your destination for all things Joel Kinnaman

Although the idea of remaking director Paul Verhoeven’s classic 1987 sci-fi satire “RoboCop” may seem blasphemous to some, its ideas about technology, man-vs.-machine, ruthless corporate greed and the militarization of civil society are just as relevant today as they were more than a quarter-century ago. Wisely, Brazilian director Jose Padilha (“Elite Squad”) has adapted the original’s concepts to a modern setting and, most importantly, found Joel Kinnaman to make the role of Alex Murphy/RoboCop his own while honoring the legendary portrayal by Peter Weller.

The Swedish-American Kinnaman toiled in Swedish TV, theater and films before landing a breakout role in “Easy Money” (known in Sweden as “Snabba Cash”), the first of several collaborations with director and fellow Swede Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House”). But what put him on the map for U.S. audiences was his portrayal of Detective Stephen Holder in the AMC series “The Killing,” which will end its run with six final episodes this year on Netflix. He’s currently working with Espinosa again, along with Tom Hardy, on “Child 44,” a thriller about a series of child murders in the Stalin-era Soviet Union.

Along the way, he’s also been a finalist to play both Thor and Mad Max, which may have helped pave the way for his first Hollywood leading role in “RoboCop.” Moviefone sat down with Kinnaman to discuss why he didn’t want the iconic role at first, working 14 hours a day in the costume, and which superhero he might like to play one day.

Moviefone: You said earlier today that when you first heard about this, you didn’t think it was the right fit for you. Why not?
Joel Kinnaman: Well, I think when you first hear of the idea of a remake being made of “RoboCop,” there’s a lot of bad ways to remake a movie and a lot of wrong reasons why. And I hadn’t heard anything more about than they were going to remake it. That didn’t appeal to me in any way. But then I heard that it was Jose that was going to do this film, and I was very familiar with his work, I had seen his documentary “Bus 174″ and I saw both of his “Elite Squad” movies in the theater in Sweden so I was a huge fan of his work and I thought that he was one of the most interesting directors out there, who always had a very strong social and political commentary and point of view in his films and always top notch acting and a very, in my opinion, very interesting and beautiful visual style that was both poetic and very gritty.

So when I heard that they chose this guy to remake “RoboCop.” I knew that he was going to have a very interesting take on it. I also knew that he made a lot of money on “Elite Squad 2,” so he doesn’t have to take a job because of money or anything, he wants to take it because he has a passion for filmmaking and telling stories that he feels has value for our society, and of course also great entertainment.

When I heard that he wanted to sit down with me, first I was amazed that he even knew who I was and I was so honored that he wanted to meet me. I was just kind of blown away by his vision of the story that he wanted to tell using the concept of “RoboCop.” I just thought it was brilliant.

Did you watch the original again at any time during casting or production, or did you purposely try and stay away from it?
No, no. I mean, I was a huge fan of the original movie. And that’s also why I was a little hesitant or it didn’t appeal to me at first because I thought the first film was — I’d seen it probably 20 to 25 times before I even heard of this remake. But after I read the script too and after Jose was telling me what he wanted to do with it, it was very obvious that Alex Murphy’s journey was completely different. He was going through a very different thing and that he was sort of a different person in this one than he was in the first Verhoeven one. And they’re also two filmmakers that have such different tones so I didn’t feel the need to stay away from the original and all.

Have you ever met or had a chance to talk with Peter Weller?
I haven’t. I’d love to meet him though. I think he’s a phenomenal actor and still putting out really interesting and great work. I was such a fan of both when he did this and in “Naked Lunch.” He’s a great actor.

This is the first time you’ve had to really work with effects and this kind of intensive costuming. How does it affect you when you’re inside this thing for 14 hours a day?
It’s both very taxing and it’s limiting in a sense but that was also sort of the gift that came with it. I would sit on set and kind of become a little introvert and I wouldn’t feel as loose and wanting to talk with other people, because I was in this big constricted thing and I couldn’t really turn around. I also didn’t have any other clothes on underneath really. I had this sort of unitard underneath so I’d feel a bit naked. And that became sort of a pathway to a train of thought that led me to understand some of Alex’s vulnerability that he felt after he became RoboCop. I thought that was interesting because he had such a new powerful body but the vulnerability and the nakedness that he would feel without a real body, that was key to my performance in a way. I was surprised that the ideas of how that would feel would come through wearing the suit.

