Summer Spotlight Q&A: Shawn Hatosy (“Animal Kingdom”)


I chatted with the Maryland native about the Entertainment industry and his new show, “Animal Kingdom.”

Q: What was it like growing up in Frederick?

I grew up in a really family friendly community in the suburbs. I was surrounded by a lot of kids of similar age. I would roll out of bed, be outside all day on my skateboard, and be home for dinner at 6pm. It was a pretty great life for a kid.


Q: I read that you were in a band in high school. Were you more involved with music or acting growing up?

Definitely more involved in acting. I started doing community theater plays when I was 12.


Q: Do you still get nervous on auditions?

Oh yeah. Now matter how many times I prepare for something, it’s still nerve wracking. You just have to remember that it’s part of the job, and find techniques to channel the nerves.


Q: What is the most challenging aspect of the Entertainment industry?

As artists, we wrestle with the concept of being popular. Whether it be  a television show, a film, or a play.  You’re trying to find the balance of being creatively relevant and having as many eye balls as possible watch. Currently, the model of film is comic book heroes and crazy special effects. Those films have a much bigger budget, and take less risks to rake in the box office. There was a time you could see a middle budget film, and still be entertained. Due to that, we’re now in a golden age of television, with higher quality acting and writing.


Q: What is your new show “Animal Kingdom” about? Who do you play?

“Animal Kingdom” is based off an Australian film from 2010. This version takes place in Ocean Side, California. The Cody’s are a blue collar crime family, who is led by ‘Smurf’, played by Ellen Barkin. I play one of her four sons, who just got out of prison and who has a history of mental illness. The show is about their crime and dysfunctional family unit.


Q: What is it like working with Ellen Barkin and the rest of the cast?

We’re VERY tight knit.  There’s a very wide range of ages in the cast. And Ellen is just Ellen. I admire her approach to her character. She’s tireless, and is creating some very unique scenes. To tell you the truth, we have a blast. Especially in the set pool!


Q: What is your favorite acting job to date?

As of right now, I would say Pope, who I’m currently playing in “Animal Kingdom.” He’s very unpredictable. He has so many different layers. He’s dark, disturbing, funny..he challenges me.


Q: How hard is it balancing your career, kids, and personal life?

I find as an actor, when you’re in the midst of a project, it consumes you. You’re trying to stay in shape, develop a’s every aspect of your life. It can take a toll. It’s hard to be a present husband and father at the same time. Thankfully I have a very understanding wife and family. We’ve been doing this for a while now ::laughs::


“Animal Kingdom” airs Tuesdays at 9pm on TNT!

Follow Shawn on Twitter

Visit the Official “Animal Kingdom” Website