“If Craig is a 10-out-of-10 wild man, I have moments that range up to an eight.”
– TNT’s breakout drama Animal Kingdom is back for Season 2, with the wily, raucous Cody family returning for more hijinks and crime. Ben Robson, who plays middle child Craig, gives us a breakdown of the current season, appealing to his character’s baser instincts, and grappling with Craig’s vices.
He was attracted to the role of Craig from the start.
“I read the material and I was super drawn to my character. I actually rang up [the producers] and was like, ‘Look, I really like Craig.’ And they were like, ‘Good, that’s the only one available.’ I think when everyone looks at this sort of show, they think of the stunts and the wildness, but it’s actually a family drama. It’s a very dysfunctional family and I think that’s the draw. Three of Smurf’s kids have different fathers and Baz is adopted, then J comes in. No one has a father and it gives all these characters license to be that much more different. I just knew it was going to be a phenomenon of range to play within and understand.”
He goes a little method to get to those dark places.
“It’s difficult. When I first started acting I really struggled. I’d be happy to go to the places, but I’d really struggle to get back to myself. I’m much better at that now. But when you’re filming a TV show, you shoot for six months and you’re kind of always there with him. There might be times when I’m out having a few drinks and it’s like, ‘I should go home, but something in me is telling me to stay.’ And you’re questioning whose mentality you’re holding right then.
Continue reading Press: Ben Robson on Animal Kingdom’s Intense Season 2
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.
Continue reading Press: Animal Kingdom’s Ben Robson Cleans Up Nicely