thing to be able to do for a bad reason. I’ve been home-schooling my son and trying to keep him occupied.
Is home-schooling what you thought it’d be like?
Good Lord, I have a 6-year-old, so it’s kindergarten. You spend so much of their lives telling them not to look at a screen, but all of a sudden everything happens onscreen. It’s confusing for little people.
Any new recipes you’ve had the chance to try?
My good friend Jeanne Tripplehorn told me about an Earl Grey Tea Cake that’s so good — it’s a New York Times recipe. It’s fantastic.
What show are you currently obsessed with?
I’ve recently binged “Queer Eye.” It’s just such a positive, wonderful celebration of humanity — I just sit there and jump up and down and cheer them on and cry.
When you’re finally able to go back into production, do you think you will approach your work on “Ozark” differently from how you did before the pandemic?
I don’t think so, but I’m sure it’s changed us all in ways we don’t even understand yet. I think I’m going to enjoy it more. And it’ll be nice to be around people when it’s safe to do so.
Any wishes for Wendy for the final season?
No, I wouldn’t dream of suggesting anything. I’ll be excited to see what happens. We never know. We let our genius writers go off and make their magic and find out later.
Do you have any plans for Emmy night?
I can’t imagine it’ll be anything other than virtual, but we can sit on the couches and celebrate. Maybe I’ll wear my Snoopy pajamas.