Published by Melanie Jo Published on August 2, 2016

Mr Joel Kinnaman is hungry. As soon as MR PORTER’s photoshoot has wrapped, the 6ft 2in Swede jaywalks across Main Street in Downtown LA and straight into the first restaurant he sees. “Bäco Mercat? Fine. Table for two, please. And I’ll have the steak medium-rare, the Hamachi crudo, the shrimp and the lentil salad.”

The waitress smiles. “OK, then, that’s plenty for two. You know that everything here is meant to be shared?”

“No, that’s just for me,” says Mr Kinnaman, giving her a blank stare. “I’m really hungry.”

He’s not kidding. Mr Kinnaman is bulking up right now. So much so, that MR PORTER’s stylist had to go up a size on the Ermenegildo Zegna collection he is modelling to mark the brand’s arrival on site.

It’s 5.30pm, and time for his second lunch, just a couple of hours before his first dinner, which will be a pound of meat or fish. “I need to make 215lb by November,” he says. “That’s when we start shooting Altered Carbon. It’s Netflix’s biggest show so far, its answer to Game Of Thrones. I have to be ready. In my opening scene I come out in a loin cloth and fight six people.”

So he’s shaving, presumably, like a serious bodybuilder? “Totally. All about the shaving. And baby oil. I carry a jug with me just in case.”

Altered Carbon is a hard, R-rated sci-fi set 500 years in the future. Bodies are dispensable, our personalities are held in microchips and the rich are crushing the poor. A classic dystopia. “A lot of comparisons with Blade Runner,” he says, “but with lots more sex, violence and dismemberment.”

We’d never heard of Mr Kinnaman until his breakthrough role in The Killing in 2011. Movies followed, notably RoboCop, but also “a couple of others that didn’t pop”. And then last year, the tide turned. He made the indie thriller Edge Of Winter, in which he played an unstable and dangerous father. He joined the House Of Cards ensemble as the Republican candidate and biggest threat yet to President Underwood’s ambitions. And this August, he’ll star in Suicide Squad, a DC Comics extravaganza with nine leads, including Messrs Will Smith and Jared Leto. Mr Kinnaman plays Rick Flag, the head of a team of villains, a part that was originally meant for Mr Tom Hardy, but he was too busy making The Revenant.

“I’m happy to take Tom’s leftovers,” he says, tucking in to the skirt steak. “There’s a lot of tasty food on that floor.”

It’ll mean global fame, action figures, little kids chasing him down the street. But Mr Kinnaman is hungry metaphorically as well as literally, and happy to take whatever comes with it. “Oh I’m ready,” he says. “I’m going to go full colonial, and start saving people by touching their foreheads. I’m going to wear long white robes.”

Mr Kinnaman wasn’t born into acting. He doesn’t have one of those Mickey Mouse Club stories. Twenty years ago, when he was 16, he dropped out of school and was hanging out with a gang of petty criminals in what he jokingly calls “southside Stockholm”. He grew up in a sprawling, hippyish family. His American father was a military deserter in the Vietnam War, who sought refuge in Sweden, where he had a number of children by a number of women. Mr Kinnaman grew up with five sisters.

It was tough. Growing up, he had a difficult relationship with his father. “We’re good now. I’m working on a film about his life with a Swedish director. I’m going to play him. But see, he was beaten by his parents. And in my teenage years, I was definitely testing the boundaries, so…” He shrugs. “You know, hanging out and smoking weed. I had a lot of anger in me, and I was insecure. I was really skinny and I used to get bullied, so it felt good to bully other people. That made me feel stronger.”


Published by Melanie Jo Published on

Suicide Squad Comic Con 2016 panel with Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara & David Ayer. Watch more Comic Con 2016 Panels & Interviews

Published by Melanie Jo Published on

The pranks from the “Suicide Squad” set have been well documented ― specifically in regard to Jared Leto ― but this is definitely a new one.

While the cast was visiting Conan O’Brien this weekend (following their Comic-Con appearance), Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flag in the upcoming supervillain flick, revealed how one prank by Will Smith took an unexpected turn for the erotic.

