Ben Barnes plays General Kirigan (a.k.a. The Darkling) in Shadow and Bone on Netflix

Production still from Shadow and Bone.
Ben Barnes plays General Kirigan in Shadow and Bone. Pic credit: Netflix

Shadow and Bone fans know that General Kirigan is a love-to-hate character. He’s very complex and is disguised as an antagonist. But as the character exposes his motives and background, his actions become increasingly predictable and less threatening.

In Netflix’s most recent book-to-movie adaptation, General Kirigan, also known as The Darkling, is played by the acclaimed actor Ben Barnes.

The actor recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the perception of his character. He said, “I think an antagonist has an agenda that they believe in wholeheartedly. If you really sit down and listen, you can understand it in some way.”

With that being said, throughout the series, Barnes flawlessly added an incredible amount of depth to his character, leaving the show’s viewers biting their nails until the very end. 

Here is everything there is to know about Ben Barnes. 

What else has Ben Barnes been in? 

Shadow and Bone isn’t Ben Barnes’ first shot at a book-to-movie adaptation. Surprisingly enough, the British actor’s first big on-screen role was playing the title character in the 2008 movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which was the second addition in the Narnia movie series.

He reprised the role in the following movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Prior to that, he was finding major success as a theater actor.

In addition to starring in the major picture Narnia, Barnes played the title character in the movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray and in the comedy-drama The Big Wedding, alongside the all-star cast of Robert DeNiro, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, and Susan Saradon. 

More recently, Barnes played the character Logan in the popular television series Westworld and was a regular in Netflix’s The Punisher, playing Billy Russo. 

Is Ben Barnes on social media?

Yes! Ben Barnes is active on Instagram where he describes himself as an actor and “singer of songs.” He has been avidly posting about Shadow and Bone’s premiere and he recently celebrated getting one-million followers on the platform. 

To celebrate, Barnes posted a video of himself speaking to his fans in a poetic verse. He wrote in the caption, “A million. I wrote this to say thank you to every one of you.” 

In the video, he says, “I love your passion, your edits, your art. You make me think, you make me blush, you make me feel it in my heart.” Among his works of appreciation, Barnes also encourages his followers to remember to behave kindly while online — advising them to unfollow, rather than “troll.” 

Judging by his Instagram feed, other hobbies of his appear to be singing, playing tennis, and enjoying the outdoors. His voice abilities may be a shock to some fans, but he did spend the early years of his career performing in musical theater. 

In addition to Instagram, the actor also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account — giving plenty of options for his fans to stay in touch and updated. 

Shadow and Bone premiered April 23, 2021, on Netflix with eight, hour-long episodes. Barnes stars in all eight episodes, but his character’s fate was tested in the series finale. Fans are waiting anxiously to see what happens next for General Kirigan and the others in the Netflix Grishaverse.

Shadow and Bone is currently streaming on Netflix.

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