9:00am PT by Hilary Lewis
'Bloodline': John Leguizamo on Ozzy's "Chip on His Shoulder" Toward the Rayburns
[Warning: This story contains spoilers ahead for the first six episodes of Bloodline's second season.]
As one of Bloodline's new characters in the second season of the Netflix series, John Leguizamo's Ozzy Delveccio shows up in the Florida Keys looking to make the Rayburn family pay.
Ozzy is revealed to be an acquaintance of Danny (Ben Mendelsohn)'s from Miami, with whom the eldest Rayburn brother robbed a drugstore. He's also dating Evangeline Radosevich (Andrea Riseborough), the mother of Nolan Rayburn (Owen Teague), who claims to be Danny's son.
Armed with information about the Rayburn family and the events leading up to Danny's death from Eve and Danny's close friend Eric O'Bannon (Jamie McShane), Ozzy starts provoking John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler) and his wife, Diana (Jacinda Barrett), hinting that he might know the terrible truth about what happened to Danny.
Once John figures out who Ozzy is, he orders him to leave town, but Ozzy's not going anywhere without getting what he wants. Still, before Ozzy can even try to strike a deal, John lets his fist do the talking, repeatedly punching Ozzy in the face at the end of the sixth episode of season two.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Leguizamo about what motivates Ozzy to go after the Rayburns the way he does and what he knows about the family's past.
What made you want to be part of this show?
All my friends were watching [the first season] and loving it and I hadn't seen it. Then I get a call from [co-creators] Todd and Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman. They say, "You gotta watch the rest of it and then we'll talk." I say, "Cool." So I finish watching the [first season], and I fell in love with it. It was some of the best acting I'd seen in a long time, especially from Ben Mendelsohn, and I was like, "I definitely want to be a part of this." And then [the Kesslers, Zelman and I] started talking about the character they were going to create for me.
Viewers see that Danny and Ozzy knew each other in Miami and robbed a drugstore together, but were you told anything else about Ozzy's past with Danny?
We created our own backstory. The [co-creators] are very creative, very collaborative. So we started creating this character, but his main plot was that he intersected with Danny and his girlfriend at the time, and then we started talking about how Danny had broken up with his girlfriend and [Danny] kind of wanted to get into trouble and [Ozzy] was able to help him get into trouble.
How does Ozzy know Eric O'Bannon? Is it just through Danny?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We talked a lot about that stuff, especially Jamie McShane, who plays Eric O'Bannon, because you've got to be specific because even if the audience doesn't know, you've still got to know what the backstory is. Eric and [Ozzy] did not like each other, but we were connected through Danny.
In the third episode, Ozzy says that he has his "own thing with the Rayburns." Is this just a reference to his past with Danny that viewers have seen, or does he have another connection to the Rayburns that the audience doesn't know about?
Ozzy's thing with them is more what they did to Eve more than anything else. He's got a chip on his shoulder about the one-percenters. I just feel like she was used by them. One thing I wanted to make sure of was that Ozzy was really in love with Eve — she's the love of his life. And that's what drives a lot of his motivation. He's a really co-dependent guy, even though he's dangerous too. I wanted to make him a co-dependent dude.
Ozzy's approach with the Rayburns is a bit different than Eve and Nolan's approach with the Rayburns, in that they're trying to get to know them but Ozzy is "poking the bear," as he says at one point. Is it possible that Eve and Nolan have the same goals with the Rayburns that Ozzy does?
They all started out with the same goals. I think Nolan may turn later on. They all got seduced by wanting to be part of a family, but not Ozzy.
Ozzy's approach — he starts needling John and Diana and hinting that he knows things about the events leading up to Danny's death — what do you think drives him to do that as opposed to ingratiating himself with the Rayburns and befriending them as a way of getting money?
Ozzy is the ultimate outsider, and I think that's what happens to people who are pushed out and are not allowed opportunities. I mean, this guy's got a high IQ but he never had the chances, and I think the bitterness of always being an outsider, classed out, working class and never being able to move up, I think he's got a huge chip on his shoulder, and I think that's what motivates him. His parents couldn't make it. They were looked down upon by the Rayburns and by the moneyed society in Florida, and that creates this underclass. The more you push an underclass to the margins, the more they're going to rebel. Not to be crazy, but that's what happened in the French Revolution. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer until the poor were sick of seeing people indulge like that in front of their face.
Does he think John Rayburn killed Danny?
Oh, absolutely. From the evidence he got from Eric O'Bannon and John's personality and what he knew about Danny, that's what he put together in his head.
You've done a lot of movies. This is a TV show on Netflix, which is its own animal in a way. How do you feel about being a part of this medium?
It's a whole different world. When I was growing up, movies were the classy thing to see, they were the high art and TV wasn't, and now it's made a huge flip, and movies are mostly just superficial rides and TV is the one that's plunging the depths, starting with Breaking Bad, Sopranos, The Wire, Girls, The Knick. It's the most exciting entertainment out there. They're writing almost like theater …and that depth of character and letting character lead the story as opposed to just a comic book or an action flick.