She lives for the stage and treasures her co-stars. Just don’t ask her about the ending of Ozark.
By E. Alex Jung, June 22, 2022
When Laura Linney starred in a 2002 Broadway revival of The Crucible, her favorite part was Act Three, when her character, Elizabeth Proctor, doesn’t appear onstage.
“I would be underneath the floorboards of the theater, just listening,” she says. “You could hear the orchestration of the voices. Liam Neeson tromping around. Then you realize just what a fucking genius Arthur Miller was. When you’re in the work like that, it just envelops you and moves through your body.”
Laura Linney is an actor’s actor. Juilliard-trained and now sitting on the school’s board of trustees, she has built a more-than-30-year career moving across television, film, and theater.
Most recently, she appeared in the final season of the crime drama Ozark before flying to Dublin to shoot The Miracle Club with Maggie Smith and Kathy Bates. Throughout her body of work, she exudes a quality at once familiar and slightly hard to place, with a dimpled smile that can slide easily from delight to menace and a contralto voice that can be adjusted to the scale of the medium.
She has a good disposition for the job, with an eye for longevity and a sunny steeliness that can weather caprice and ego. Still, when it comes to why she became an actor, she has no answer. “I don’t know if I really want to know,” she says one day at a restaurant in Brooklyn. “Maybe when I’m 80 I’ll look at it.”