“Mike Tyson Is Another Inspiration For Me” | How “Iron” Mike Influenced An “Ozark” Character

Image Credit: Twitter screen shot

Mike Tyson is a cultural phenomenon. We have absorbed his curious energy and watched his remarkable journey.

In fact, Tyson’s professional boxing career has been the stuff of legend, and his impact from the late ’80s to the ’90s defined the times and beyond.

Recently, actress Julia Garner from the popular Netflix series Ozark and Inventing Anna revealed her influences to make her Ozark character “Ruth Langmore” so intense.

Caravaggio To Mike Tyson

One influence was the artist Caravaggio, best known as the renowned yet controversial Italian painter of the late 1500s and early 1600s. Some of his best-known works of art, like the Head of the Medusa, helped her find the fire to ignite Ruth Langmore.

Garner’s father is an art teacher.

“I’m very visual, and I get inspired from different things, and I really kind of just wanted the spirit of a Caravaggio painting and the darkness,” Garner said on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” “I feel like Caravaggio paints intensity and chaos so well.”

However, according to Garner, art wasn’t enough, and she had to dig deep by turning to another influence: Mike Tyson.

Ruth Langmore Needs Mike Tyson

“There was still something missing and then I realized Mike Tyson is another inspiration for me,” Garner continued. “Here’s the thing. Mike Tyson, this face could be in a Caravaggio painting. Don’t you think so? A character from a Caravaggio painting. I really got inspired by that spirit.”

Garner looked at a picture from Tyson’s 1997 rematch against Evander Holyfield. It was a fight that would go down in infamy as Tyson took a bite out of the ear of Evander Holyfield. It was that authentic rage that Garner wanted to tap into for her Ozark Mountains young gangster character, Ruth Langmore.

For fans of cult crime series like “Ozark,” the show is akin to “Breaking Bad.” “Ozark” star Julia Garner has a fan following similar to the Jesse Pinkman supporting character in “Breaking Bad.”

“I Just Saw Jake In St. Barths, And He Never Mentioned It” | Mike Tyson Addresses Rumors Of Fight With Jake Paul

The Ozark Way

Ruth Langmore is a rural street entrepreneur attempting to make a way out of no way in the Ozark Mountains, which extend across five states: Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois.

It looks like Tyson’s influence has paid dividends for Julia Garner. The 27-year old’s profound performance has won two Emmys for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama at the Primetime Emmys.

Tyson’s in-ring ferocity is legendary, and it cemented his reputation as “Iron” Mike. As the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history, Tyson transformed his young life as a street kid into a championship career that was as polarizing as it was epic.

Tyson Wellness

He has turned to cannabis via his Tyson Ranch to help him with past trauma, and his “Hotboxin’” podcast is creating a new way for the world to learn about the mind of Mike Tyson.

He is also a staunch advocate of psychedelics to help his emotional and mental wellness. Tyson has inspired style and attitudes, and now he is also the unlikely inspiration for a new character that has permeated pop culture.


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.