In the first season of the Jason Bateman and Laura Linney-led Netflix crime drama Ozark, the name “Cade Langmore” was whispered by locals who were fearful that the jailbound devil might come from behind a tree or trailer and snatch them away. In Ozark season 2, which streams this Friday, the head of the Langmore family finds himself no longer confined by prison bars, which means the Byrde family’s criminal escapades are now his to manipulate, if not wholly disrupt.
Trevor Long, who plays the feared father of Julia Garner’s Ruth, a local ally to Marty (Bateman) and Wendy’s (Linney) various enterprises, now has a lot more to do in the would-be heir to Breaking Bad. This means long hours spent portraying a particularly dark character in an even darker show. To get past the series’ somber tone, however, Long admits he sought solace in the comedy of Larry David to lighten the mood for himself and his fellow actors while filming Ozark season 2.
Trevor Long talks Ozark season 2
“I want to be in it as much as I can when I’m preparing to just put myself in,” he explains. “When the camera’s rolling, I put myself in it, but when the camera’s off, we like to have fun and bust around and tell jokes. Charlie [Tahan] and Julia even got me hooked on Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David. I’d never watched it before, but I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ That was my release. I’d watch Larry David every night after shooting because you want to be as light as possible. I mean, you have to have that mix.”
Yet for all the inherent darkness that Ozark season 2 sees in its characters, Cade among them, Long argues that the show’s particular strain of humor shines just a brightly, especially when the occasion calls for it.
“There’s definitely some humor with Cade,” he says. “You got a glimpse of it in the prison, and it’s a little dark, but he’s definitely got a sense of humor. You find a lightness when and where you can. When those moments come, I really really try to find them and let them in. That sense of humor, and busting around with his nephews and his daughter… That was important.”
It’s especially important to Cade and Ruth’s strained relationship, which has already been tested by the latter’s allegiance with the Byrde family in season one. Now that Cade is out, he must contend not only with the region’s criminal newcomers, but with his own flesh and blood. Luckily for Ozark season 2 and for fans of the show, Long and Garner’s work together on screen helps bring this dynamic to life with ease.
“Working with her was such fun and great experience,” says Long. “She’s obviously a very talented young actress. She just was full on every time and made me very comfortable in the scene. I saw what I was dealing with, and it made me excited to get in there with her. She was just so professional and prepared.”
Asked if the task of doing even more as the previously whispered-about Cade was a daunting task, especially now that he was being paired off with (or against) Garner, Bateman and Linney, however, Long doesn’t seem worried.
“I was pretty psyched going into season two, to have daddy and daughter wreak some havoc in the Ozarks,” he laughs. “I was really excited, but yeah, it was definitely daunting. But I didn’t try to think about it too much. I was pumped.”
Ozark season 2 premieres Friday, Aug. 31, on Netflix.