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'Easy Money' Star Joel Kinnaman On His Breakout Swedish Thriller and What to Expect From the 'RoboCop' Reboot

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire July 10, 2012 at 2:45PM

If you watch AMC's hit crime show "The Killing," chances are you know who Joel Kinnaman is. And if you don't, chances are you don't. Starting next year however, that gap will be bridged when the anticipated "RoboCop" reboot (helmed by "Elite Squad" director Jose Padilha) goes wide in August, with Kinnaman in the titular role, opposite a starry cast that includes Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish and Hugh Laurie.

"Easy Money"
The Weinstein Company "Easy Money"

Now you're half American…

Yeah my father's American. I grew up in Sweden. I actually came over to the states at the end of a very intense work period that I had. I'd shot nine features [in Sweden] in 15 months, and had also played 120 shows of "Crime and Punishment," where I played Raskolnikov. None of my work had really come out at that point. In Sweden we only make 25-30 movies a year, so to come out with seven in a year; I knew that things were going to be different in Sweden. So it was a good time to come to the states. I wanted to give the Swedish market a relief from my face, because I knew that I was going to be overexposed. Also it was a good time to come over here, because I hadn't had time to build up an ego. I could come with nobody knowing who I was.

Since arriving on our shores there's been a remarkable amount of buzz circling you. You infamously got very close to being cast as the leads in both "Thor" and "Mad Max: Fury Road," and nabbed the lead in the "RoboCop" reboot. What do you account this sudden rise in popularity to?

I'm really happy with how things are going. I've also had a lot of things that have fallen apart. But for me I've always been looking for the good work, the real work. I've always been looking to working with a good director. Of course in the beginning with my first couple of projects in the states, I made a couple of choices that were strictly for career planning.

"Easy Money"
The Weinstein Company "Easy Money"

Funnily enough, like the original, this "RoboCop" reboot marks the English language debut of an established foreign director (in this case Jose Padilha, responsible for the "Elite Squad" films). Can we expect a cynical take on America's corporate greed, akin to what Paul Verhoeven did so slyly did with the first installment?

I definitely think there's a sense of that that Jose will bring to it too. There is definitely a political satire embedded in the action story, and that's something I like very much about the original. But apart from that, I think Jose couldn't be a better choice for this. He's a very strong director, he's very confident. He wrote, produced and directed the "Elite Squad" movies, two of the highest grossing movies in Brazil. He's a force, which I think is important for first-time tentpole director. He knows how to pick the battles.

I think he's the kind of guy who knows what to compromise, and what not to. He's a very strong actor's director. The action he's known for is very realistic, and that's something he's bringing to this too. And then there's the fact that he's a physicist. So he knows exactly where the cutting edge is when it comes to neuroscience. He also has an understanding of the robotic aspect of where neuroscience is right now. Together with the writers, he's creating a plausible future. I think it's going to be very exciting.

This article is related to: Interviews, Joel Kinnaman, Easy Money

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