Most of your work has been really character driven, but you also auditioned for “Thor” and for the new “Mad Max.” So those larger-than-life franchise characters have an appeal to you as well, right?
Yeah. I was living in Sweden and working in Sweden in theater and doing small Swedish movies, and then all of a sudden they threw a wide casting net for Thor and they asked pretty much everyone that had ever been onstage to put himself on tape, which I didn’t even know what that was when they asked me to do that. Put myself on tape, what does that mean? Oh, film myself — I’d never done that before. So I did that and I sort of got into the running of Thor. Actually I put myself on tape and sent it off and didn’t hear anything about it.

And then two or three weeks later my sister tells me, “Hey, we just had (British newspaper) The Guardian in our office and there’s a picture of you and three other guys they said are the runners-up to play Thor. I was like, “Oh really? nobody told me about it.” So Thor and Mad Max where the two first American projects that I auditioned for and I got pretty far on both of them. Then this manager called — Shelly Browning — she came to Sweden and wanted to sit down with me and thought it would be a really good idea for me to come to the States. I trusted her and came over here.

It’s also kind of funny that there are all these Batman connections to you and this film. You’re working with a Batman, Michael Keaton, and Commissioner Gordon, Gary Oldman. And in your next film, “Child 44,” you’re working with Tom Hardy.

They’ve already got their Batman for the next movie but is there a superhero you might want to play?
There are a couple. Constantine is a cool character. I prefer the darker ones that you could kind of shoot in a gritty way where it’s very realistic. That would appeal to me more — to play a superhero that has no flaws, that’s the most boring thing there is. But if it’s somebody that is sort of torn apart then it becomes a metaphor for some psychological dilemma. Daredevil was one that could be an interesting character. But also some of these suits are hard to get around. You know, it becomes too much of a cartoon. So it would have to have a very strong idea behind it.

What can you say about the final season of “The Killing” that will appear on Netflix?
We start shooting at the end of February, I just sat down with Veena Sud, the show runner, and she told me the story line for the concluding six episodes and I’m so excited. It’s such a good feeling, because I know that maybe there weren’t that many fans of the show, but the fans that did like the show really liked it. And it just feels so good to be able to give them this conclusion of the relationship between Holder and Linden. It feels very worthy.

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Standing 6-foot-7 in his RoboCop get-up, Joel Kinnaman, 34, has no trouble filling the screen. “It was very helpful because I was bigger than everyone else,” the Swedish actor says.

As if he needed the assist.

Kinnaman, who’s actually about 6 inches shorter, has become one of Hollywood’s hunkiest imports since arriving from Stockholm four years ago, but he’s humble about his hotness and his success. “I’m happy that people have watched and appreciated my work. That’s why I’m doing it. I get to work with some of my heroes.”

RoboCop (Feb. 12) is his first big film role, but he has made a splash on TV’s The Killing and in 2011′s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And anyway, Kinnaman, the son of an American father, has been getting noticed his whole life.

“I planned to go to California, Oregon or Washington but ended up in Texas,” he says of his experience as a high school exchange student. “I asked my host mom how that happened. She said, ‘You looked so pretty I just snatched you out of the pile.’ ”

Of course, he still making hearts flutter onscreen and off. (He’s dating The Newsroom actress Olivia Munn.) “I don’t mind kissing the girls, but it has to be an interesting character, something different from what I’ve done before.”

Kinnaman will return for a six-episode fourth season of The Killing on Netflix and has also completed three more films. He stars in Child 44 as a sociopath, in Run All Night as a complicated good guy and the son of hitman Liam Neeson and Knight of Cups, director Terrence Malick’s enigmatic romantic drama co-starring Christian Bale and Natalie Portman.

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The Killing just won’t stay dead—unlike some of its characters! The canceled-revived-canceled-and-then-revived-again series is coming back for a fourth and final season thanks to Netflix. Along for the ride with Linden and Holder will be many new faces. Spoilerphobes, you’ve been warned!

Season four of the recently revived drama will focus largely on an all-boys military academy based just outside of Seattle. How does it come into Detectives Sarah Linden’s (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder’s (Joel Kinnaman) sights? Why, a murder of course!

Linden will go head-to-head with the school’s headmistress, who is described as a military veteran—she was dishonorably discharged—and a stickler for discipline. The school is her life and a family legacy, and she’ll do anything to defend it and her charges.

