Joanna Going recently chatted with RyetheNewsGuy.com about the recent series finale of the AT&T original series show, Kingdom. She stars as Christina Kulina, who is a hard-edged, drug addicted prostitute, and is the mother of Nate (Nick Jonas) and Jay (Jonathan Tucker) Kulina, and Ex-Wife of Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo). Check out the exclusive interview, below!
What's it been like to work on Kingdom on Audience Network?
It's been a dream job. The role, the writing, the collaboration of all the artists involved has been inspiring. I've felt challenged, respected and loved.
What's been your favorite part/memory while working on the show?
My favorite part has been the people I got to work with: my cast mates, our crew and directors, our writers, and, especially, our leader, Byron Balasco. His words have been a gift.
This is a fan question from @MsAlyssaRose- What storylines would you have liked to have seen explored if the show went on for more seasons?
I would have liked to explore whether Christina could meet someone, fall in love, and have a real romantic, trusting relationship, and how her history and baggage would impact that.
Do you feel that Christina sees her younger self in Kayla and that's why she is so nurturing to her as compared to the other girls?
I don't think Christina exactly sees herself in any of these girls--- they are coming into the sex industry in a different way, with different goals, than Christina did. The internet didn't exist when Christina began to support herself and her drug habits through prostitution, and Christina was not a performer in adult films when she was young. The amateur porn business, like that which Christina and Terry are running, was born of the technology in internet live-streaming and social media. For girls coming into this business, into Christina's house, social media is second nature. They are well-versed in the use of it, and eager to expose themselves on camera. While Christina came to the sex industry as a means of survival, most of these younger women come to it with ambitions of riches and fame. There is a voracious need to be seen and recorded and validated by numbers of followers, a validation that may mean even more to them than the money being made.
Christina is a willing participant in this cam girl business, but she is protective of the girls in the house and tries to look out for them in the midst of a dangerous and manipulative situation. Kayla is particularly open and vulnerable, not yet hardened by the industry. She asks Christina for help, and that fills a desire in Christina to be needed and necessary. She plays out some of the mothering instincts that she failed at with her sons, and gets the ego boost of being looked up to.
How did you prepare for a role as intense as "Christina?"
In preparation for the first season I did a lot of research into heroin addiction and prostitution. Some of the materials I used were the work of the Video Vigilante on JohnTV.com, the photo journal "An American Lowlife" by Scot Sothern, several documentaries on heroin addiction, and many harrowing videos posted on YouTube by users and people going through detox. For the second season I concentrated more on the process of recovery and 12 step programs. In the third season I had to look into the world of webcam sex workers. There were two documentaries that were particularly helpful: "Hot Girls Wanted" and "Cam Girlz".
If you had the chance to write the ending of Kingdom, how do you think you'd end it?
It wouldn't end. We saw each season as a drop-in to a brief period in these people's lives, as they struggle along. Even if we can't see them anymore, I want to think of them still out there fighting their inner and outer demons, searching for the brief moments of joy and satisfaction that make them keep going.
Are you surprised with how big the following has become for this show?
I'm not surprised---it's 40 episodes of compelling television. Our fans are passionate and vocal and it's meant the world to have them become invested in the characters. It's wonderful so many people around the world have found their way to it on the Audience Network. I hope there will be many more as it remains available for streaming.
Do you think we will see this show rebooted or come back down the line?
What is next for you?
What is the best advice you can give to aspiring young actors/actresses?
Get an education. Spend some time in New York. See theater. Do theater. Have hobbies. Breathe. Be yourself. Get over yourself.