Pope: The Scariest Man on the TNT Drama 'Animal Kingdom'

On-screen, Shawn Hatosy is a violence-prone psychopath, but off-screen he’s a laid-back tennis junkie.

Actor Shawn Hatosy at the Animal Kingdom
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

On TNT’s hit drama Animal Kingdom, Shawn Hatosy plays the unhinged Andrew “Pope” Cody—the oldest son in the SoCal crime family. Despite his psychotic demeanor on-screen, off-screen Hatosy is a married father of two who enjoys working on his serve, eating whatever he wants, and watching his favorite show on TV. (Hint: It’s not Animal Kingdom.)

M&F: How did you decide how Pope should look physically? 

SH: I knew that I had to build him in a way that was animalistic. I feel like you should think, “Jesus, I don’t want to mess with him, he could tear my head off,” when you see him.

Animal Kingdom aside, what is your favorite show on TV? 

Fargo. It’s a treat to watch. The tone, the music, the performances; and the writing is some of the best on TV.

You’re lean on the show. Do you have to diet down?

I suck at that part. I try to keep it as clean as I can, but I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do drugs, so what I do have is food. I really enjoy it. It’s hard to turn down bad stuff. That’s why I don’t drink. I couldn’t have just one. It was more like whatever is back behind the bar, maybe some tequila, and then the rest of the bottle. I need to get a private chef.

How about your training?

If I have the time, I’ll lift for an hour and try to hit every muscle. Let’s say I’m doing bench presses. I’ll do a set, and then I’ll stay active by doing some situps on the decline bench, and then I’ll do air squats or something, and then I’ll go back to the bench and do another set. I try to keep moving. And if I’m not able to play tennis that day, I’ll do at least 30 minutes of cardio after I’m done lifting weights.

Rumor has it you’re a baller at tennis.

I revisited my obsession with tennis about five years ago, mainly as a form of cardio to get lean. Then I started to take lessons, and I became a student of it again, and that led to my playing in USTA leagues. I take it pretty seriously. My wife probably wants to divorce me over it.