We've Got Hollywood Covered

‘Kingdom’ EP Byron Balasco on Tackling Nick Jonas’ Gay Storyline, Show’s First Female Fighter (Video)

”We always strive for authenticity and to be accurate and to be true to the world,“ showrunner tells TheWrap of Season 2’s addition of Natalie Martinez and Nate’s coming out story

“Kingdom” follows the macho sport of MMA fighting, but Season 2 of the Audience Network drama will continue to expand its universe. For starters, the show’s first female fighter lead will be introduced this season, as played by Natalie Martinez.

“Every gym you go in has female fighters,” showrunner Byron Balasco told TheWrap’s executive editor Joseph Kapsch during an exclusive sit-down on the set of the series. “Mixed in with the guys, training, they don’t train separately, it’s all one ecosystem. We always strive for authenticity and to be accurate and to be true to the world, so to not do that story wouldn’t be doing it.”

Nick Jonas‘ lead character will also continue to explore and struggle with his homosexuality in Season 2. In the series, Jonas’ Nate Kulina is an up and coming prize fighter, who after being sidelined with an injury must rethink his entire life’s existence.

“I wanted to tell this story in a way that would be true to this kid’s life,” said Balasco. “We made a lot of great strides in this country, but there are still people in a situation where it’s not OK, or where it would greatly change the context of their lives in regards to their friends and family and peer group. You know, everybody he knows is a fighter, he’s been doing this his whole life. I really wanted to tell the story of him struggling to come to terms with his identity and who he truly is.”

“Kingdom” Season 2 debuts Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on the Audience Network for DirecTV and U-Verse customers.