It’s no secret: Actor looks forward to ‘Political Animals’ debut

A local actor will soon be seen with some of Hollywood’s heavy hitters when the six-part series “Political Animals” premieres on the USA Network.

The show focuses on a political family, which includes Secretary of State Elaine Barrish Hammond (Sigourney Weaver) and her former husband and former U.S. president, Bud Hammond (Ciarán Hinds). In her role, Weaver is working to keep her family together while navigating the political straits. She also is dealing with Susan Berg, a Washington, D.C., journalist, played by Carla Gugino, who is “bent on destroying” the former first lady’s career, as explained in publicity material about the show.

Wilton resident R.J. Kelly plays Agent Sam, who is part of the former president’s personal secret service detail.

The show debuts on Sunday, July 15 at 10 p.m. (EST).

The show’s creator, executive producer, writer and pilot director is Greg Berlanti, a creative force behind many other television shows, including “Dawson’s Creek,” “Jack & Bobby,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “Everwood.” Laurence Mark is also one of the show’s executive producers.

In a recent news release, Kelly, who grew up in Darien, talked about what it was like to be part of the series.

I am so proud to be part of ‘Political Animals. It’s the ultimate experience for any actor – a riveting storyline, a star-studded, killer cast of actors and a director, who’s not only one of the most high-profile in Hollywood today, but hands down, one of the nicest. Greg Berlanti’s astronomical success in one of the toughest industries proves that nice guys can – and do – finish first. He genuinely cares about each and every single person tied to this show – from the Oscar nominees to the crew. Being part of this show has not only been an honor, it’s been an education. I am without a doubt, a better actor for this experience.”

Kelly’s appearance in “Political Animals” (his first television series) follows a career of appearances in national commercials, including a recurring role in recent televised ads by Ally Bank (see the clip below), and voice over work. Kelly also has worked locally, pledging his time and talent to a number of charitable projects.

Christina Hennessy