5:00am PT by Hilary Lewis
'Bloodline': John Leguizamo on Ozzy's Dramatic Ending
[Warning: The following story contains spoilers from the eighth episode of Bloodline's third season, "Part 31."]
John Leguizamo's Bloodline storyline was particularly affected by the Netflix series' hastened end, the actor says.
Bloodline co-creator Todd A. Kessler previously told The Hollywood Reporter that having to end the series two or three seasons earlier than he and fellow co-creators Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman envisioned forced the writers to modify or condense some of their planned storylines.
Leguizamo tells THR that this particularly applied to his character, Ozzy Delveccio, an acquaintance of Danny Rayburn's (Ben Mendelsohn) from Miami who showed up in season two looking to use what he knew about Danny's death to extort money from the Rayburns. In that season, viewers also learned that Ozzy's dating the mother of Danny's son, Nolan (Owen Teague), Evangeline Radosevich (Andrea Riseborough).
Leguizamo explains that the show's third season was originally supposed to feature a significant storyline involving his character and Eve.
"This was supposed to be my season and Andrea Riseborough's. Season three was supposed to be our season, but now that you have to close the show, you have to take care of the family throughline that you started," he says. "So they figured out a way to keep my character alive, and they had a lot to accomplish in one year. It became very interesting. I had a blast talking with Todd and trying to figure out what are we going to do with this character. How are we going to flip it so I'm not just the new nemesis."
Not only did Ozzy's story change but, at least through the eighth episode of Bloodline's third and final season, Riseborough's Eve is missing.
"That happens when you have to shorten the five-year span. Peripheral characters pay a little bit of a price. It's unfortunate," he adds. "They were able to do a real good job and still keep it exciting and thrilling. I'm just talking about the politics of it. It doesn't really affect the storytelling, [apart from the fact that] Eve is gone. I had the best time working with Andrea, she's such an incredible actor."
In the eighth episode of Bloodline's third season, Ozzy commits suicide by shooting himself in the mouth as he's being taken to meet with Beau Bridges' nefarious businessman, Roy Gilbert.
While the moment might seem surprising, Leguizamo explains that it's partly driven by Ozzy getting beaten up by Gilbert's henchmen earlier in the season.
Speaking with THR, Leguizamo opens up about Ozzy's third-season storyline and his character's demise.
Ozzy's suicide was very unexpected for me as a viewer. It seemed like even in the moments leading up to that, that something else would happen and he would use the gun on the guys with him. Why does he do that?
Todd and I really talked about it. He told me I was going to come to an end and I said, "I understand that." You still mourn for your character; you created it. But I said, "I don't want anybody to take my life. If somebody's going to take my life, I'm going to take my own life." And so Todd and I talked about that, and I just felt that Ozzy would never let anyone take his life from him. If he felt like he was coming to an end, he would do it before they did. That's the kind of pride that he had. So then [Todd] reverse engineered that and started setting up this character so that once I got kicked in the head, which happened to someone in my family — I don't want to get into it because it's kind of personal — but they got bullied and beat up so badly that they had brain damage and they changed. I said I think that's what happened, because it was the same kind of beating up with boots and stuff, so they created this [storyline where] — I got hit in the head and I changed. Ozzy changed.
I was going to ask if there's some kind of brain damage because we see Ozzy acting kind of strangely, like he goes to the church looking for Father Lopez and is told there's no one there by that name. Even right after he escapes from Beau Bridges' character's henchmen, he goes into a fast-food restaurant and orders a polar freeze even though there's blood streaming down his face. So there are some things that he does that seem kind of off.
Right, which is kind of accurate in a poetic sense. Because when people have these kinds of concussions, like football players or whatever, it's not really obvious they're different people, but things do change. They have a hard time managing executive functions and buffers. And it depends on what part of the brain is affected because these changes are so specific.
How much did the brain damage motivate Ozzy's suicide and how much was it him fearing for his life and thinking these guys were going to kill him so he might as well do that before they have the chance to?
I think it was a combination of the two, because a lot of times people with brain damage, with concussions, do take their own lives. It's a usual effect of it for some weird reason. But I think it's also Ozzy's hubris. I mean that was always his downfall was his pride. He was a prideful guy, and he would never let somebody have the upper hand on him, even in his own demise.
When we talked last season, you said that you thought Ozzy knew that John killed Danny. Does he know about Kevin killing Marco and Kevin's and Meg's involvement in what happened with Danny?
I don't think he had all of the information, but he was getting to it. He was figuring it out. He was a really clever guy and he was really figuring it out and getting close to the fire and that's when they beat him up like that.
So that threw him off of his plan also.
Yeah, exactly. And now that he had the concussion and the brain damage, his focus changed. It was more to make the family confess. Instead of taking them down and extorting them, he wanted them to fess up and pay for the crime. He became sort of weirdly righteous about the same information, but now he's attacking it from a different point of view.
How did you feel about your storyline this season and this being how Ozzy's storyline wrapped up?
It was kind of sad. You never want your character to die. You fall in love with him. But I thought the ending was so powerful that I thought, "OK I can accept, I can live with this." I think it's really unexpected, and you never see that in movies or in these storylines. I thought it was so unusual and unexpected and tragic in a lot of ways. So I was able to really accept it and love it.
Stay tuned to Live Feed for more coverage of Bloodline's final season.