“They had rain towers that they took from the ground water in Toronto. It was icy cold. We were miserable. And Will had a brilliant idea of getting this bucket of steaming hot water,” Kinnaman explained. “He’d get this little bucket and sneak up to people that were standing, shivering to death, and pour it down their necks. You could see people standing there and then they were like, ahhhhh.”

“It was sensual,” he added, “It turned a little weird.”

Then Smith chimed in, creating a perfect image in our heads of just how erotic the prank turned out to be. Watch the whole interaction above.

“Suicide Squad” is set to hit theaters on Aug. 5.

Published by Melanie Jo Published on June 19, 2016

YAHOO.COM – As we enter Emmy season — nomination voting runs June 13 to 27 — Yahoo TV will be spotlighting performances, writing, and other contributions that we feel deserve recognition.

He should’ve gotten Lead Actor love for The Killing. But academy voters have the chance to make it up to Joel Kinnaman with a Supporting Actor nomination for Season 4 of House of Cards, in which he plays New York Gov. — and Republican POTUS contender — Will Conway.

Conway is a charming, highly photogenic family man and military veteran, and despite the many others who’ve gone up against Frank Underwood (and lived, or not, to regret it), he may just be the guy old F.U. can least afford to underestimate. Kinnaman’s confident, layered performance — we just know there’s some big stuff yet to be revealed about Mr. Conway! — made his character and his showdowns with the plotting President Underwood among the best reasons to binge-watch Season 4.

Kinnaman, who’ll star in the summer blockbuster Suicide Squad before continuing to battle Frank in Season 5, talked to Yahoo TV about his playlike face-off with Kevin Spacey’s prez in Season 4, getting the chance to help shape his character with the collaborative Beau Willimon and House of Cards writers, and the surreal experience of Season 4 not being able to out-outrageous real world politics.

Oh, and for our fellow fans of The Killing, Kinnaman has a really great idea about what Stephen Holder and Sarah Linden might be up to these days.

Yahoo TV: Will’s the first character that really felt like a formidable opponent for Frank, the kind of opponent we’ve been waiting to go up against Frank.
Joel Kinnaman: Thank you. That’s awesome to hear. I mean, that was my hope going into it. I thought it was such a great character. Beau Willimon’s writing is just delicious, and it was real cool to feel how, on the outside, they seem very different, Will and Frank, but then when it gets down to it, they’re two very similar animals. They just kind of went at it.

You were a fan of the show, right, before you signed on?
Oh, yeah. I don’t think it ever [took] more than three days before I finished a season when it came out.

What, specifically, attracted you to the Will role?
I mean, probably the position that he was in… a presidential candidate that’s already so far along. When you’re on a show where the writing is so good, you get a little bit of a feel for what it would be like. That’s really interesting. Then it’s the show in general, that I just love the tone of the show, and of course, the chance to go head-to-head with Mr. Spacey. That was also a lot of fun.

I love the scene where Will and Frank meet to talk alone in Episode 9. That must have been incredibly fun to film.
It was. That’s the dream scene in a way, because the scene was stretched out over the whole episode, but we shot it all in one piece. It was almost a 15-minute scene, just me and him in one room, and then you really get into it. It feels like you’re back on stage. Many times when you do TV and film, even if it’s very good writing, you rarely do scenes that are more than three or four minutes. When you do something that’s 12 minutes and it really has an arc, then you really start playing off of each other on another level, especially with someone like Kevin, who’s so skilled and is such an excellent theater actor. Me coming from theater as well, I think that was one of the reasons why we both really enjoyed that so much. We have somewhat similar styles of approaching the profession and material, so I think that was one of the reasons why we had so much fun playing that.

Were you two really playing the cellphone game during that scene?
We sure were.

Had you played before?
No, never. I think a day before the scene I found out what it was, and got into it.


Published by Melanie Jo Published on March 16, 2015

THESOURCE.COM – Joel Kinnaman and Génesis Rodríguez play husband and wife in Run All Night which is now playing.

Read what they had to say about working on the film, Liam Neeson and more!

How did you feel when you heard you were perfect to play Liam Neeson’s son?
Joel Kinnaman: That is a hug compliment even though he’s an alcoholic hit man in this. I was really honored to play his son in this film and I’m always drawn to father and son stories. I always get very emotional watching them and every friend that I have, older or younger … everybody’s had a complicated relationship to their father at some point in their life. This was a very interesting one.

