My big risks paid off: Joel Kinnaman
The RoboCop fame actor shares his experiences on the path to stardom
Joel Kinnaman found a new direction in his life when he stumbled upon his passion for acting. The Swedish-American actor, who keeps raising his goals, credits his willingness to "risk failures" for his success.
It was a whirlwind rise to fame for Kinnaman with his Swedish film Easy Money, after which he made a mark in Hollywood with projects like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Killing.
He further strengthened his position in the West with a reboot of RoboCop in 2014. At present, he is seen in the sci-fi series Alter Carbon, which went live on Netflix earlier this month.
"I never imagined such success," says Kinnaman. "When I started acting, I was just so happy to find something I was passionate about. I found a direction. And my goals as an actor were to get into a theatre school, be an actor and work in the theatre. If I could get a part on a TV show or film, that would be amazing," adds the actor.
He took a brief pause to assess his career steps. "With each achievement, you get to a different level and form a new perspective. You keep raising your goals. In a way, I am really glad that I had the courage at certain points of my life to aim high and to take big risks because that is what got me here. I was willing to risk failure many times and took big risks, and that is what paid off. I did fail several times, but I continued to move forward."
His RoboCop was a hit but fared low among critics. He has earned critical acclaim for his performance in The Killing, House of Cards and Suicide Squad.
The actor says it's important for him to find something new to do with every project. "It becomes increasingly important to try to do things that I have never done before, to play characters that don't remind me of things that I have done before. And Altered Carbon was a huge challenge." It was the first time that he would be part of the lead cast of a big action show. "I have already played the lead of a big action film RoboCop, that was a big challenge, but I was in such a different place at that point. It was sort of my first big leading role in the US. When I got this opportunity, I was ready to be a leader in a very different way and I took it upon myself to be a leader on sets and to set the tone and made sure that the environment of production was a positive one for everyone."
Based on the classic cyberpunk noir novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is an intriguing story of murder, love, sex, and betrayal, set over 300 years in the future.
It tells the story of a time when people live endlessly by transferring a digital version of their consciousness into a brand new body. The show is about one particular person -- an Envoy soldier called Takeshi Kovacs (played by Will Yun Lee) who has been revived after 250 years into the body of a police officer (Kinnaman). He is back to solve his murder mystery.
On the show, Kinnaman says, "The whole world and the ambition behind the production really drew me in. I have always been a fan of sci-fi and I have been always drawn to those kinds of films, with Blade Runner and RoboCop being some of my favourite films."