Principal filming has just been wrapped up on the fourth season of the hit series Ozark in the small town of Mullumbimby in the far north east of New South Wales.
The Bug’s Buddy Tugg sat down in a riverside park just under the federation bridge on the town’s eastern approaches with the four actors who play the Byrde family – Jason Bateman (Marty), Laura Linney (Wendy) and their children Sofia Hublitz (Charlotte) and Skylar Gaertne (Jonah) – and asked them how they enjoyed working in Oz over recent months and what they thought of their new Australian acting colleagues.
Buddy: Sorry about not being able to shout you all a steak meal at the middle pub because of the coronavirus lockdown. But I hope you enjoy the corn beef and pickles sandwiches my missus whipped up for us here. There’s white and wholemeal.
Jason Bateman: No worries … as you guys say, right?
Buddy: Spot on, mate. I know you’ll all be reluctant to give too much away about what happens next for the Byrde family but it’s no secret that the entire fourth series is set in Mullumbimby as the family moves there to try to escape the clutches of the ruthless Mexican druglord Omar Navarro?
Jason Bateman: I’m not sure where you heard that, Buddy, but we can’t go there. We’d be breaching our contracts if we let on too much about what happens. Sorry.
Buddy: Understand perfectly. But does Julia Garner who plays Ruth Langmore make the trip Down Under. She’s fucking awesome.
Jason Bateman: Once again, we…
Buddy: …can’t go there. Fair enough, but now that the four of you have been here for some months, you’ll realise how funny we in Australia thought it was when your family discusses – in season two I think – moving to Mullumbimby just south-west of the Gold Coast.
Jason Bateman: In what way?
Buddy: As you all will be aware now, Mullumbimby is a pretty staid and law-abiding place. It’s chockablock full of goody-two-shoes who hate drugs and won’t even tolerate anyone having a puff of grass. That surely had to be just about the most perfect place in the whole world for a family heavily involved in money laundering for a murderous drug syndicate to escape to?
Laura Linney (rubbing her nose): Mullumbimby? Really? So what was that white stuff the four of us were sniffing last night (All actors laugh).
Buddy: Not here in Mullum or its local district, surely? There hasn’t been a drug arrest here for years. Nothing ever happens here except for the occasional G5 or anti-vax protest rally.
Sofia Hublitz: No. This was up at Nimbin where we were staying these past few months at an Air D and D.
Buddy: You mean Air B and B?
Sofia: No, it was definitely an Air Dinner and Drugs place. The overnight accommodation was always thrown in for free.
Buddy: Well, that would be Nimbin alright. Sadly it’s a hotbed for drugs soft and hard. Lismore cops do unscheduled, sneak raids on the place at 3.30pm every Friday with their sirens blazing as they make their way up the mountain. Byron Bay on the coast is also dreadful. Rife with drugs which is why the kids flock there.
Very sad both places, so don’t go there. kids, okay. But Mullum’s very prudish and proper. It’s citizens are really quite religious and reserved. (Actors remain silent).
Buddy: Laura, to you, can I just say how much I enjoyed seeing you once again plying your trade after your last appearance in Dave, what, almost 30 years ago?
Laura Linney: I’ve had steady film and theater (sic) work all that time, love, actually.
Buddy: Oh, I’m so sorry. I must have been thinking about Laura Dern?
Laura Linney: Laura won the supporting actress Oscar this year for Marriage Story and she’s also been very prolific over the decades as well.
Buddy: Gosh, who am I confusing you with then? Katherine Heigel? Although she’ s rather pretty. By the way, are you and Laura Dern related?
Laura Linney: No. I am a few years older than her but I suppose we could be like sisters professionally.
Buddy: I understand, guys, you’ve had a fair number of new characters introduced into the fourth season. Was it fun working with some of Australia’s finest thespians and John Howard?
Laura Linney: We really didn’t get to know them all that well.
Buddy: Really. That’s unusual. We Aussies are pretty friendly types who mix well…
Jason Bateman: Buddy, they’re were all minor character actors on Ozark!
Buddy: Oh, right, gotcha. So the extreme violence in the series continues, eh?
Jason Bateman: We can’t go there.
Buddy: Mums the word. Still with acting roles hard to get nowadays, some of these actors would have been thankful to get a few days work, I guess?
Skylar Gaertne (pulling a pretend trigger with the forefinger of his right hand): Most were lucky to get a half-day!
Buddy: Right. I think that about wraps it up. By the way, Sofia, you really do like wearing those very tight, little white shorts, don’t you?
Sofia Hublitz: I guess.
Buddy: I think they suit you.
Sofia: Ah… thanks.
Buddy: You look really lovely in them. Do you ever wear any other colours? Maybe later, I’d love to see you try them on if you do.
Buddy: Now, the missus has packed two thermos flasks here. Who takes milk and two sugars with their tea?