Ben Robson on ‘Animal Kingdom’ and Why This Has Been a Defining Season for His Character

     July 31, 2019


With the Season 4 finale not too far off on the horizon, things are really heating up on Animal Kingdom, with the cops always thinking they’re getting closer to finally bringing the Cody family down. Still always at least a couple steps ahead, thanks to some rather devious thinking on behalf of family matriarch Smurf (Ellen Barkin), the Cody boys are still trying to pull off dangerous jobs, all while J (Finn Cole) and Pope (Shawn Hatosy) are starting to circle each other for who could end up taking over the leadership position in the family, and Craig (Ben Robson) is starting to realize just how important being a father actually is to him.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, British actor Ben Robson talked about how this has been a defining season for Craig, playing such an unpredictable character, being the heart of the family, why he prefers to not know everything that’s going to happen ahead of time, the danger of the world that the Codys live in, what being a father means to Craig, whether Craig might consider taking charge of the family, and whether he’d ever consider directing an episode of the series.

animal-kingdom-posterCollider:  Craig’s life has been a bit more complicated than usual this season, between getting screwed over by Frankie, Renn having his baby, Smurf being diagnosed with cancer, and the cops trying to close in on the Codys again. Do you feel like Season 4 has been a real turning point for your character, as far as deciding what it is he actually wants from life?

BEN ROBSON:  I really think it’s been a really defining season for Craig. Everyone has always seen his potential, including Smurf, who throughout the seasons, has had to bail him out, on multiple occasions, and has told him, “Everyone is ready for you to man up and take charge.” I think he is the one who has this self-destructive behavior to prevent himself from ever having to take that responsibility, throughout the duration of the show. Now, he’s in a position where, no matter how much he wants to be self-destructive, he has to stand up because the situations he’s put himself in, the only way it can be resolved is by himself, whether it’s the money with Frankie, or the baby with Renn, and with what’s going on with Smurf. So, he really has had to grow up and become less of a man child and more of a man now. It’s been really great to play, and to watch. I’m excited for people to see how he deals with it all.

From when you started out on this show and what you were told might happen, has the journey he’s taken been anything, at all, like you expected it would be?

ROBSON:  I don’t know. He’s such an unpredictable character. He always tries to do what he thinks is gonna be the right thing, but while it’s normally with good intentions, it tends to make it two steps backwards for everyone who tries to take steps forward. A lot of times, I don’t the writers or even Craig, himself, knows what he is gonna do next. He’s so impulsive that he deals with the situation as it comes to him. One of the great things about the character is that you really just don’t know what to expect with him. Now that he’s getting himself off of all the drugs and he knows that he has to be more of a leader with the family, especially now that he’s become a father and with everything going on with Smurf, with himself being the beating heart of the family and all of the brothers, he knows that he really has to step up and be the glue that keeps everything held together. He knows he can’t take those crazy chances and risks that he’s always had that rush to do. So, I have no idea, and that’s the exciting part of it. We get the scripts, every week, and that’s when we learn what’s gonna happen next.