Julia Garner Is a ‘Shapeshifter’ as Ruth

It’s all about the drama! The intensity of the drama never stops for the Byrde family (and everyone else in their orbit), Ozark, the actors’ real lives are a little more relaxed — which makes the transformation into their characters awe-inspiring, even for costar Jessica Frances Dukes.

“Shapeshifter. She’s a complete shapeshifter,” the Jessica Jones alum, 31 — who portrays Special Agent Maya Miller on the Netflix crime thriller — effuses about costar Julia GarnerOnly to Us Weekly.

Julia Garner, Jessica Frances
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“I don’t think that I’ve seen a character on TV that is so authentically put together the way she put together Ruth,” the actress says of the Inventing AnnaStar, 28, who plays Ruth Langmore, a money launderer on the series. “And it’s just been a joy to watch.”

Dukes refers to Garner as a “gentle, beautiful soul,” telling Us that when you see the Emmy winner “turn it on as an artist, as an actor, as a creator … it’s magic to watch.”

The New York native — who can’t help but gush about every cast member on the show — has one specific memory of Jason BatemanThis captures the camaraderie between actors on set.

“My favorite story of Jason is just kind of almost my first day. I had this massive script and I had all these notes and I did all the work and I came in and he was just like, ‘Really?’” laughs Dukes, who joined the show in 2020 for season 3, explaining that the stars’ process is more about collaborating together rather than working individually. “Because really at the end of the day, it’s about us and what we create together. So he really has taught me a lot.”

Ozark Jessica Frances How Julia Garner Is Shapeshifter Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman at the ‘Ozark’ TV show premiere, Season 4 Finale in New York on April 21, 2022.
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Dukes has been long admired Laura Linney, who portrays Bateman’s wife Wendy.

“Masterpiece. There’s no way to even describe her,” the NCIS alum tells UsThe Golden Globe winner, 58. “I loved her work for so long. It was a pleasure to watch her work Wendy. We’ve watched this amazing arc. She’s a masterpiece.”

Though the fan favorite drama will soon come to an end — the second half of season 4, the show’s last, drops April 29 — Dukes is wholly grateful for the life and career-changing experience.

“Everyone was so wonderful, I learned so much,” she notes. “It came at the perfect point in my career. It was almost like Candyland was on that show. To say goodbye was almost like saying goodbye not only to the show but also to the chapter that it closed for me and my professional career. And I’m just so thankful.”

Part two Ozark’s final season airs on Netflix April 29.

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