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May 20, 16 Melanie Jo 0 Comment animal kingdom, Headlines, Projects

TVSERIESFINALE.COM – TNT is expanding its kingdom. Today, the network announced the launch of their new series Animal Kingdom has been expanded and moved to a later date.

The drama stars Ellen Barkin as the matriarch of a Southern California family involved in violent crime. Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy, Jake Weary and Ben Robson also star.

Now, Animal Kingdom will launch with a two-hour premiere on June 14th at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Read more details below:

TNT is expanding the premiere of its bold new drama series Animal Kingdom to two hours and moving the launch to a new date. The series will now debut with the two-hour opener on Tuesday, June 14, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). Animal Kingdom stars Emmy(R) and Tony(R) winner Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, This Boy’s Life, Ocean’s Thirteen), Scott Speedman (The Strangers, The Vow), Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless), Ben Robson (Vikings, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, An Inspector Calls), Daniella Alonso (Revolution) and Molly Gordon (Love the Coopers, Ithaca).”

Ben attended the Turner Upfronts event yesterday alongside two of his castmates. I have added MQ photos to the gallery. Animal Kingdom premieres on June 14.

Related Links:
» Public Appearances > 2016 > May 18: 2016 Turner Upfront

INDIEWIRE.COM – While multiplexes this summer are going to be stuffed with blockbusters costing hundreds of millions of dollars, if that doesn’t float your boat, TV will have plenty to keep you occupied. And one show that looks like a sizzling winner is TNT’s “Animal Kingdom.”

Based on David Michod’s breakout Australian crime flick, he serves as executive producer on the TV drama which transplants the story to sunny California, where Ellen Barkin leads a very, very bad family. Here’s the official synopsis:

Animal Kingdom is an adrenaline-charged drama starring Emmy and Tony winner Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, This Boy’s Life, Oceans 13) as the matriarch of a Southern California family whose excessive lifestyle is fueled by their criminal activities, with Scott Speedman (The Strangers, The Vow) as her second in command. Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless), Ben Robson (Vikings, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows) and Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, An Inspector Calls) also star.

“Animal Kingdom” will premiere at Tribeca, and hit TNT on June 7th. Watch below.

Mar 22, 16 Melanie Jo 0 Comment Headlines, Projects, vikings

HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Vikings, “Promised.”]

The body count on any given season of History’s Vikings is expected to be fairly high. After all, this was a time period in which people weren’t long for this world, as they all sought a better place in Valhalla amongst the gods.

That didn’t make the twist in the closing moments of Thursday’s episode any less shocking, as Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) finally made good on her promise of finishing off Kalf (Ben Robson) for betraying her and stealing her earldom. After revealing she was “pregnant” with Kalf’s child and accepting his proposal, she easily slipped the knife into him on the wedding day itself before emerging from her tent surrounding by an army of female warriors ready to help her reclaim her throne.

To break down that integral moment and find out how he felt about Kalf’s swan song, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Robson, who is currently working on John Wells’ newest series, Animal Kingdom, for TNT.

How did you find out about Kalf’s demise?
I found out just before I went back for season four from the producers. We had a discussion and then my fate was sealed as I returned.

Did you see it coming?
You’re always at the mercy of Michael Hirst’s fingertips as he’s at his computer. I think the second that Lagertha said she would kill me but that we would enjoy each other before then, there was always a strong possibility that it was happening. Anything Lagertha says should be taken very seriously, and it turned out to be true.

Lagertha is such a fan favorite — was Kalf always facing an uphill battle having betrayed her in season three?
Yeah, it was. It’s always going to be difficult not to upset the fans when you’re doing things like that to a fan favorite, especially such a cult icon like Lagertha. I was a fan myself — I was an avid watcher of Vikings before I got the opportunity to jump on it. So I knew exactly how the reaction would be when Kalf’s actions were laid out for me.

Do you think he had redeemed himself by death’s door, or was trying to have Bjorn killed the last straw?
Everything Kalf did was to put himself in a better position. Usurping Lagertha was to gain a position of strength. As he said in season three, he wanted the poets to sing about him in the same vein as Ragnar and to be recognized by the Gods in Valhalla. At that point it was about status. He did it to potentially turn Lagertha’s eye as well. In terms of the whole Bjorn thing, he became culpable by bringing in people like Erlendur (Edvin Endre). Erlendur is still very much wanting to get into a position of power similar to his father and those were the terms of agreement of him bringing his army and his kingdom to work alongside Kalf. I don’t think those actions were necessarily there to hurt Lagertha in any way or form; it was very much about survival and pushing forward. Those things he did, especially in coming back from Paris, were really to try and prove to Lagertha how much he did love her.

Was it a reciprocal love?
Yeah, I think you can see it by the end. There is such a chemistry; it wasn’t a sort of brutal way of being killed, it was very intimate in the way that it was done. It was done on the wedding day within an embrace. There were feelings. To be someone’s second in command and in someone’s private quarters is a very privileged place to be. They knew each other very intimately. She brought him into her world originally in that position. It all only changed when Kalf turned from a boy to a man to a certain extent that he became a much more powerful individual. There was a mutual understanding and love towards each other.

Would you consider his death itself a bit of a feminist movement thanks to the female warriors rising up?
Absolutely. There are many ways to look at it in terms of it always being harder for women getting themselves to the top as opposed to men — there’s obviously a very big discussion in that. You could also see it as a man squashing down a female’s opportunity of power and success and it’s retribution for that and how she felt towards it. I think it’s great how powerful the women are in this series. They’re incredible actors and characters. We’re still talking about a time in Vikings where people didn’t live long and were always looking over their shoulder. It’s going to be a remembered death. It wasn’t on the battlefield; it was about the complicated dynamic between two people and someone who took action in a way that felt necessary during that time period.