Genesis told us on set you guys were listening to some cool hip-hop music. What were you guys listening to to get prepped for shooting?
Joel Kinnaman: Jay Electronica. I remember I played that to Common and he was like, oh s*** I haven’t heard this. I was like, I played song to Common that he hadn’t heard. That made my day.

Is that a ritual just listening to some hip-hop of just any music before you take on a big role or in between scenes?
Joel Kinnaman: Yeah sometimes. I mean I had the biggest premiere of my life was after I got out of acting school. I was in the big play of Crime and Punishment. It was the opening of a new national theater with as much coverage as you can get for a play in Sweden. Very much attention. And I was the center piece, I didn’t leave the stage for three hours and 45 minutes, so it was on me. For some reason I was listening to Bob Marley and … we jammed and it worked out really well.

Can you speak about working with Jaume the director and building this character.
Joel Kinnaman: It was a great collaboration. When I got the script, I thought Brad Ingelsby had written a beautiful script. There was one thing with that I felt could be improved and that was my character. He was written a little bit too clean cut. He had a white wife with his two blonde children. For some reason it’s like a lot of Hollywood stories … when somebody’s innocent they’re white which is farthest from the truth. And that he was much more of a victim of circumstance and he wasn’t proactive in the situation. I wanted you to feel that … this kid that grew up with alcoholic criminal father that created a very unstable home environment, he grew up in this rough neighborhood with everybody knowing he’s Jimmy Conlin’s son and even though he did a very respectable thing to create a different life for himself in the opposite life of his father and create a life for his children that he didn’t get, you still want to feel the residue of that background … I wanted him to be a violent person that has a lot of anger inside and that’s where we came up with that he had a run at being a professional fighter and but then he also had a lot of anger issues that he was trying to keep down. When these unfortunate events start to unfold then we also see how he would react in those situations and being proactive in that.

Did you have to train in boxing?
Joel Kinnaman: I did boxing a little bit. I’ve never done any fights, but sparing. A dear friend of mine, he’s actually on the money team, Mayweather’s team, and he’s actually got a title fight in a month, so he hooked me up with his New York trainer, a guy called Don Saxby so I was over there at Gleason’s and Don was helping me not look a complete fool in those scenes.

Can you speak about shooting in New York?
Joel Kinnaman: Yeah. That’s why I was so happy that we were shooting in New York. There’s a sense of humor and a toughness to New York that is so specific to here, it’s a lot of tough love and that’s why I was really adamant that they weren’t going to be like a white couple. They were from mixed neighborhoods so it was great that she also brought a little Latin attitude to it and it’s not easy raising two kids with not much money and you have fights but you love each other. It’s not a big deal but you’re working hard to make it work. I thought she was phenomenal in the film, really a strong woman … she’s feminine but a very strong woman.

What was the set chemistry like with all of the actors?
Joel Kinnaman: It was a hell of a good time. We had a lot of fun and Liam … he’s a funny guy and as soon as we became friends and started joking with each other we’re messing each other up and tripping each other up before the scenes and I was always worried is his back going to hold for this long stretch, do you need me to support you over this old man. He was like get out of the way lad. He’s going to show me boxing, he’s like hey so you’re boxing now … people haven’t boxed like that since the 20s when you were a kid.


Published by Melanie Jo Published on

ELLE.COM – The longer I wait for Joel Kinnaman to show up to The Spare Room, an old-timey speakeasy retrofitted with vintage bowling lanes and nestled in a hidden corner of Hollwood’s iconic Roosevelt Hotel, the more rattled I get. While interviewing hot babes is part of the gig (**blows on nails**), there’s something about the Stockholm-born actor that has always made me nervous.

For anyone who hasn’t been seduced by Detective Stephen Holder over four seasons of The Killing, Kinnaman plays a street tough, cocky sonofagun who tosses off lines like, “My body’s my temple, but this”—while gesturing toward his head with a deli sandwich—”is the control tower.” It’s the kind of Holderism fans of the AMC turned Netflix series love about the rough-around-the-edges antihero.

