Interview with Good Trouble star Ken Kirby

GOOD TROUBLE - (Freeform/Richard Cartwright) KEN KIRBY, MOLLY MCCOOK
GOOD TROUBLE - (Freeform/Richard Cartwright) KEN KIRBY, MOLLY MCCOOK /
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Good Trouble

Actor and comedian Ken Kirby chatted with us about his characters from Good Trouble and The Gifted, plus he teases his upcoming role on Grand Hotel!

You probably recognize Ken Kirby from his role as a law clerk and rival to Callie on Good Trouble, but you may also remember him as Noah from season two of The Gifted or as Bryan on Freeform’s Famous in Love! Kirby is an accomplished actor and comedian who aspires to write and star in his own content.

Recently, he was cast as an Asian billionaire named Byron on Eva Longoria’s new summer show, Grand Hotel. He spoke with Hidden Remote about his role as Ben, his comedy, Grand Hotel, and his long-term goals in the industry.

Hidden Remote: For starters, can you talk a little about the character of Ben and what attracted you to him?

Ken Kirby: What interested me in this role is that it was a role written specifically for an Asian-American. Ben is this hard-nosed, layered character who, on the surface, seems like someone who will do whatever it takes to be the main choice in Judge Wilson’s eyes.

But really, underneath it, he’s doing it for a lot of reasons that come with the pressures of being an Asian male in a family and needing to provide financially and being held to such a high standard his whole life. Whether it’s going to Harvard, or the next evolution which is to be a law clerk and then a Supreme Court clerk, and then eventually a corner executive office at a law firm, he’s always striving for the best because that’s all he’s ever been taught.

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HR: It makes him an interesting character because he’s a little antagonistic but at the same time you can tell he’s motivated by his ambition.

KK: Right and where does that come from? I’m sure some people might start off that ambitious but usually it’s bred or you’re trying to keep up with your parents, or your parents have taught you this is the way if you want to survive – you have to go to Harvard and get a great job and never fail. When, in truth, there is a lot to be learned through failure, everybody fails, even Ben.

HR: We don’t really learn too much about Ben’s background is that something you came up with on your own?

KK: The audition material had some hints as to what there might be underneath and in season two I think you’ll get a better understanding of what makes Ben tick, so to speak.

HR: I was hoping to see more of his storyline! Do you have any comment on his relationship with Kate now that she’s been introduced to the fold?

KK: We’re seen chatting at the bar and I think it’s left open for now. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, I don’t want to give away too much.

HR: How do you think Ben was affected by Rebecca’s departure? We didn’t get to see much of the aftermath.

KK: It was unfortunate she had to get transferred and we didn’t get a lot of closure. I think Ben understood Rebecca on a level because she was just as ambitious as him but on the other side of the coin. He was envious of her because he felt she was handed everything but she was there because she was good at her job. I think in some ways in he protected Rebecca but was also probably a little glad she was out of the picture because it was less competition for him.

HR: Were you familiar at all with The Fosters before you joined Good Trouble?

KK: A little bit, I had seen a few episodes. I watched a few more before I auditioned for the show but I tried to actually separate the two and come at it with a different approach because I knew it was a new show and it was a different world they were entering. Good Trouble is almost like two shows in one with Callie and Mariana’s work life and then the Coterie, so I really wanted to come in and take more influence from procedurals and other shows I had watched so I could do the world of the show justice.

HR: Because of how separate the worlds are, you don’t get much opportunity to interact with anyone outside the law office. Were there any other characters you would like to interact with moving forward?

KK: It would be fun to interact with the Speckulate guys. I was actually on an improv team with Dhruv (who plays Raj), me and him were on the same team at Groundlings years ago which is pretty funny. That would be the person I’d want to work with since we both come from a comedy background.