|Birth Name: Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman
Birth Place: Stockholm, Sweden
Date of Birth: 25 November 1979
Height: 6 Feet 2 Inch
Mother: Bitte Kinnaman
Father: Steve Kinnaman
Wife: Cleo Wattenström
|001. Biography (below)
002. Information Files
003. Career Files
004. Style Files
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006: Official Twitter
Charles Joel Nordstrom, now mostly known just as Joel Kinnaman, was born on November 25, 1979 in Stockholm, Sweden. Born and raised in his birth-city, Joel is a duel citizen of Sweden and the United States, courtesy of his Swedish mother and American father. His mother, Bitte, is a therapist, and his father, Steve Kinnaman (originally David Kinnaman), is an American who was drafted during the Vietnam War and deserted the military from his base in Bangkok. Steve Kinnaman’s family was from the American Midwest, and he is of English, German, Irish, and Scottish descent, while Joel’s mother is Ukrainian Jewish descent. He has five sisters, one of whom is actress Melinda Kinnaman (his half-sister). During his childhood, Kinnaman learned two languages as he “spoke English with my dad and Swedish with my mom.” Prior to launching his professional acting career, Joel spent one of his high school years in Texas as part of a student exchange program.
He originally started his career as a child actor in 1990, in the soap opera Storstad. His older sister was dating one of the show’s directors, and he asked Joel to try out for a role. After portraying Felix Lundström in 22 episodes, he stepped away from acting.
Kinnaman restarted his acting career in 2002, taking part in a thriller called The Invisible and enrolling in the Swedish Academic School of Drama in Malmö, where actors such as Michael Nyqvist have studied. He graduated in 2007, and afterwards attracted the attention of Swedish media in a stage adaptation of Crime and Punishment. Kinnaman then went on to star in nine Swedish movies in 14 months. He also successfully starred in a string of films of the Johan Falk film series as Frank Wagner, a role that earned him a Guldbagge Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2010, Joel attracted international attention as Johan Westlund in Easy Money, which was the first film in a successful trilogy that went on to become the highest-grossing Swedish film of all time. Not long after that, he hired a high profile agent in the U.S., who had clients such as Johnny Depp.
Joel made headlines as one of the leading contenders for Thor (2011) and Mad Max 4: Fury Road (2015), but he ultimately lost the roles to Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hardy, respectively. Although Joel didn’t score the leading roles he was after, the buzz surrounding the casting process was enough to give him exposure on American soil. All that attention earned him roles in The Darkest Hour (2011) starring Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opposite Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. With an impressive collection of Swedish films on his resumé, Joel was thirsty for more recognition in the States. His ambition landed him the lead role of police officer-turned-cyborg Alex James Murphy in the 2014 remake of RoboCop.
Aside from feature films, Joel Kinnaman has starred in both Swedish and American TV shows such as Andra Avenyn and AMC’s The Killing. More recently, he starred in Run All Night (2015), Child 44 (2015) and the wildly popular Suicide Squad (2016). In 2016, Kinnaman also starred in the independent drama-thriller film Edge of Winter. He plays Elliot Baker, a father of two who takes his children on a shooting trip that goes horribly wrong. The film was released on demand on 27 July, and in select theatres on 12 August.
Joel is very private, and prefers staying out of the spotlight when he’s not working on career related projects. In mid-2014 he started dating the Belgian tattoo artist Cleo Wattenström, who he in April 2016 revealed he had married.
So what’s up next for the handsome Swed? Joel has been cast as the main protagonist in Netflix’s Altered Carbon, an adaption to Richard K. Morgan’s hardboiled cyberpunk science fiction novel of the same name. Netflix has ordered a 10-episode season one, and Kinnaman will portray Takeshi Kovacs, a native of the planet Harlan’s World. Kovacs is of Japanese and Eastern-European descent, and was a teenage gang member before enlisting in the military. After leaving the Envoy Corps, an elite military force, Kovacs returned to criminal life and became a mercenary, and was eventually imprisoned, his cortical “stack” stored without a body for decades at a time as punishment before being paroled or hired out to work high-risk situations. Joel can also be seen in the 4th and 5th season of the critically acclaimed Netflix series House of Cards.