Joel Kinnaman

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Joel Kinnaman
Joel Kinnaman (28494159712) (cropped).jpg
Kinnaman at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con
Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman

(1979-11-25) 25 November 1979 (age 40)
Stockholm, Sweden
Years active1990–present
Cleo Wattenström
(m. 2015; div. 2018)
RelativesMelinda Kinnaman (half-sister)

Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjǔːɛl ˈkɪ̂nːaˌman]; born 25 November 1979[1]) is a Swedish and American actor[1] who first gained recognition for his roles in the Swedish film Easy Money[2][3] and the Johan Falk crime series. Kinnaman is known internationally for his television roles as Detective Stephen Holder in AMC's The Killing, Takeshi Kovacs in the first season of Altered Carbon, and Governor Will Conway in the U.S. version of House of Cards. He has also played Alex Murphy in the 2014 RoboCop remake, and Rick Flag in the film adaptation of Suicide Squad (2016), based on the DC Comics anti-hero team of the same name. In 2019, Kinnaman starred in Hanna as Erik Heller and in For All Mankind as astronaut Ed Baldwin.

Early life[edit]

Kinnaman was born and raised in Stockholm.[4] His mother, Bitte, a therapist, is a Swedish citizen.[5][4] 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.[6][7][8] Kinnaman has both Swedish and American citizenship.[3][9] Kinnaman's father, whose family was from the American Midwest, is of Irish and Scottish descent, while Kinnaman's mother is Jewish (of Ukrainian Jewish descent).[10][11][12] He has five sisters, one of whom is actress Melinda Kinnaman (his half-sister).[13] During his childhood, Kinnaman learned two languages as he "spoke English with my dad and Swedish with my mom."[4] Kinnaman spent a year in Del Valle, Texas, as a high school exchange student.[14][15] After high school, he decided to travel around the world. To finance the trips, he worked in various jobs—as a beer factory line worker and roof-sweeper in Norway, and as a bar manager in the French Alps.[16][17] Kinnaman then travelled for four to five months at a time over a period of two years in Southeast Asia and South America.[18][19]


Kinnaman at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con to promote Suicide Squad

Kinnaman began his acting career as a child actor in Swedish soap opera Storstad (1990). His older sister was dating one of the show's directors, and he asked Kinnaman to audition for a part on the show. After portraying Felix Lundström in 22 episodes, he stepped away from acting.[20][21]

Kinnaman restarted his acting career in 2002.[1][16] While studying at drama school, Kinnaman featured in several films such as Hannah med H and God Save the King (Swedish: Tjenare kungen).[22][23] He also worked on productions staged at the Backa Theatre in Gothenburg.[24] He graduated from Malmö Theatre Academy in 2007 and started working at the Gothenburg City Theatre.[25] In the same year, he attracted the attention of Swedish media with the role of Raskolnikov in a stage adaptation of Crime and Punishment.[26][4] Kinnaman went on to star in nine Swedish films in 14 months.[14] In 2009, he starred in the film In Your Veins (Swedish: I skuggan av värmen) and played the role of a police informant in six films of the Johan Falk film series.[13][27] He was cast in the film Easy Money (released January 2010), which brought him mainstream attention in Sweden and at the international film market,[2][27][28] and also earned him a Guldbagge Award in the Best Actor category.[29]

Looking to expand his acting career, Kinnaman hired an agent in the United States.[27] It was announced in the spring of 2010 that he would be making his international film debut in the thriller The Darkest Hour, which began filming in Moscow in June 2010 and was released in December 2011.[2] Between April 2011 and August 2014, Kinnaman had a 4-season[30] starring role as Detective Stephen Holder in the AMC television series The Killing, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen.[31][32] Kinnaman was one of the contenders for the lead roles in Thor (2011)[13][27][33] and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).[27][23] Although Kinnaman said that he is eager to work and become recognized in the U.S., he added that "I absolutely don't feel that I have to take any role that I can get just because it is the United States. I'm looking for something interesting, I'm still young in my artistry, and I must dare to do things even when there's a risk for failure".[27]