And then, without much fanfare at all, he arrives. Unlike many of his contemporaries he’s tall, a full-size 6’2, and, as expected, lacks that whole showbiz aim-to-please air. (Even his outfit: a charcoal pullover, navy pants, and low top Nike dunks goes stylishly under the radar.) But despite his low talking and aloof air, there’s something formidable about a 35-year-old who can hold his own in a shoot ’em up (Run All Night, out today) alongside Hollywood veterans Liam Neeson and Ed Harris. He’s calm, thoughtful, and confident in himself. And though he has a chip on his shoulder about marriage (read on…) he doesn’t ascribe himself to being any one kind of man: be it macho, metrosexual, or chess prodigy. He’s just Joel Kinnaman, and he’s slaying a Snoop Dogg concert-incited hangover with some mid-afternoon vodka. Can he live?

Because we’re a women’s magazine dedicated to flipping the script on men, I have a question: When you’re on the cover of a fitness mag, with a headline like, ‘How to get Joel Kinnaman’s Ripped Abs,’ are you actually passing along real workout tips?
I completely make it up.

Do you?
No, no, but gaining weight is hard for me.

I feel bad for you. Truly.
I mean, now ’cause I’m in my thirties, I can get, like, skinny fat, which is super attractive…[Laughs]

After Googling you, I found out that your mom is a therapist. For the deeper, darker stuff in The Killing, do you ever pull from stuff you heard about her patients?
Actually I had quite the bit of life experience, and, you know, had my difficult years and difficult phases of life—that’s what you always draw from when you do roles like that. In terms of whether my mom was influential, I think she instilled a certain way of thinking in me quite early: having a reflective mindset regarding my actions and trying to find the underlying reasons to behavior. I think that’s quite helpful when you’re trying to understand a character.

From every interview I’ve read with you, you seem very thoughtful about the characters you play. Has a director ever told you, ‘You’re over thinking it. Do less, Joel’?
Yeah, for sure. But, at the same time, preparation is always meant to get tossed out the window when you get to set. The preparation is just to, like, fill you up, but as soon as you start working, you can’t think of the preparation. It’s like, whatever gets stuck, gets stuck.

But have you ever had to learn, like, Tai Chi for a role and then you get there and they’re like, ‘Never mind, we’re not going to do that anymore!’
I mean, that’s actually happened a couple of times. Recently, I was going to go to South Africa and do a movie in which I was going to be a sad little fat boy—

So you got nice and fat…
Yeah, so I just stopped training and just, like, ate a lot of ice cream. All my friends were thrilled. It was like, ‘Yeahhhh, fatty.” They were giving me Snickers bars. And then the movie fell apart two weeks before I was going to go. That’s happened a couple of times where I’ve prepared for a role or learned a whole new dialect and then it fell apart. It happens a lot with financing—especially when you’re doing independent movies.


Published by Melanie Jo Published on March 9, 2015

UPROXX.COM – Joel Kinnaman wants you to know that he doesn’t get “taken” in this week’s new release co-starring Liam Neeson, Run All Night. Of course, it’s the Liam Neeson aspect of this equation that has people asking Kinnaman things like, “Oh, instead of his daughter, now it’s you that gets taken?,” which has been frustrating for the Swedish-born actor. (I can back Kinnaman up here, he does not get “taken” during Run All Night.)

Kinnaman became known to American audiences with his performance in the Americanized version of The Killing, playing the brooding detective Holder. Kinnaman parlayed his popularity as Holder into supporting roles in movies like David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo and the Denzel Washington vehicle, Safe House.

It was a big leap for Kinnaman to take on the starring role as Alex Murphy in the 2014 RoboCop reboot, a movie that still wound up grossing just under $250 million worldwide, but didn’t leave a huge impression on audiences or critics. Kinnaman looks back on RoboCop now and acknowledges there were mistakes – not being rated R is a big one – but certainly has no regrets.

Next year, he’s part of Warner Bros. and DC’s ambitious superhero slate of movies, co-starring with Will Smith in Suicide Squad, playing Rick Flag, a character that Kinnaman admits he didn’t know before he took the role. (To be fair, Flag isn’t exactly one of the more prominent characters in the DC universe.)