The character, currently named Margaret O’Neal, will be the season’s big nemesis and a series regular.

The Killing is also on the hunt for series regulars to fill out the military academy’s ranks. There’s Cameron Stanton, the black sheep of a wealthy family who forms a bond with Sarah, and A.J Fielding, a manipulative student at the academy who’s considered the leader of the boy’s school. Then there’s Lincoln, a troubled, angry boy who ended up at the school after allegedly trying to sexually assault his female teacher.

Casting for the roles is happening now.

The Killing ran for three seasons on AMC, but there won’t be another comeback in its future. When Netflix announced the new season, it made sure to say this would be the final, six-episode season.

“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 proper send off,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to offering fans—both existing and new—a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”

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In a move that defies its very title, The Killing has been resuscitated one final time…by Netflix.

The drama, created by Veena Sud, has been given a six-episode order to wrap up with the series and both stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman will be returning. The series was cancelled not once, but twice by AMC, who finally pulled the plug after the third season aired earlier this year.

Netflix Vice President of Original Content for Netflix said in a press release, “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 send off…we are looking forward to offering fans – both existing and new – a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”

David Madden, President, Fox Television Studios, added, “It’s a true testament to ‘The Killing’ creator Veena Sud, and the stellar cast led so compellingly by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, that fans remained so passionate about the show. We’re gratified that our partners at Netflix recognized this, and are giving us the opportunity to complete the story in a way that will be satisfying to our loyal audience.”

Netflix, with over 40 million subscribers to date, is currently streaming the first three seasons of The Killing so there’s plenty of time to catch up before the fourth and final season airs. No airdate for the final six episodes has been given at this time.

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I just want to say that I am completely nerved and upset by this. I thought this was the best season so far and it was left at a cliffhanger. Im very disappointed by this AGAIN!

AMC has once again taken an ax to “The Killing.”

A rep for AMC confirmed, “We have made the difficult decision not to move forward with a fourth season of ‘The Killing.’ We want to thank our great partners at Fox Television Studios, creator Veena Sud, an extraordinary cast and the dedicated fans who watched.”

Show, based on the Danish drama “Forbrydelsen” and created by Veena Sud, starred Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman as a pair of Seattle detectives trying to find the killer of a teenage girl.

“The Killing” was cancelled by AMC last summer but, thanks to a cost-effective deal between the network, Netflix and Fox TV Studios, AMC ordered a 12-episode third season of the drama in January, and rolled out the new segs in June.

“The Killing’s” return to AMC this summer, however, did not see a ratings lift, and the drama drew fewer viewers in its season three run than it did in season two. Season three of “The Killing” failed to crack the 2 million viewer mark in live broadcasts, and routinely fell below 1.5 million total viewers in recent episodes.

Fox TV Studios said in a statement: “We are extremely proud of all three seasons of ‘The Killing.’ We’re especially gratified to have orchestrated a unique deal with AMC for season three that included a bold partnership with Netflix. While we would have loved to produce a fourth season for AMC, FTVS is immensely grateful to everyone involved with this moving series: our brilliant cast, led by Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman and season three’s Peter Sarsgaard, our stellar executive producer, Veena Sud, a remarkable writing and producing team, and a tireless, dedicated crew. Most of all, FTVS thanks the terrific fans of ‘The Killing,’ who communicated their appreciation for the show throughout its run.

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Week after week, you watched as Linden and Holder investigated the shocking murders of 17 teenage girls. But which Season 3 episode was your favorite? Was it the Season 3 premiere, “The Jungle,” in which Holder and Reddick discover the first body in an abandoned warehouse? Was it Episode 8, “Try,” in which Pastor Mike abducts Linden? Or perhaps it was the Season 3 finale, “The Road to Hamelin,” in which the identity of the killer is revealed? Check out The Killing Episode Guide if you need to refresh your memory, then vote for your favorite episode in our The Killing Season 3 Episode Poll.

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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Killing's season finale.]

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Before we even get into this article about the past and future of “The Killing,” we may as well start off by acknowledging the giant elephant in the room: The show has not been renewed for a fourth season, and despite a pretty sensational summer when it comes to quality, the ratings were fairly miniscule compared to AMC’s other scripted programs. It’s still in the air as to whether or not there will be more of a story to tell.

