Ozark’s Russ Langmore star admits he was ‘bawling’ over ‘heartbreaking’ exit: ‘Was tough

Ozark: Netflix releases teaser for fourth season

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Russ Langmore (played by Marc Menchaca) was, without doubt, one of the most intriguing characters in Ozark’s debut season on Netflix. The brash uncle to series stalwart Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), the rugged Russ was harbouring a deeply-held secret about his sexuality which would be exploited and manipulated in brutal fashion by sociopathic FBI agent, Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner). With his new vulnerable side being betrayed in such a devastating way by Roy, Russ spiralled back into the robbing and scheming ways he’d hoped to escape from with his newfound flame – only to be killed off by his own niece.

After his rose-tinted glasses were well and truly smashed by Roy upon the discovery he was an FBI agent working a case against Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), Russ put the money launderer in his sights.

Heartbroken and dishevelled by the betrayal and with Roy now blackmailing him to gather dirt on Marty or risk his sexuality being exposed, Russ was supposed to manipulate niece Ruth into gaining concrete evidence to take Marty down.

His attempts failed, leading Russ and brother Boyd (Christopher Baker) to decide to take matters into their own hands and rob and potentially kill Marty.

But knowing this would effectively be signing the Langmore family’s death warrant with the cartel combined with the knowledge Russ was working as a “rat”, Ruth intervened, electrocuting her uncle’s and killing the pair in a particularly gruesome fashion.

Russ’ impact on the show wasn’t done with his death, however, as season two saw him return to guide son Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) via hallucinations in the young Langmore’s time of need.

However, Russ’ death is pretty set in stone, with a comeback from beyond the grave almost impossible.

Speaking to Express.co.uk about his first thoughts when discovering how Russ’ time on the show would come to a close, Menchaca admitted: “It was heartbreaking.”

He continued: “I mean, first of all, I didn’t know until like, I think, the fourth episode – I wasn’t getting the scripts ahead of time, so I didn’t know what was happening. 

“And then I think it was a bit of a miscommunication,” Menchaca revealed. “The showrunner [Chris Mundy] was like, ‘Wait, you don’t know?’ and I was like, ‘No, I don’t know’. 

“But when I read it, I was thrilled. I really was like, I just kind of fell in love with the character more. 

“And I was talking to my girl last night about when I found out what was happening, I was going to get a coffee or something, I was at work. 

“I got a call from the showrunner and he said, ‘I was having a glass of wine playing guitar last night, and I realised that I hadn’t told you everything’. And I like stopped and I was like, ‘Hold on, let me go back to my trailer’ because I knew something was coming up.”

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The Ozark star divulged further, admitting there had been plans to try and have Russ escape the grizzly demise: “He told me that, you know, they had tried to work around it. 

“But in the end that just kind of had to happen. And it did – that sets Ruth up for her whole journey.”

It didn’t take long for the emotions to boil over upon hearing the news, as Menchaca explained: “And I bawled, I like cried a lot. Not only because I loved it so much, but I also thought it was just such a heartbreaking turn in the story. 

“It was tough,” he added. “It was a tough one to wrap my head around.”

Menchaca remained tight-lipped on whether Russ would be making an appearance in the fourth and final run, teasing: “I don’t think I could speak to that, yes or no (laughs).”

But while a season four appearance is unknown, fans can catch Menchaca on screens in the new thriller, #Like.

Starring alongside Orange is the New Black’s Sarah Rich, #Like tells a gripping tale of one sister’s desperate quest for revenge against an anonymous online stalker who prompted her sibling to take her own life.

“There was a vulnerability to it that really struck a chord with me,” Menchaca said of the film and why he took on the role. “I was really just drawn to the relationship between my character and Sarah’s just because it almost seemed like a movie within itself, like a film within the film.”

Ozark season 4 premieres on Netflix on January 21, 2022. 
#Like is available to rent and buy on digital download from November 1, 2021.

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