Ozark: How did Helen Pierce star Janet McTeer really feel about the torture scene?

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Netflix series Ozark is known for its hard-hitting moment, which comes with the territory of the gangster drama. Throughout it all, the body count has been high with some violent moments. While season three may not have been the deadliest, the casualties were more memorable.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Ozark season 3

The death of Ben Davis (played by Tom Pelphrey) at the end of series was particularly heart-breaking given his older sister Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) was behind the killing.

The other big death was Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) who was shot dead by the cartel after she became dispensable.

Instead, Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) worked directly with the Byrdes, much to their horror.

Before Helen was killed off, her death was foreshadowing in several scenes including a moment where she asked cartel hitman Nelson (Nelson Bonilla) to let her know if he was going to bump her off.

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The other big moment was at the start of season three when Helen was waterboarded by a group of cartel goons.

This scene mirrored her own waterboarding of Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) in season two.

Helen’s torture scene signalled a huge shift in power and revealed how she was falling out of favour with the cartel.

The lawyer eventually convinced the cartel her family knew nothing about her day job but clearly not enough as she was killed.

But what was it like shooting these scenes for British actress McTeer?

The Me Before You and The Divergent Series told publication Gold Derby recent: “It’s not something I do on a daily basis.”

She continued about the moment: “It was kind of challenging to shoot it.

“It’s not fun to be tortured but it was incredibly well-handled.

“And those scenes are challenging, which makes them fun to do.”

McTeer went on to add: “I was a bit tired and wet by the end of it.”

Helen was originally a recurring character before getting promoted to regular in season three but sadly didn’t make it to the end.

Despite getting killed off, McTeer said she knew her arc for season three from the start and was aware of how it was all going to go down.

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She explained: “I knew that one of the themes of the series is families and how they all deal with being members of the drug cartel or working for the drug cartel.

“Obviously you have the Byrde family and then you have Julia Garner’s character’s family, you have Darlene’s family.

“So to bring Helen’s family into it and to see what that would and how that would be to add that to the mix, that I knew was going to happen and I knew that myself and Wendy were going to become business partners and friends and what that would be and of course she’s such a magnificent actress and a friend.

“How could that not be really good fun to do? It was a no-brainer, really. I had a wonderful time.”

Ozark seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now

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