Linda Cardellini Talks New Will Ferrell Comedy ‘Daddy’s Home’ And Netflix’s ‘Bloodline’ [Interview]

Linda Cardellini interview

Linda Cardellini has enjoyed a varied career since her big break on the ill-fated cult show Freaks and Geeks. Since then Cardellini has had noteworthy roles in large television shows such as ER and Mad Men. Recently she joined Netlflix’s original show Bloodline, which also stars Kyle Chandler, and Ben Mendelsohn.

Not only is she a regular television actress, but Cardellini has also enjoyed success in major studio movies such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, and now Daddy’s Home, the new comedy from Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. In the film, the actress plays Sarah, a mother who finds love after divorce with Brad (Will Ferrell), a mild mannered, responsible adult, who’s the exact opposite of her ex-husband Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), a typical irresponsible bad boy.

All seems to go well until Dusty arrives back in town, which makes Brad feel inadequate. He then puts himself into a competition with Dusty for the kids affections, which puts Sarah in the middle of the comedic ridiculousness that ensues.

Linda Cardellini stopped by AOL to talk about her new comedy, which comes out on December 25, and the upcoming season of Bloodline.

What about playing Sarah appealed to you?
First and foremost, it was Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. I had worked with Will as a producer. He produced a movie I was in called Welcome To Me with Kristen Wiig. They liked me in that movie and they started talking to me about this movie, and it sounded amazing to me. I love the chemistry that those two have together, and I thought how much fun it would be to be in the middle of that.

When I looked at the character I really liked that she was a person that seemed cool. She was a mom that was serious about being a mom, she worked, and she has to deal with these two men in her life, who are acting like idiots. [They’re] crazy and hysterical, and here’s this woman whose kind of got it together.

Does having a kid in real life makes it easier to work with kids?
I think you can deal with children differently because you have one. I think the kids are fantastic, and when you see the movie they’re so good in the movie. They’re sweet, and cute in real life as well. The guys were great with them.

Did you instantly connect with Will and Mark?
We did. It was easy. I had a great character to play in the middle there, so it was fun. They’re competing over me, so it was fun to be in the middle of that.

Are you the cool mom [in real life] or a disciplinarian?
You know, I thought I would be more strict and it turns out that sometimes I’m a sucker. My daughter at 3 is a brilliant manipulator and a negotiator, she’s amazing. I really admire that about her. I could learn a few things.

What is it like going from something you can’t talk about [like Netflix’s Bloodline] to going to something you can actually promote?
It’s great! It’s pretty fun. The last few things I’ve been on you can’t tell anything about the storyline. I remember when I got the job and I was doing press for Bloodline, I remember asking the producers, “Can I talk about it?” And they said, “Sure, it’s already out in the press what the movie is about.” And I thought, “Oh, what a relief. I can actually say that I’m in something and what it’s about.”
Was there a challenge or was it just super fun?
It was fun. I think there was a moment where we were all kind of pinching ourselves, everybody was fun on set. It was a group of people who really wanted to be there, and were having fun doing what they were doing. These guys are excellent at what they do. Standing there and improving with Will Ferrell — he’s amazing at it so it’s so much fun being on that playground and playing with those kids.

Is there anything you can say about season 2 of Bloodline?
I will say that at the beginning of the first season, it starts off in a slower manner, and what I loved what the guys did with the show, is that the genre and the pace and the feel of all the characters change at the end of the season. This season picks up where we left off. So, the pace is still at that fever pitch.

Last year we shot for so long in Florida that we were mostly there in the summer, and it’s really hot, and we’re there right now and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The weather is gorgeous.

How do you choose your roles? Did you want to do something lighter after Bloodline?
You know, I’ve been really, really fortunate. I’ve been really excited about it. I’ve been in the business for a long time and I’m still really enjoying things. It seems to be getting better and better and I’m really excited about that. Usually, it’s the script and the character, and whether or not I believe I can bring something to it that’s unique and speaks to me.

What would you like to do?
I love working and I’m having a great time right now, so I hope to do something that’s different than the last thing I’ve done. Hopefully that’ll work.

[Photo by Paramount]

About The Author
Niki Cruz
Niki Cruz is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist based out of New York. With a passion for Film/TV she often contributes to Paste, amNew York and Interview Magazine. Niki spends her time off learning life lessons by binge-watching Dawson’s Creek.