THE CUT – Among a cast that includes seasoned actors Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman, Ben Robson still manages to stand out. It helps that at 6 feet 3 inches tall, Robson’s physical presence is hard to ignore. On Animal Kingdom, TNT’s Southern California-based crime drama, Robson’s rugged stature is often served shirtless, in board shorts, and with a black eye. As Craig, Robson plays one of the four Cody brothers, a hostile and volatile criminal crew led by their own mother, Smurf (Ellen Barkin). (Long hair and build considered, it’s unsurprising that the Newcastle native previously starred in History’s Vikings.)
Along with the fun of playing a “rollercoaster of a character,” Robson says the comfortable, low-key wardrobe is a plus; viewers are used to seeing him in a look that’s part surfer, part biker, complete with tattoos, scars, and macho jewelry. And while he lights up as he marvels that, “I get paid to ride motorbikes and surf,” we wondered what else was beneath the rising star’s “guy’s guy” surface. As the series’ second season premiered on May 30, we caught up with Robson to expose his softer, more refined side. It turns out, he looks pretty good with a shirt on, too.
Give us your take on your character, Craig.
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