In Run All Night, Kinnaman plays Mike Conlon, a man who finds himself on the run from the mob and the police after witnessing a murder that he’s been framed for committing. Eventually, he accepts help from his estranged retired hitman father (Liam Neeson) as the two are basically now trying to avoid contact with pretty much everyone.

Ahead, Kinnaman reveals that he can do a pretty great Liam Neeson impression, discusses his upcoming role in Suicide Squad, speculates what went wrong with RoboCop, and he doesn’t seem upset in the least that he was cut out of Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. Oh, again, he swears he doesn’t get taken in Run All Night.

When you sign up for a movie with Liam Neeson, do you just assume you’re getting punched at some point?
[Laughs] I mean, I knew right off the bat that it’s a father-son story and that’s what very much drew me to the film. I’ve always gravitated toward father-son stories; I always find them moving and emotional, so I was stoked to play Liam’s son.

Why are you drawn to father-son movies?
Well, I don’t have any friends or any men that I know that haven’t had a complicated relationship to their father at some point in their life… It’s at the core of our emotional being and when we see stories about that, it connects with us.


Published by Melanie Jo Published on August 3, 2014 – Judging from the vocal swagger of Joel Kinnaman as The Killing’s sleazy-hot homicide detective Stephen Holder—whose every “Daaamn, girl!” and “Hey, mamacita!” provides a welcome respite in the famously bleak crime drama—you’d never guess English is not his mother tongue. “The language was probably the biggest challenge about that role,” Kinnaman, 34, says over the phone from Sweden, where he rose to fame with an acclaimed turn as a drug runner in 2010’s Snabba Cash (Easy Money) before making a name in North America as The Killing’s breakout star (and everyone’s latest TV boyfriend). Making a scruffy recovering junkie induce the vapours required no effort at all: “I’m not trying to make Holder sexy,” Kinnaman says. “If people think he’s attractive, that’s a by-product of him not giving a sh-t.”

Like that TV trope where a character gets killed off and then magically resurrected, The Killing has returned from the dead: AMC cancelled it for the second time after season three, but Netflix has revived it for a six-episode final run (Aug. 1). The premiere picks up with Holder and his partner, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), scrambling to conceal the bloody misdeeds they’ve just committed. (Arousing a colleague’s suspicions: Holder—who once wore the same sweatshirt for eight episodes straight—has taken the time, in the middle of a search for a missing boy, to change.) They’re also assigned a new case, investigating a student at a military academy as the possible culprit in the slaying of his family.

Kinnaman seems unfazed by the show’s on-again, off-again status. When he landed the role, he attended NA meetings, didn’t drink for a month and wore the same outfit for five days to get into character; now, transforming into Holder is as easy as slipping on a damp, cigarette-scented hoodie. “My posture changes, the way I look at the world, the way I look at people, my voice,” he says. “When I put the clothes on, the character comes back.”

Published by Melanie Jo Published on July 7, 2014

Actor Joel Kinnaman talks to Gold Derby editor Daniel Montgomery about filming the final six episodes of “The Killing” for Netflix, the ups and downs of being canceled twice, working with director Jonathan Demme, and the seven scenes that most excited him to make “RoboCop.”

Published by Melanie Jo Published on June 13, 2014 – Forget “The Walking Dead.” Joel Kinnaman calls “The Killing” the “real zombie show on AMC.” The network canceled the police drama twice, first after its second season and then again last year after its third go-round.

But the show will rise from the dead once again for six episodes — on Netflix this time — beginning Aug. 1. And we’ve got Kinnaman coming into The Times’ TV studio at 1:30 p.m. PDT Monday to talk about the series’ final season (it is final, right?) and why “The Killing” just won’t die.

“The rich, serialized storytelling in ‘The Killing’ thrives on Netflix, and we believe that it is only fitting to give Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder a proper sendoff,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix, referring to the characters played by Kinnaman and Mireille Enos. “We are looking forward to offering fans — both existing and new — a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”

We’re guessing the existing fans are pretty stoked about the last reprieve. Are you one of the die-hards? Do you have a question you’d like us to ask Kinnaman? Tweet it to us at #asklatimes and we’ll gladly oblige. See you Monday.

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