Since 2017, Netflix’s brutally bleak crime saga "Ozark" has been one of the most talked-about and profoundly bingeable series in all of streaming. It’s hard to deny that it’s one of Netflix’s most notable original series to date, and some might even argue that it ended its run as one of the best series in the entire television landscape. With the show having now wrapped up its pulse-pounding four-season run, the "Ozark" fandom is surely going to be missing the misadventures of money launderer extraordinaire Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his beleaguered family.
While many will also miss Marty’s infamously cool demeanor under pressure, so too will they lament the various antics of his many esteemed castmates. You may not realize it, but quite a few in the "Ozark" cast also worked with Netflix on the streamer’s old slate of Marvel series before those projects made their way to Disney+. And yes, that list is likely a little bit longer than you might realize. These are the Ozark cast members who have also claimed roles in Marvel projects.
Skylar Gaertner played a young Daredevil before joining Ozark
Of all the narratives that played out amongst the Byrde family members on "Ozark," that of young Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) was one that proved as frequently frustrating as it was, in the end, surprisingly rewarding. But however you felt about Jonah’s gun-loving, parent-hating teen rebellions, we can likely all agree Gaertner sold every moment of the action like a seasoned pro.
That was hardly a surprise to anyone who recognized the young actor from the role he played just before he booked "Ozark." That role indeed found Gaertner portraying the young Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) on the hit Marvel series "Daredevil." Gaertner appeared in four episodes of "Daredevil" over its three-season run, portraying the precocious kid who would become the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen just before he lost his vision, and in the immediate aftermath. In doing so, he imbued a hard-earned, world-weary charm to the young man that added welcome layers of pathos to the older version of Matt throughout the series. Heck, Gaertner even showed off some solid martial arts skills to boot.
Janet McTeer played super mom to Jessica Jones
The casting professionals behind "Ozark" were probably also fans of Marvel’s "Jessica Jones," as several cast members from that series found themselves enmeshed in the cartel-addled carnage of the former. That includes the great Janet McTeer, who portrayed the icily domineering cartel attorney Helen Pierce for two seasons of "Ozark" before, ya know, all that happened.
As it was, some "Ozark" fans might argue the series never quite got over Helen’s shocking departure. And "Jessica Jones" fans would surely argue the actor left just as massive an imprint on the Marvel series. That’s an impressive feat as McTeer didn’t turn up until the 3rd season of "Jessica Jones," and didn’t even appear in every episode that season. She did, however, appear as Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) long thought deceased mother, Alisa. And if you thought Jessica’s story was complicated, Mama Jones’ tale of woe is one for the ages.
It also put the super-powered mother and daughter on a collision course that heightened the emotion of a beyond-tense Season 3. And yes, McTeer’s presence in the series proved every bit as towering as her formidable onscreen daughter.
Lisa Emery played mad scientist mother to Jessica Jones’ best villain
Lisa Emery had the distinct honor of portraying one of the least likable characters in the "Ozark" landscape. But her utterly unhinged work as Darlene Snell was also a legit series highlight. The series also proved to be somewhat of a proper breakout for Emery, who’d spent decades prior thriving in smaller supporting roles and one-off television appearances.
One of the actor’s not-so-minor supporting roles came a couple of years before her "Ozark" breakout, however, when she played a key Season 1 role in "Jessica Jones." As a brief refresher, Season 1 of "Jessica Jones" found the powered P.I. facing off against a mind-controlling nemesis named Kilgrave (a rarely better David Tennant). And after the hero (temporarily) captured the big bad in a sound-proof holding cell, we eventually learned a bit of his backstory.
That tale is a legit doozy, as it is revealed he was essentially made the way he is by the tinkering of his scientist mother Louise Thompson. That is indeed a far more restrained Lisa Emery portraying Kilgrave’s scarred mother in Season 1 episodes of "Jessica Jones." And the actor brought a studied humanity to the role rarely glimpsed in the erratic eyes of her "Ozark" counterpart.
Jessica Frances Dukes played a small screen shopping star in Jessica Jones
Janet McTeer and Lisa Emery were not the only "Jessica Jones" supporting players to get cast on "Ozark," as the wonderful Jessica Frances Dukes also turned up in the Marvel hits’ 3rd season. Dukes, of course, portrays the headstrong FBI Agent Maya Miller in Seasons 3 and 4 of "Ozark," and became a bit of a fan favorite along the way thanks to her relentless "Do the right thing, Marty" mantra. Even if he rarely did, it was still a lot of fun watching the two dance around the possibility of Marty turning Fed.
As for Dukes’ role on "Jessica Jones," it is certainly lighter in tone, as she portrays Grace, the co-host of the shopping channel show Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) fronts throughout Season 3. Grace is a smaller role in an over-crowded season of "Jessica Jones." But Dukes makes the most of her moments throughout the series, ultimately making Grace a full-realized, if singularly focused, character both worth noticing and worth remembering. And we’d lay even odds the "Ozark" casting team did a little of both.
Tom Pelphrey played the perpetually conflicted Ward Meachum in Iron Fist
Tom Pelphrey joined the cast of "Ozark" during its barn-burning 3rd season. He did so as Ben Davis, the kind-hearted, but unstable brother of Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney). And most "Ozark" fans can agree, Ben is basically a human tornado who ravishes the "Ozark" landscape for much of Season 3. Though some may have sneered at Pelphrey’s sometimes wildly over-the-top performance and shaky Southern accent, he also delivers one of the strongest scenes of the entire series with his soul-crushing taxi cab monologue late in the season.
Pelphrey’s Marvel sojourn came thanks to the infamous superhero misfire "Iron Fist." The actor appears in both seasons of the series as Ward Meachum who, along with sister Joy (Jessica Stroup), essentially runs Rand Enterprises in the absence of his long thought dead childhood acquaintance, Danny Rand (Finn Jones). Needless to say, Ward is none to happy to see Danny return, and Pelphrey spends much of Season 1 snobbily snarling as his character plots a new demise for Danny. The 2nd season of "Iron Fist" is a very different story, however, with Pelphrey helping round out the rough edges of Ward to make him more of a wonderfully flawed, three-dimensional character — one we sort of wish he’d gotten to play a little bit longer.