How do you predict she’ll rule without him now?
Lagertha is such an incredible character; her arc has been pretty astonishing from the beginning up to this point. Her ruling will be strong and very experienced. She’s been alongside the now King Ragnar and seen how he rose to that position. She understands everything in England with King Ecbert. And she’s been to Paris … she’s very worldly and has an incredible experience, so I would imagine that she’d rule very well. She’s smart and not to be underestimated.

Some past characters have resurfaced in visions and dreams — could that happen with Kalf?
It just depends on where Michael is going with it and if we find out how Lagertha really felt about Kalf after the whole wedding thing. There might be a mourning process into how she feels or there might not be. It’s a relationship in which they’ve known each other a long time, so it’s to be expected.

Vikings airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

Mar 18, 16 Melanie Jo 0 Comment Headlines, Projects, vikings

HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – Jonathan Rhys Meyers has also joined the cast of the drama as a series regular.

Vikings will fight for another season.

History has renewed the Michael Hurst-created series for a fifth season, the cable network announced Thursday. Additionally, Jonathan Rhys Meyers has joined the cast of the historical drama as a series regular. The 20-episode super-sized season will air in 2017. That episode count matches the current fourth-season order.

This season, Vikings has remained a top 10 cable drama series. It’s the top telecast on Thursdays in all key demographics when factoring in three days of DVR with an average of 4.2 million total viewers, 2.1 million adults 25-54 and 1.9 million among adults under 50.

Details on who Rhys Meyers will portray on the show are being kept under wraps. The Golden Globe-winning actor’s credits include The Tudors and NBC’s Dracula.

“The brilliant writing and depth of historical research and authenticity brought to the screen by Michael Hurst paired with our talented cast and crew, has made this series one of the most compelling, visually stunning historical dramas on television,” said new History president and general manager Jana Bennett. “Vikings has raided the hearts of audiences and we are thrilled that Jonathan Rhys Myers will become a bigger part of the History family after his incredible performance in our upcoming production of Roots.”

Vikings has been the cornerstone of History’s original scripted fare. The veteran series will be joined at the network by upcoming scripted dramas Six and Knightfall as well as mini Roots, which will air across all the A+E Networks-owned group.

Vikings is produced by MGM TV.

Mar 18, 16 Melanie Jo 0 Comment Headlines, Projects, vikings

EW.COM – Another day, another dollar, another Vikings episode with a shocking and fatal plot turn for one of the show’s lead actors. On this week’s episode of the global-conquest odyssey, one of the show’s longest-running characters made a devastating decision – and not everyone got out alive. SPOILERS from here…


The first time we met Kalf, he was a close ally to Lagertha. They had a teasing, trusting chemistry. You may remember when, in of their first onscreen interactions, Lagertha half-jokingly asked Kalf, “Why don’t you offer to marry me?” On this week’s episode of Vikings, Kalf finally popped the question. Much had changed in the interim. Kalf betrayed and usurped Lagertha – and then saved her life in Paris. They became lovers, and then co-Earls – a regime-sharing system that led Kalf to betray his fellow usurpers. (Kalf was still trying to kill Lagertha’s son. It’s complicated!)

At the wedding, Kalf’s happiness was cut short, when his life was cut out of him by Lagertha. We talked to actor Ben Robson about what led Kalf to this moment.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did Kalf’s death surprise you?
BEN ROBSON: Kalf’s destiny was very much defined by his actions. When he did usurp Lagertha, there were consequences. I think [Vikings creator Michael Hirst] wrote an incredible arc for Kalf. He was subservient and loyal to Lagerta. It was fun to play a sort of naive kid who’s not looked to be a threat in any way, to come into power and prove himself in Paris.

Given that Lagertha had actually told him, point-blank, that she would kill him someday, why do you think he kept getting closer to her?
I don’t think it’s a case of him not taking it seriously, but I think it was a case of not really believing it would happen. I think he underestimated the betrayal of what he did. He felt that they found a level playing ground to carry on forward with.

What is Kalf feeling as Lagertha stabs him? You could read his dying expression in so many ways.
A whole range of emotion! The beginning of that day, in his mind, he’s marrying the girl that he’s totally besotted with. He proved himself to be a man by being an equal in Paris and saving her life. People now respect him for being Earl Kalf, rather than being subservient to Lagertha. He just wanted to be known as man. He came from a poorer background than the others. This is everything he wanted in his life. And he’s gonna marry the woman he’s been in love with since forever.

He goes in, sees Lagertha looking more beautiful than he’s ever seen her, in the dress that she has for him, on their big day. And then, the second the dagger comes in… if there was a way to be killed, he would wish it would be by her. All the way through it, he wants to enjoy every last breath of her. Everything else is not important at that point. He just wants to look at her and take her in.

Since so much of this show is about characters who look forward to a glorious afterlife, do you think Kalf’s spirit goes to Valhalla? Or rather, do you think, as he dies, he feels he’s going to Valhalla?
At the beginning [of season 3], when he arrives, he says he wants his name to be known by the poets, as Ragnar’s is. At that point, he wanted to die on a battlefield with the whole Viking kingdom behind him. Having a huge death, which would be glorified. I think Paris changes him, to a certain extent. It makes him realize how much Lagertha meant to him.

He accomplished exactly what he set out to do, which is to be surrounded by the greats and the kings. Which would mean he was recognized by the gods. So, I definitely think he’s in Valhalla.