‘Animal Kingdom’ Star Finn Cole Previews J’s Power Hungry Obsession in Season 4

Animal Kingdom - Ellen Barkin, Finn Cole
Eddy Chen/TNT

It’s summer, and while that means heading to the beach for some, for the unscrupulous Cody family of TNT’s Animal Kingdom, it’s time to get to work.

But, as we know from the previous three seasons of the drama, based on the 2010 film of the same name, life is never easy for the Codys, especially with matriarch Smurf (Ellen Barkin) leading her brood. “Relationships between mothers and sons are complicated in every family,” says executive producer John Wells. “Just when you think you’re an adult and have removed yourself from the tethers of your childhood, you discover those strings can never be erased.” (Also watch for Bones star Emily Deschanel to stir things up when she joins the cast in next week’s episode.)

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Former 'Bones' star Emily Deschanel joins the cast as a recovering junkie looking to get into the family’s good graces.

One perfect example of Smurf’s tight-gripped hold is with grandson J (Finn Cole), who over the years has gone from innocent new member of the family to a willing participant in their crimes, even committing murder last season for the first time.

Cole spoke with TV Insider about what we’ll see in the new season, J’s quest for power, and learning from the best teacher — Smurf.

How is J this season with the death of Morgan (Laura San Giacomo) now behind him?

Finn Cole: This season, J is back with new goals and bigger aspirations. He has the cold ability to put harrowing experiences like the murder of Morgan Wilson behind him because he’s starting to become obsessed with power and he’ll do anything to be at the top.


The J and Smurf relationship is always so fun to watch — in the new season, is J feeling on the same level as Smurf or is she still the one calling the shots?

Smurf is still calling the shots. She’s the boss. Whether or not J can overtake her, I don’t know, but for now, he’s watching and learning. He’s impressed by her, but also has an underlying hate for her. I’m always excited to see how things develop with these two characters.

Romance is never easy on this show but how is J doing in that department?

I have always felt that J doesn’t have time for romance. He uses everyone for his own personal gain. How can he fall in love?! I’d like to see him find someone he feels responsible for, though. It would bring a weakness to the character. Someone his enemies could target or take advantage of. I’d be interested to see how he’d deal with that.

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The TNT series was just renewed for a fourth season.

Is there a part of J that just wants to be an ordinary kid going to school and hanging with his peers?

I think J has thought about being “normal” — going to school, having friends. But he is broken. He can’t. He’s made for this world and he can’t turn back now.

Here is the trailer for the fourth season of Animal Kingdom:

Animal Kingdom, Tuesdays, 9/8c, TNT