Animal Kingdom Cast: Character Guide and Descriptions

ytsfreeSeptember 9, 2022

Animal Kingdom is a drama series based on David Michôd’s 2010 Australian film of the same name. The series, created by Jonathan Lisco, premiered on TNT on June 14, 2016, and centered on the Codys, a family of career criminals. The series feels like a mix of Peaky Blinders and The Town with a little bit of Sons of Anarchy sprinkled on top.


Animal Kingdom is a great crime series with some of the best heist scenes on television. It is action-packed with fight scenes, surfing, and the beautiful coast of California. With the final season airing this year, it is the perfect time to look at the important characters of the series.

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Joshua “J” Cody

Peaky Blinders’ Finn Cole plays Joshua “J’ Cody, the youngest of the Cody family who was taken in by his grandmother after his mother overdosed. J is extremely intelligent and quickly becomes a key member of this crime family. Finn Cole fits perfectly in this role that oddly resembles his Michael Gray from Peaky Blinders. Although both parts are eerily similar, they make it clear that Cole has no problem leading a series.

Andrew “Pope” Cody

Southland star Shawn Hatosy plays Andrew “Pope” Cody. Pope is the oldest of the Cody boys and has struggled his whole life with mental illness and OCD. Pope is a tragic character who tries so hard to do the right thing but can never seem to come out on top. When we first meet Pope he has returned to the family after serving three years in Folsom State Prison for a bank robbery gone wrong. After six seasons, Pope has become an audience favorite and Hatosy’s amazing performance as the unhinged character is a big part of the reason why.

Deran Cody

Deran Cody (Jake Weary) is the youngest of Smurf’s children and was a competitive surfer. Deran is kind and very loyal to his family. He is not as quick to fight as his brothers, but he has no trouble holding his own if he has to. Deran desperately wants to escape his crime family and live a normal life, but that seems near impossible for him to do.

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Craig Cody

Craig Cody (Ben Robson) is the middle Cody son and is the most unpredictable and the least reliable. Craig is often involved in risky behavior involving drugs and alcohol. Craig loves to have a good time and is often throwing parties. He is very active and loves to surf with his brother, Deran, who Craig has the closest relationship with.

Janine “Smurf” Cody

The incredible Ellen Barkin played Janine “Smurf” Cody, the matriarch of the Cody family. Smurf is very protective of her family and loves them to the point that it’s creepy. Smurf runs the criminal family and teaches J everything she knows after taking him in. Smurf is smart, tough, and in control of every situation, she is in. Leila George plays Smurf in the flashbacks of seasons five and six, which show how she got her start as a woman performing heists.

Barry “Baz” Blackwell

Scott Speedman plays Barry “Baz” Blackwell. Baz is Smurf’s adopted son and the leader of the Cody family. Baz is intelligent and questions Smurf’s ability to run their jobs. He has a complicated relationship with Pope which goes back to when they were teenagers. Baz is the most level-headed of the Cody brothers and does his best to keep them from killing one another.

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Julia Cody

Julia Cody (Jasper Polish) is the only daughter of Smurf and the mother of J. She was estranged from the Cody family and became addicted to drugs. Due to her relationship with her family and her struggles with addiction, J never knew the Codys and was only taken in after Julia’s overdose. Although the series mentions Julia heavily audiences do not get to know her tragic story until the last two seasons.

Renn Randall

Renn Randall (Christina Ochoa) is Craig’s on-again-off-again girlfriend and also his drug dealer. Renn is a tough woman and struggles with her sobriety. She is an active person like Craig and an avid surfer. Although Renn and Craig are terrible for each other, it is clear they truly love each other.

Animal Kingdom is very much an underrated crime series. It stands among greats like Sons of Anarchy and Peaky Blinders but has not received the same attention. Since Amazon Prime Video began streaming the series it has seen a massive boom in its fan base, which was just in time for the series finale that premiered on TNT on August 28, 2022. Seasons one through five of Animal Kingdom are streaming on Amazon Prime while their sixth season is currently available on the TNT app.

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