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‘Animal Kingdom' Star Ben Robson on Playing the Rowdy Brother & Why He Loves Doing His Own Stunts

By Lorna Soonhee Umphrey | August 20, 2018 | People

Ben Robson dishes on losing a cast member this season, the life-changer he’s learned from his character, and the importance of doing his own stunt work.


Ben Robson takes risks in more ways than one as Craig Cody on TNT’s Animal Kingdom. His thrill-seeking character, with a penchant for self-destructive behavior, only seems to begin to change his ways after the loss of his brother, Baz. As the the season finale on August 21 looms, the Cody boys are still trying to figure out who killed Baz while also attempting to decipher the motives of their mother, played by Ellen Barkin.

Given that with this season you lost your big brother Baz, how’s it been since his departure on the show?
BEN ROBSON: It definitely changed the dynamics of the characters, it changed the dynamics of the family especially with Baz being such an influence in terms of how we would approach the job. It definitely changed the way that we operated. Obviously it’s difficult when you lose an actor on the show but I think what it also has done to the show and the audience, it really brings in a fear that if a big character from the family can go, it gives a lot more stakes to every scene. I think everything that we go in to now, there is a good chance that one of us could get killed which has really elevated the material.

So, Craig. He’s empathetic, he loves his mom, he’s such a complicated character. Do you feel the same?
BR: I do. It’s funny, I feel quite lucky getting to play Craig. I think he has such a crazy range in terms of what I’m lucky to play with him. I think he’s just one of those characters who sort of feels alive the more he gets in trouble, the more lost he is, and sort of the fix is how he can get out of it and how he normally seems to get out of these things.

Do you think if you met him in real life, would you be friends with him?
BR: I think he’s that guy that you will wish you could live like, maybe every now and again you have the big night out with him, but trying to keep up with that pace is… I mean, it just seems that if a cat’s got nine lives, I don’t know how many Craig Cody has in him. If I could pick one thing that I could take from Craig, in which I feel I have learned from him—he lives just so much in the moment, he doesn’t think about anything in front, or behind, he knows what he has today.

How many of the stunts do you actually do yourselves?
I try to do as much as I can because I think it just adds that extra bit of authenticity to the character and the show. I think it just really adds to that intimacy of the character and the world that you’re bringing the audience in to. I mean, you know, we get to do stuff that not many other people would do so I kind of experience as much as I can.

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