In 2012, Kinnaman reunited with Easy Money director Daniel Espinosa in the latter's Hollywood debut, Safe House,[34] and also starred in the indie film Lola Versus.[35] On 3 March 2012, it was confirmed that Kinnaman would play the lead role of Alex James Murphy/RoboCop in the remake of 1987's RoboCop. The film was released in February 2014. In 2015, he starred in the action thriller Run All Night and mystery drama Child 44.[36] In 2016, Kinnaman played Rick Flag Jr. in the Warner Bros. and DC Comics adaptation of Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer.[37][38] He also starred in the independent drama-thriller film Edge of Winter, where he plays Elliot Baker, a father of two who takes his children on a shooting trip that goes wrong. The film was released on demand on 27 July, and in select theatres on 12 August.[39]

Since 2016, Kinnaman has been cast in four series on several streaming television networks. He played Governor Will Conway in Seasons 4 and 5 of the U.S. version of House of Cards on streaming service Netflix.[40] Kinnaman also played the protagonist Takeshi Kovacs in Netflix's Altered Carbon,[41] an adaption to Richard K. Morgan's hardboiled cyberpunk science fiction novel of the same name;[41][42] the first season of the Netflix science fiction series debuted on 2 February 2018.[43] On 8 February 2018, it was announced that the actor was cast as Erik in the Amazon Prime Video series Hanna, an adaptation of the 2011 action film of the same name.[44] The first season was released on 29 March 2019.[45] In August 2018, Kinnaman was cast as Edward Baldwin in Ronald D. Moore's Apple TV+ alternate history space drama series, For All Mankind.[46][47]

In 2019, Kinnaman starred in Andrea Di Stefano's action thriller The Informer.[48][49] Kinnaman's's forthcoming films include, Jérémie Guez's crime drama The Sound of Philadelphia[50][51] and Yuval Adler's post-war thriller The Secrets We Keep.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Kinnaman grew up with the condition of pectus excavatum, with a caved-in appearance of the chest. He underwent surgery prior to the filming of Altered Carbon, inserting two metal bars to push the sternum outward in order to correct the deformity.[53][54]

The actor has been an avid fan of his hometown football club Hammarby IF from an early age.[55]

Due to his constant traveling, his accent is noticeably mixed. While he identifies it as an American accent, he has stated that the "melody" is wrong and has been working to perfect it since.[56]

Kinnaman was married to Swedish tattoo artist Cleo Wattenström between 2015 and 2018.[57][58][59][60] As of early 2019, Kinnaman has been dating Swedish-Australian model Kelly Gale.[61]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Den osynlige Kalle
2003 Hannah med H Andreas
2005 Tjenare kungen Dickan
2005 Storm Bartender
2006 Vinnarskallar Gurra
2007 Arn – The Knight Templar Sverker Karlsson
2008 Arn – The Kingdom at Road's End Sverker Karlsson
2009 In Your Veins Erik
2009 183 dagar Byron
2009 Johan Falk – Gruppen för särskilda insatser Frank Wagner Nominated – Guldbagge Award for the Best Supporting Actor[62]
2009 Johan Falk – Vapenbröder Frank Wagner
2009 Johan Falk – National Target Frank Wagner
2009 Johan Falk – Leo Gaut Frank Wagner
2009 Johan Falk – Operation Näktergal Frank Wagner
2009 Johan Falk – De fredlösa Frank Wagner
2009 Simon & Malou Stefan
2010 Easy Money Johan "JW" Westlund Guldbagge Award for the Best Actor
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Christer Malm
2011 The Darkest Hour Skyler
2012 Safe House Keller
2012 Lola Versus Luke
2012 Easy Money II: Hard to Kill Johan "JW" Westlund
2012 Johan Falk – Spelets regler Frank Wagner
2012 Johan Falk – De 107 patrioterna Frank Wagner
2012 Johan Falk – Alla råns moder Frank Wagner
2012 Johan Falk – Organizatsija Karayan Frank Wagner
2012 Johan Falk – Barninfiltratören Frank Wagner
2012 Johan Falk – Kodnamn Lisa Frank Wagner
2013 Easy Money III: Life Deluxe Johan "JW" Westlund
2014 RoboCop Alex Murphy / RoboCop
2015 Knight of Cups Errol
2015 Run All Night Mike Conlon
2015 Child 44 Wasilij Nikitin
2016 Suicide Squad Rick Flag
2016 Edge of Winter Elliot Baker
2019 The Informer Pete Koslow
2020 The Sound of Philadelphia Michael Flood
2020 The Secrets We Keep Thomas
2021 The Suicide Squad Rick Flag Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Storstad Felix Lundström Swedish TV series;
Credited as Joe Nordström
2008 Andra Avenyn Gustav Swedish TV series
2011–2014 The Killing Stephen Holder 44 episodes;
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television[63]
2016–2017 House of Cards Governor William "Will" Conway 15 episodes
2018 Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs / Elias Ryker 10 episodes
2019 Hanna Erik Heller 8 episodes
2019–present For All Mankind Edward Baldwin[64] 10 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Notes
2011 Guldbagge Awards Best ActorEasy Money
2012 Saturn Award Nominated – Best Supporting Actor on TelevisionThe Killing