However, at the tail end of the video below, series boss Veena Sud makes it very clear that there is still an important story that could come next following the shooting of Skinner by Sarah Linden, one where her relationship with Holder, and even her position as a cop could be in danger. It was clearly the right thing for her to do in that moment, but that does not mean even remotely that it was the right thing to do for the rest of her life.

Specifically, Joel Kinnaman also adds that both Linden and Holder probably know in that moment that she is probably not going to be able to get away with doing this, regardless of whatever they may try to pull to implicate Skinner as an attacker. “The Killing” is a series that is in many ways about actions and consequences, and some of them (see Seward’s execution) do not even necessarily have to fit the crime. With Linden, she killed a man who was not an immediate threat to take her life, and the man was also a cop. Even though he was a killer himself, this is not “Dexter.” This move will not go quietly into the night if a season 4 happens.

We will hopefully find out about the future of “The Killing” a little later this year, and we wonder how much of a role the performance of “Hell on Wheels” and “Low Winter Sun” will play into that.

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Following the first season finale of AMC’s “The Killing,” Hollywood and the vast TV public ripped into showrunner Veena Sud. Yet a few years and a separate solidly crafted mystery later Sud has seemingly redeemed herself in the eyes of the viewers. However after tonight’s finale, which producers have emphatically said will reveal the man or woman behind the title murders, a bigger question looms in if the show’s done enough to earn a fourth go round.

The journey that “The Killing” has found itself on is actually fairly fascinating in its own right. A critical darling when it debuted, the show quickly became a punching bag when its fake out first finale became even more hated the final episodes of “The Sopranos” and “Seinfeld” put together. Still everyone agreed the high caliber acting of the show’s leads Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman was something special that other series were sorely lacking.

As a result AMC worked hard to find a new partner to help with financing production which led to Netflix joining the equation. The new deal set the stage for the show to be resurrected and just like that all the mudslinging began anew. Although a funny thing happened as eventually the criticism died down and the ratings did not. Season 3 of the series held onto just about all the same viewers season 2 had retrained despite all the off-screen drama.

Recently a number of critics have also called the show “TV’s most improved series. Again, a lot of that credit goes to Sud and her cast, most notably Enos, Kinnaman and newcomer Peter Sarsgaard (who should be automatically penciled in for next year’s Emmy nominations). The story which centered on a psychopath stalking Seattle’s street kids resonated with audiences and was brilliantly brought to life by a cast comprised of young actors who until now were mostly unknowns. Yes, vets like Hugh Dillon and Elias Koteas were sprinkled in to add more credibility, but it was a true ensemble.

Last week’s penultimate episode “Six Minutes” which wrapped up Sarsgaard’s arc may very well have been one of the best episodes to air in 2013. Yes, the year still has a few more months (and the final episodes of sibling series “Breaking Bad” to go), but it very much made its mark.

So now the question becomes will AMC renew the show for season 4? Anything’s possible, but the odds are better now than they were when the season started and with the upward trajectory of Enos and Kinnaman, it can’t hurt to get at least one more edition of the show before they make the jump to the big screen full time.

The two-hour finale of “The Killing” airs tonight on AMC.

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The Killing‘s two-hour Season 3 finale airs this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC. Looking for ways to pass the time until then? Here are ten ways to get ready:

1. Watch a Next On video for the Season 3 finale.

2. Check out four sneak peek photos from the Season 3 finale.

3. Bookmark The Killing Story Sync, then log on this Sunday night at 9/8c and 9PT for a two-screen experience of the finale.

4. Read exclusive interviews with Season 3 cast members including Mireille Enos (Sarah Linden) and Peter Sarsgaard (Ray Seward).

5. Have questions about Season 3? Submit them to Executive Producer Veena Sud by Mon., Aug. 5. at 5/4c. (Then check out Veena’s Q&A on on Wed., Aug. 7 to read her answers.)

6. Test your recall of what’s happened so far with The Killing Season 3 Ultimate Fan Games.

7. Refresh your memory with detailed summaries of every Season 3 episode.

8. Join the ongoing online conversation in The Killing Talk forum.

9. Like The Killing on Facebook, then follow The Killing on Twitter.

10. Sign up for The Killing Crime Sheet for weekly updates on the series.

Don’t miss the 2-hour Season 3 finale of The Killing, airing this Sun., Aug. 4 at 9/8c on AMC.

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