“Kingdom” actress Joanna Going readily admits during our recent webcam chat (watch above) that “we have great fights going on” as we spoke about her hit series centered around the cutthroat world of mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions. However, she adds, “it really is a character study of a family and of a certain type of person who is drawn to the world of mixed martial arts, and what they might be working out from within there in the cage.” She costars in this Audience Network drama as Christina, the estranged wife of a fight trainer (Frank Grillo) who struggles to keep his gym afloat while managing the careers of their two sons, Nate (Nick Jonas) and Jay (Jonathan Tucker).
In season one, Christina is a heroin-addicted prostitute living on the streets. It’s a far cry from Going’s SAG-nominated work as First Lady Tricia Walker on “House of Cards.” The actress reveals she did extensive research to prepare for her character’s dark history. “There were some amazing documentaries on YouTube,” she explains, “but also a lot of actual users making a lot of cautionary tale-type video diaries and things, especially trying to detox. That was kind of heart-wrenching, but amazingly valuable for me.”
In the first 10 episodes of season two, which aired last fall, “We pick up where she’s clean, she’s trying to make a go of it, she’s trying to be respectable and respectful, she’s gotten the only job that she really could manage,” but before long, “we’ve seen her kind of fall back into her familiar ways.”
Going teased the upcoming 10 episodes of the season, which premieres on June 1. “Everybody’s kind of built up to a precipice,” she says. “For Christina, we see her really starting to understand the consequences of the choices that she’s made in her life, and she basically acts and lives devoid of consequences. She doesn’t think ahead, and now it’s coming back and crashing down on her.”
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