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Are you ready for the final run with the Cody brothers?
We are not, and to quote half of the Cody clan here, saying goodbye to this series will be “bittersweet.” Fortunately, the final season is pulling out all the stops, and Animal Kingdom will go out on its own terms.
We were incredibly fortunate enough to catch up with the fun, laidback duo of Jake Weary and Ben Robson to chat a bit about what we can look forward to this season. Check it out below!
Jumping right into things with you guys, if you could describe the final season of Animal Kingdom in three words, what would you use?
Jake: Climactic. Betrayal. Explosive. Those are the three I would use to describe it.
Ben: Those are pretty good.
Jake: Yeah, top that, pal.
Ben: I would say Bittersweet.
I’m going to have to copy one of yours, which is a bit disappointing, but Explosive and Family.
How many heists do we have in this final season? Are you guys doing a bunch of little ones and then a massive one at the end, or are you going big the whole way through?
Jake: I hope there are a lot.
Ben: There are quite a lot. I can’t remember how many we have, but there’s definitely quite a lot.
At the end of Animal Kingdom Season 5, it appeared the Codys were a strong, united front, but the trailer teases more friction, some brawling, especially between you two. Tell me a little about that. And also, who won? [laughs]
Ben: Nobody ever wins in the end when we brawl out. [laughs]
Jake: I think the teasers in every season show the Codys falling apart. But I actually think that this season the teasers are a bit misleading.
Outside of Ben and me having a classic little tiff, I think there is a great sense of rallying around and rallying the troops and camaraderie with the family to team up together and take down this common antagonist.
It’s cool to see them all come together. You start to see it at the end of season five, and in season six, you really see it. The focus shifts and the Codys are going to team up together to protect each other.
Ben: For sure. The tiffs and arguments are always a reflection of the love they have for one another. It always looks way worse, but it tends to bring something better out of the other one when they go through it. I’m glad they have that open dialogue, even if it gets a bit physical sometimes.
How is Craig’s journey this season with fatherhood and Renn? It seems very complicated.
Ben: Well, everything always is with Craig. He doesn’t do anything easy. It’s a big shift for him, fatherhood, and his relationship with Renn. He’s being questioned on his responsibilities and how reliably he can be. It makes him reassess what he’s doing in his life that’s breaking everything around him.
I think he starts making some steps toward working on himself and improving himself to try to knit the things he keeps pulling apart. By doing that, it seems to drive a wedge between [Renn and Nick and] his actual Cody family that he grew up in.
I think these polarizing viewpoints of how he’s trying to live his life ends up being a problematic issue that drives through all the conflicting moments between both families throughout the season.
OK, Jake, I know the ‘shippers would love to know if there is any closure with Deran and Adrian.
Jake: Oh, I feel so bad. I don’t know. I don’t know; I’d say that people want a lot of answers. Without giving too much away, people can potentially — I think they’ll be happy with where things are left off on that front.
Well, we know for sure that Denis Leary is coming back, so how are things with Deran and his interesting relationship with his father?
Jake: Yeah, I think that was so exciting when we found out he was coming back for the last season. I was so excited because working with him is just such a blessing, and he’s such a great guy and scene partner. Getting to work with him again was awesome, albeit kind of a brief moment with him, but still, it was fun.
What else can you guys tease for the final season? What do you look forward to us seeing?
Ben: I just think even more extreme things than you’ve watched in the first five seasons. I think you’re watching the ripple effect of the previous five years come back to affect them in season six.
And how they can fix the decisions they made in the first five years. It creates this chaos, and as it goes on, they take one step forward and seem to fall two steps back. You just watch the struggle mount as the family try to all stick together and deal with the craziness in the world they’re in.
Jake: I think we can also say that some shit happens this season, and things will never be the same because of it. The Codys’ lives as we know it will never be the same.
It sounds like they get some of what they deserve.
Jake: Potentially. [laughs]
Jake: They had it coming, you know? They had it coming.
They had a nice long stretch!
And I know you guys wrapped about a year ago, but what was it like saying goodbye to those characters after playing them for so long?
Ben: Weird, really. It was such a big period of our life. I don’t think I’ve ever been doing anything this long since I was in prep school, since I was 13.
To be on anything and be anywhere for six years, seven years, for me, was pretty big. You develop such big friendships and create your own family both on and offscreen.
It’s sad, and obviously, you got all the fans on top of it who will reignite the whole thing we’ve been going through — the grieving will start all over again as soon as the show starts up, for another 13 weeks.
I’m excited to get to relive it through everyone else’s eyes. It’s been bittersweet, but I’m just happy we got to finish the story on our own terms, and we didn’t get cut short before we had the chance.
Jake: Yeah, it’s really sad to say goodbye to a character you’ve been playing as long as we’ve had the opportunity to play them. It really hit me back in February or March when we should’ve been going back to shoot the next season, you know? And I was like, “Wait, this isn’t happening again.”
It really does feel like you’re saying goodbye to a part of yourself. As much as we want to make these characters completely unique to who they are, there is a great part of yourself that’s been put into them. Not to be bleak, but a piece of yourself feels gone once the role is over. It’s been hard and just bittersweet.
***This interview has been edited for clarity and length***
You can catch Ben Robson and Jake Weary in the final season of Animal Kingdom.
The two-hour premiere airs on June 19 at 9/8c on TNT. Join us for a full review!
Are you looking forward to the final season? Sound off below with all of your thoughts.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.