Interview: Tom Pelphrey on Getting to Come Back to Ben in ‘Ozark’

Tom Pelphrey delivered an Emmy-worthy performance as Ben, the brother of Laura Linney’s character Wendy Byrde, in season three of Ozark. Though he was inexplicably not nominated, it was a delight to see Pelphrey return for a flashback scene in season four, and now he’s officially an Emmy nominee in the Guest Actor in a Drama Series race.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Pelphrey about returning to Ozark and to dig into some of his best past projects, like Banshee, which Pelphrey believes might have been seen and received differently in another version of reality.  If you haven’t finished watching Ozark, beware extensive spoilers for season three and four in the text below and video conversation. If you have watched, it’s well worth continuing!

On what season four added to his overall arc, Pelphrey explained:

“I think, in a straightforward way, it closed the door on all the talk of, is Ben possibly still alive? I think it fit in nicely with the overall arc of the show, where they were going in season four. Obviously, the ramifications of Ben having been there and now missing, and how that’s being used by different people and affecting different people in different ways. Just on the character level, it was just a nice reminder, a nice accent piece on what a sweet soul he was, trying to wrap his mind around what’s happening and realizing he wants to make sure Wendy knows he forgives her and he even forgives Nelson for what he has to do. It was always my favorite part of the character, there was something about him that was so pure and simple.”

On his reaction to this nomination, Pelphrey shared:

“It’s really cool. It was a surprise to me. I wasn’t sitting there, waiting for that or expecting it. Nobody had told me that I should think it was coming. It truly caught me off-guard. It was a really awesome surprise.’

Watch the full conversation below:

All four seasons of Ozark are streaming exclusively on Netflix.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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