Why Darlene From Ozark Looks So Familiar
Darlene Snell might just be one of the most compelling television villains out there. As the deeply proud matriarch of a heroin-distributing family on Netflix's Ozark, she serves as a frequent foil to criminal newcomer and series protagonist Marty Byrde.
Snell's frail frame disguises a violent character with a hair-trigger temper, quick to kill or maim anyone who stands in the way of her goals or her family.
And Lisa Emery fills the role so well that it might be hard to imagine her playing anyone else.
But all actors come from somewhere, and Emery hasn't let up since starting her career over 30 years ago. She had an impressive streak of television and movie appearances before her seasons-long run on Ozark, showing up in everything from '90s primetime dramas to the Marvel Universe.
Prior to Ozark, Lisa Emery's filmography was largely a deep well of one-off roles and guest appearances. Most notably, it seems like one of her goals has been to rack up an appearance on each and every iteration of Law & Order. She's stopped by the flagship Dick Wolf series five times, met with Benson and Stabler on Special Victims Unit twice and made one-off appearances on both Criminal Intent and Trial By Jury.
More recently, Emery appeared in recurring roles on FX's Louie and the Marvel superhero series Jessica Jones, in which she played Louise Thompson, the mother of season one's primary villain Kilgrave. Emery's character was a scientist who experimented on her young son in an attempt to cure his degenerative brain disease. Her trials were cruel and torturous, leading to Kilgrave's warped worldview and accidentally giving him the ability to control people's minds in the process. When a young Kilgrave used his power to force his mother to burn her face with an iron, she abandoned him and went into hiding. Emery's appearances on the popular Netflix show ended when - spoiler alert - Kilgrave succeeded in killing his mother in a brutal fashion during season's ninth episode.
Lisa Emery's movie credits aren't as extensive as her work in television, but she's still popped up in some relatively well-known films. Eagle-eyed fans can find her turning in brief but memorable performances in movies such as Margot at the Wedding and Marci X.
But she has taken a few major roles here and there. Check out her work in the Paul Rudd/Tina Fey rom-com Admission, for example. In that film, Amery plays the mother of Fey's love interest and former high school classmate John Pressman. If you're willing to go a little further back, Emery also appeared in the Richard Gere vehicle Unfaithful in 2002. Keep watching the video to see why Darlene from Ozark looks so familiar!
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