  1. ^ a b c "Joel Kinnaman". The Swedish Film Database (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Rehlin, Gunnar (7 April 2010). "Joel Kinnaman klar för Hollywoodfilm". Helsingborgs Dagblad. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b Hägred, Per (19 January 2010). "Joel Kinnaman: 'Min revisor är i chocktillstånd'". Expressen. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Rochlinfer, Margy (7 February 2014). "Emotions Churning Under Armor: Joel Kinnaman Jumps From 'The Killing' to 'RoboCop'". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  5. ^ Jackson, Helen (6 February 2014). "Robocop Joel Kinnaman's Mom Tried to Send Him to Therapy for Walking Like a Robot". Variety.
  6. ^ Yglesias, Matthew. "Joel Kinnaman from The Killing: An Interview". Slate. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  7. ^ Wennersten, Lina. "Kroppslig kamp". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  8. ^ Eichel, Larry (9 December 1990). "Home Swede Home: Why Some Vietnam Dodgers Haven't Returned". The Seattle Times. David Kinnaman, as Steve was known for the first half of his life....
  9. ^ Ventre, Michael (16 June 2011). "Killing actors all hiding secrets". Variety.
  10. ^ Barker, Emma (2 April 2012). "Making a 'Killing'". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Joel Kinnaman regerar i "Arn" – Film". Arbetarbladet (in Swedish). 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  12. ^ Dekel, Yanir (23 February 2014). "RoboCop's Jewish!". The Shmooze.
  13. ^ a b c Andersson, Jan-Olov (22 August 2009). "Jag fick sparka ihjäl Skarsgård". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  14. ^ a b Albiniak, Paige (1 May 2011). "In for the kill". The New York Post.
  15. ^ "How Joel Kinnaman Became a Sci-Fi TV Star (and Lived to Tell About It)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  16. ^ a b Röshammar, Martin (18 August 2012). "Joel Kinnaman siktar på toppen". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  17. ^ Arnell, Av Lisa (15 September 2012). "Helgläsning: Joel Kinnaman". ELLE (in Swedish).
  18. ^ Romano, Tricia (25 May 2012). "Joel Kinnaman: 'The Killing's' Scene-Stealer". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  19. ^ Zuckerman, Blaine (1 August 2012). "Joel Kinnaman's Super Swede Life". DuJour.
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  21. ^ Gradvall, Jan (2 September 2012). "Intervju med Joel Kinnaman". Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  22. ^ Lundgren, Åke (24 April 2007). "Brott och straff" [Crime and punishment]. Expressen (in Swedish).
  23. ^ a b Wennö, Nicholas (15 January 2010). "Den begåvade mr Kinnaman". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish).
  24. ^ Gabrielson, Josefin (21 August 2005). "Felvalen har gynnat karriären". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  25. ^ Lillemagi, David (13 August 2012). "Joel Kinnaman: "Det ska bara kännas rätt"". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  26. ^ Engström, Emma (3 May 2009). "Kinnaman har en regissör i magen". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  27. ^ a b c d e f Helmerson, Erik (11 January 2010). "Joel Kinnaman nära roll i Mad Max 4". Östran. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  28. ^ "Zac Efron to play drug smuggler in thriller". Reuters. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  29. ^ Lindqvist, Johan (24 January 2011). "Sebbe årets bästa film". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish).
  30. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (15 November 2013). "'The Killing' Lives: Netflix Orders Six Final Episodes". Variety.
  31. ^ Holmqvist, Emilia (22 March 2010). "Kinnaman ska få oss att springa". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  32. ^ Hibberd, James (14 April 2010). "AMC adds four actors to Killing pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  33. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (16 March 2009). "Natalie Portman Joining Thor?". IGN. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  34. ^ Vineyard, Jen (11 July 2012). "Joel Kinnaman Talks Easy Money, His Marty Scorsese-Style Relationship With Daniel Espinosa & The Future Of The Dragon Tattoo Films". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  35. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (8 June 2012). "Joel Kinnaman on Lola Versus, Bulking Up for RoboCop, and Who Killed Rosie Larsen". Vulture.
