Flashback: Ellen Barkin, Golden Globe Nominee, in 1991

by Ana Maria Bahiana June 10, 2016

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Fans of the 2010 Australian movie Animal Kingdom are probably excited and curious to see how that terse crime drama will translate into a TV show – starting June 14 the series will launch on TNT, transposed from Down Under to a Southern California beach town. Here’s a piece of good news: the pivotal role of implacable matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody, which earned Jackie Weaver a Golden Globe nomination, has been taken over by another Golden Globe nominee, the talented Ellen Barkin. “I actually think that she's someone who has done very well given the situation she's been put in and I don't think she's a victim.  I don't feel sorry for her.  “I actually think that she's someone who has done very well given the situation she's been put in and I don't think she's a victim”, Ellen told us recently.  “I don't feel sorry for her.”

A tough, smart and uniquely beautiful woman, Ellen comes from a New York working-class Jewish family – “I grew up with very little money, and money has never been that important to me”, she confided in one of our first encounters, back in 1991, when this photo was taken. “So I guess just because who I am personally I was able to afford the luxury of being selective.”

Indeed: in her long and eclectic career Barkin has crisscrossed from drama to comedy, from independents to big studio movies, stage and TV, always picking projects a bit left-to-center. Her taste and talent earned her two Golden Globe nominations: in 1992 for the Blake Edwards-directed comedy Switch, and in 1998 for the TV drama Before Women Had Wings. At 62, she has no intention of stopping: “I love this job so it's nice to go to work.  I'm excited by it.”

See what Ellen Barkin has to say on Animal Kingdom.