Laura Linney has had a lot of success. Having just wrapped the final season of Ozark, which she still hasn’t watched, the three-time Oscar-nominee and four-time Emmy-winner tells Vulture in a wide-ranging, must-read interview that she’s going through Ozark “withdrawal.” But that’s nothing compared to the withdrawal we Linney-heads have experienced during her career.
Per Vulture, a distinct lack of Linney is due to a distinct lack of offers, apparently. Take her role in Congo, a modest ape-based Michael Crichton adaptation made in Jurassic Park’s wake that Linney was cast in after the Ellie role in Jurassic Park went to Laura Dern. After its release, roles in blockbusters didn’t come in. “I’ve just never been offered one,” Linney says. “There’s a myth that you’re offered a ton of things. And I am offered some things. If a huge blockbuster came my way.” She was in one, Vulture notes, 2016's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows.
Yeesh, what about after The Truman Show? Surely, Linney got a few calls after that critical and commercial success, right?
“I had a bit of a dry spell after The Truman Show,” Linney says. “I remember thinking, Maybe that was just it. Maybe it was just that one nice little movie, and that was that. And that’s just what a career does. It ebbs and flows.”
What gives? Why wouldn’t that lead to some more work? Honestly, it’s a tale as old as time. She explains: “It’s weird because you can have something that’s very successful and either that leads to more work right away or it has the opposite effect. I also feel like a lot of the characters I play are not terribly likable. When you play a part that is not everyone’s view of nonthreatening femininity, people don’t quite know what to do with you.”
In fact, a direct offer from a director helped pull her out of the “dry spell.”
Vulture: You haven’t really done rom-coms in your career; the closest is probably Love Actually, in which you play Sarah, a woman whose arc is that she forgoes a romantic connection in order to take care of her mentally ill brother. How did that come about?
Laura Linney: I got a letter from Richard Curtis, who said his casting director had finally just lost her cool with him because they were auditioning people for that role and he kept saying, “I want a Laura Linney type.” And she finally just turned to him and said, “Well, just get Laura Linney.” And so he wrote me a letter asking if I would do it. I was like, “Yes, I will, Mr. Richard Curtis. You bet. When do you want me to show up?”
Vulture: Why was that a no-brainer?
Laura Linney: Well, I was just offered something, which is lovely.
Would someone please find Ms. Linney’s phone number and give her a call?