After almost two years away, hit Netflix series Ozark is returning for a third season on Friday 27th March – with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney reprising their roles as a couple sucked into the dark world of money laundering.
And while many of the show’s stars are back for the third run, some characters didn’t make it out of the second series alive – which means there is plenty of room for a host of new faces to join the cast.
One of those new cast members is young actor Madison Thompson, who plays Erin Pierce on the show. RadioTimes.com spoke to Thompson about her character, what it was like to join the show and what we can expect from series 3 – here’s everything you need to know…
Who is Erin Pierce?
Erin is the daughter of Helen Pierce – a recurring character from the second season who has now become part of the main cast and is described by Thompson as “very cold and calculating.”
Speaking about her own character, Thompson said, “She goes into the Ozarks not knowing what to expect at all. She’s never been there before, she’s from Chicago, and is kind of uprooted from what she knows and put into this strange new place where she has to adapt.”
She added, “My character is, and you’ll figure this out right from the very first scene, very headstrong – she’s very similar to her mother in that she knows what she wants and is not afraid to take charge and to say no.
“I thought that was very empowering as a woman to be able to play such a strong character, even as a teenager, who was not afraid to stick up for herself.”
What else has Madison Thompson been in?
While this is Thompson’s most high profile role to date, she has also appeared in a number of other US TV shows. She starred in a 2018 episode of NCIS: New Orleans, three episodes of comedy drama Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and in a segment of the horror anthology series Creepshow.
What was it like joining the cast?
Thompson said that joining the cast for the third series was like walking into “a well oiled machine.”
“These people have been working for almost two years together, it’s a lot of the same cast, a lot of the same crew and they really work as a team, as a machine,” she said. “They know each other and have great relationships and there’s always such a high standard of work ethic when you walk in.”
And Thompson said it was particularly exciting to join a show in which the actors are so involved in developing the story. As well as being the lead actor on the series, Jason Bateman is a producer and has also directed several episodes – and this is something Thompson felt was interesting to watch.
“The first day on set Jason was actually directing me so it was really cool,” she said. “I felt like I was staring right into the machine of working on a show where the lead actor is also one of the head producers and is the director. You get to understand his relationship and the fact that Jason does wear a lot of different hats in this role.”
Who did she enjoy working with the most?
Thompson said she enjoyed working with everyone on the show – but singled out her on-screen mother Janet McTeer for special praise.
“I think my favourite person that I worked with was definitely Janet who plays my Mom,” she said. ” I was actually a really big fan of her before coming onto the show because I’m a big fan of Broadway…and I think the reason why I would be more than thrilled to work with her again is because of how much I learned from her this season.
“She really taught me a lot of great lessons that you can’t learn in an acting class about what it means to be a giving scene partner and what it means to take the weight off the other person in the scene, and she made such great contributions to the show when it came to ideas of how to shoot and how to block.”
What were the most challenging aspects of playing Erin?
Thompson said that when she first joined the show she didn’t realise quite how involved Erin was going to be in the series – and that the writers constantly kept her on edge regarding her future storyline.
“I didn’t know how much I was going to be on it, so that was probably the biggest challenge because I was savouring each moment on set as if it’s my last,” she said.
“I didn’t really know where my character was going which now looking back I think was a choice that the writers made on purpose, not to tell me.”
What does Thompson say we can expect from season 3?
In general Thompson claims that the third series will offer both more of the same for Ozark fans but also some interesting new developments and dynamics – including a “deeper dive into the relationship between Marty and Wendy.”
She said, “I think that the stakes are raised to a level that viewers have never seen before and with those high stakes there’s also large potential losses.
“I think the new characters this season definitely shake it up and I think it also tonewise strikes a great happy medium between that of season 1 and season 2 – so I’m really excited to see it.”
Ozark season 3 is streaming on Netflix from 27th March