Season 3 of Ozark offers plenty of the blood-splattered violence and insidious undermining that drew viewers to the Netflix crime drama in the first place. However, it provides plenty of quiet moments that can sometimes go unnoticed among the violence and tension. One such moment comes in the season's ninth episode, "Fire Pink," which begins with a five-minute monologue delivered by star Tom Pelphrey.
In an interview with PopCulture.com, which you can read in full here, the scene-stealer talked about everything from his rapport with his on-screen sister (played by Laura Linney), as well as when he first realized the kind of impact his character, Ben Davis, would leave behind. He also addressed the chilling, incoherent monologue from "Fire Pink," which showcased Pelphrey's talent. Though, as he explained, that scene "looked on the page almost exactly word for word what you see in the show."
"It was, and is — in my opinion — just that genius piece of writing," Pelphrey said. "I knew it as soon as I read it, I was simultaneously slightly intimidated and very excited, and I had the benefit of being able to get to work on that scene for weeks before I had to film it. It was one of the last things that we filmed. So I had plenty of time to feel very comfortable with the words and the structure and to get everything down perfect."
"Like when you have writing that's that good, there's nothing you can do to add to it through improvisation or anything. In my opinion, you can only make it worse," the actor continued. "So there's a real desire to live up to the quality of the writing and being prepared and having everything word-perfect allows you a freedom to relax and sort of surprise yourself. Just get out of the way and let the writing room take you where it's gonna take you — and you can be present with the writing and sort of be surprised by where it goes because you know the writing is good. You know you can't go wrong."
Pelphrey went on to call the monologue, as well as the Ozark scripts overall, "a rare gift," admitting that there wasn't any way he could have improved it. "And to whatever extent people like that or thought it was good, it was written that way." For anyone who wants to experience this kind of acclaim, which isn't limited to Pelphrey's, all three seasons of Ozark are available to stream on Netflix.