Animal Kingdom: Ben Robson, Jake Weary tease 'high octane' season 6

Ben Robson and Jake Weary in Animal Kingdom
(Image credit: Warner Media)

It’s the end of an era as Animal Kingdom heads into its final season. Animal Kingdom season 6 marks the end of the road for the Cody brothers after five years of wheeling, dealing and escaping impossibly dangerous situations. 

After Cody matriarch Smurf died in season 4, the dynamic between the Cody brothers — Andrew "Pope" Cody (Shawn Hatosy), Craig (Ben Robson) and Deran (Jake Weary) — and their nephew Joshua "J" Cody (Finn Cole) started to change. These shifting dynamics and priorities took the Cody family into new territory, testing loyalties and pushing boundaries. 

In season 6, the stakes are higher than ever. What to Watch had a chance to speak with Ben Robson and Jake Weary about Craig and Deran’s journey thus far and what’s in store for the Codys in the final season. 

Thinking about the journey your characters have been on over the course of the past five seasons, does anything surprise you about where your characters ended up at the end of season 5 and heading into season 6?

Ben Robson: Of course, with Craig he’s had so many ups and downs with his addictions, his lifestyle, fatherhood, relationships and then trying to find his place in the family after the huge shifts and losses in the family itself. I don’t think I’ve ever felt stability at all playing Craig. Life has been constant change and so unpredictable, which I think has been part of the success of the show. As soon as you think it’s going one way, it seems to swing and go the opposite.  

Jake Weary: Yeah, I would agree that it’s been such a unique journey in that we all get to grow together as a family and see these characters change over time and see how the power dynamics within the family change. And then to sit at the top of the mountain at the end of season 5 and look back on everything… it’s just been pretty profound to know you’ve gone five years on something. In some ways it feels like a year’s gone by and then in some ways it feels like you’ve known these people your entire life and you’re actually brothers now. So that’s been an incredible experience. 

One of the things that’s so striking about Animal Kingdom is that it’s this brotherhood, this family. While most families aren’t as extreme as the Codys, there are still lots of parallels to real life family dynamics. 

Ben Robson: Yeah, for sure, I think that happens on so many levels. When kids start to get older, stronger and wiser and all the advice that they’ve taken from their parents or older brothers or whatever it might be, then can be challenged because they believe they’ve grown up and have a voice they want to follow and pursue themselves. 

I know that to be true in my own family dynamic that I have at home and I think it definitely felt that within the show there were things explored which are no different than with my family. And the comparisons I’ve felt — though definitely not to the extremity that the show went — but it’s all the same stuff with bonding with brothers and mothers and outsiders who then come into the family and you wonder if they’re the right fit whether it’s girlfriends or boyfriends and it shifts the dynamic and the paradigm that they all work within. So yeah, I think there’s a lot of people who relate with the show because I’m sure that everyone identifies with a certain character and certain beliefs within it. And I think it’s been a huge part of the success of the show. 

Jake Weary: Agreed. 

It seemed like the stakes had never been higher for the Codys heading into season 5, but then we learned that the show is coming back for a sixth and final season. Given how big season 5 was, how can you possibly top that and is there anything you can tease about season 6?

Jake Weary: Oh, you can certainly top it. (Laughs) I mean, everything has to come to a head at some point. I think you’re kind of seeing all of this stuff… let’s just say a lot happens… there’s a lot to unpack in season 6. And it’s not just things the characters are currently dealing with, but ghosts of the past come back and I think the brothers are put in an incredibly vulnerable place to where you’re like, "How could they possibly deal with this?" And then, yeah… we’ll see. 

Ben Robson: I think season 6 is the amalgamation of all the choices, risks and punts that they took and in season 6 they get pinned into their most difficult corner as to how they’re going to escape. So I think what you’re looking at is the real high octane, big decision-making, all on the line, all-in sort of problems that they have to resolve. So yeah, to answer your question it’s all somehow topped in [season] 6 because you have the whole history of the last five years that informs the problems that will arise in the season. It makes for some pretty compelling watching. 

Don’t miss any of the action in the final season of Animal Kingdom, airing Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on TNT beginning June 19.  

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.