  36. ^ Kroll, Justin (22 August 2014). "'The Killing's' Joel Kinnaman Signs With WME". Variety.
  37. ^ Kroll, Justin (13 February 2015). "Joel Kinnaman eyed for Rick Flagg role in Suicide Squad". Variety.
  38. ^ "'Suicide Squad' Update: 'RoboCop's Joel Kinnaman Cast as Rick Flagg". Screenrant. 13 February 2015.
  39. ^ "Edge of Winter actor Joel Kinnaman says 'toughest shoot' was filming in a freezing Sudbury lake". The Hamilton Spectator. 23 August 2016.
  40. ^ Prudom, Laura (2 February 2016). "'The Killing' Star Joel Kinnaman Joins 'House of Cards' Season 4". Variety.
  41. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (12 May 2016). "Joel Kinnaman to star in Netflix's Altered Carbon series; Miguel Sapochnik directs". Deadline Hollywood.
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  43. ^ Lloyd, Robert. "Netflix's 'Altered Carbon' may be long and complicated, but it's good to have Joel Kinnaman back". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  44. ^ Otterson, Joe (8 February 2018). "'Hanna' Amazon Series Casts Esme Creed-Miles, Joel Kinnaman, Mireille Enos in Lead Roles". Variety. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  45. ^ Braxton, Greg (22 March 2019). "Why 'The Killing's' Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman want to kill each other in 'Hanna'". Los Angeles Times.
  46. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (14 August 2018). "Joel Kinnaman, Sarah Jones & Michael Dorman To Star In Ron Moore's Apple Space Series". Deadline.
  47. ^ Thorne, Will (25 March 2019). "Apple Unveils First Look Footage From Its Original Shows (Watch)". Variety.
  48. ^ Ritman, Alex. "Cannes: Clive Owen, Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman and Common Join 'Three Seconds'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  49. ^ Keene, Allison (16 November 2018). "'The Informer' Trailer: Joel Kinnaman Is Caught Between the Mob and the FBI". Collider.
  50. ^ Petski, Denise (1 April 2019). "'Tales From The Loop': Paul Schneider & Jonathan Pryce To Star In Amazon Series Based On Simon Stålenhag Art". Deadline.
  51. ^ Johansson, Victor (1 April 2019). ""Jag har haft jätteproblem med självförtroendet" (SvD Perfect Guide)". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish).
  52. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (23 April 2019). "'The Secrets We Keep': Chris Messina & Amy Seimetz Join Noomi Rapace & Joel Kinnaman In AGC-Di Bonaventura Thriller". Deadline.
  53. ^ Gee, Catherine (1 February 2018). "Altered Carbon: the cast of Netflix's sci-fi saga on immortality, fight scenes, and full-frontal nudity". The Telegraph.
  54. ^ Gilbert, Sophie (31 October 2019). "Joel Kinnaman's Leading-Man Evolution". The Atlantic. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  55. ^ Martin, Brett (24 June 2019). "Joel Kinnaman's Long, Strange Trip to Hollywood Glory". Men's Journal.
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  59. ^ Hearon, Sarah (23 January 2019). "Joel Kinnaman, Cleo Wattenstrom Split After 2 Years of Marriage". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  60. ^ "Joel Kinnaman och hustrun har separerat". 24 January 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  61. ^ "Joel Kinnaman och Kelly Gale på kärlekssemester". Göteborgs-Posten. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  62. ^ "De kan vinna en Guldbagge". Dagens Nyheter. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  63. ^ Goldberg, Matt (29 February 2012). "Saturn Award Nominations Announced; Hugo and Harry Potter Lead with 10 Nominations Each". Collider. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  64. ^ "'For All Mankind' to launch alternate space race on Apple TV+". collectSPACE. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.

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