By Fred Topel July 17, 2012
Coming up with the Swedish film’s American title, what’s in store for Snabba Cash 2 and why he never thought he’d get a film like Robocop.
You know Joel Kinnaman from TV’s “The Killing” and the future Robocop. His popularity has gotten one of his Swedish films released in the states. Easy Money (Snabba Cash) stars Kinnaman as J.W., part of a gang of thieves who get into violent trouble with their crime, and feel the dramatic pain in their personal relationships. Kinnaman was a delight to speak with by phone, and was even good-natured about our Robocop prying.
CraveOnline: You had a movie called Snabba Cash and they changed it to Easy Money.
Joel Kinnaman: They did.
What do you think of the new title?
Actually, when they were talking about the English title, I was like, “So what are we going to call it, like Easy Money?” And that’s what it ended up being.
So it’s your idea!
Snabba Cash means fast cash, and Easy Money is sort of the translation of that.
For what it’s worth, I think Snabba Cash makes sense in any language.
That sounds good, man. We should’ve done that.
Is it gratifying to you that American audiences will get to hear you perform in your native language?
Yeah, I guess it is. What I like a lot about it being shown here is that [it’s] something that is very different. The American audiences that have seen me I think have mostly seen “The Killing” and this is a completely different character that has a completely different body language, so I enjoy that. But then I’m very happy that this movie is something I’m very proud of. It means much more to me than just what it did for my career. It’s a work that we were like a group of friends that did this movie, and then some of the people that were working on this movie are still my best friends. Then it has done great things for a lot of us who were in it, in our careers over here and so forth. But the joy that we had while doing it and the creative happiness that we were feeling while we were working on it is something that I’m always going to remember and always hold very dearly. So I’m very happy to see that it gets some more wings.
Talk about the scene where you meet Sophie’s parents.
I love that scene. That was one of the very fun things, one of the more inspiring things about playing this character was that he’s always carrying a secret. In every situation he’s carrying so many secrets and he’s holding back, he’s playing games. At the same time, in his nature, he’s made himself into a chameleon but the very interesting, complex type of person that has very strong confidence but very low self esteem. It really comes out in that scene where in many ways he is very capable, but at the same time he makes one of his few mistakes when he mixes up his stories. She actually catches him with that. That was a very fun scene to play.
When you’re playing a criminal, do you have to not judge him or would that even take away some of the complexity if you don’t?
No, no, I don’t want to judge him. I think that’s up for other people to. I want to give a sense of logic. It’s frustrating with characters that you really love and then they make these horrible mistakes, but that’s also why you love playing them. That’s something with J.W. He is a person that has a heart at the beginning but he’s made so many bad choices with himself and he’s made those bad choices out of the wounds that he’s received throughout life. But I don’t try to judge.
Is there already a Snabba Cash 2?
Yeah, we finished it. We’re opening that in Sweden in August, August 12.
What’s in store for J.W. next?
Well, it pretty much picks up a year after the first movie ended. He’s in jail. We’re really happy about it. I think it’s a very worthy sequel.
Is it a prison movie or does more stuff happen to J.W.?
No, it travels.
Has J.W. learned anything from his first experience?
No. No, not really. I mean, he has but I think he comes closer to becoming a whole person, even though that whole person might not be a great person. But I think that is his big dilemma. He’s such a capable person, of changing himself and fitting in, he’s like a blank piece of paper. I think we all become in the meeting with other people, but J.W. sort of creates himself in the meeting with every other person. That’s the beginning of his downfall because he just doesn’t have a sense of self. In the second movie the choices that have put him in jail are actually sort of making him more of a whole person but that does not say it is a good person.
Of course we’re excited you’re going to be the new Robocop, and now we’ve seen hints of the new ED-209. Will your costume fit that new design?
[Laughs] I’m not allowed to talk about that.
Not specifics, but we now have a sense of what something from that new universe can look like.
Yeah, I think we did get a sense from that video of the shape and the tone. You can get a feeling of how it’s going to look from that video.
Have you seen any practical models or is it all CGI?
No, no, no, I’m regularly going back into the special effects studio and trying on the suit. They’re making adjustments.
But is there an ED-209 model?
I’ve seen a little more detail, an enhanced version than was on that viral clip.
Will your Robocop be rated R?
Does that seem like the intention?
That’s not up to me. I don’t have any opinions about it.
I think we’re both great fans of the character. Could your Murphy pursue his family harder?
I see I’m getting too specific. I didn’t mean to do that. I just wanted to share the excitement. Is it weird that when I see you I imagine your chin sticking out of the visor?
[Laughs] No, that’s not weird.
Is that the sort of movie you got into acting to do?
No, that’s kind of surpassed my wildest imaginations so I have to say no. I never thought or envisioned or dreamed about being part of something like that really. It’s not what drew me to acting at all. I think what drew me to acting was feeling the connection to other actors while doing a greatly written scene. When I started out it was mostly theater that was appealing to me. When I started making movies, I understood how I could transition the technique that I had for theater into film, and then I actually started making movies more. Now I sort of feel that I have to go back to stage pretty soon, like within a year I need to go back on stage.
Will you have time to do that?
It depends, but that’s the goal.
Have you gotten the @For_a_dollar tweets on Twitter?
I don’t know, I don’t have Twitter.
Oh, any time you say Robocop, @For_a_dollar tweets “I’d buy that for a dollar!”
Yes. What’s in store for the next season of “The Killing?”
Well, I don’t know. I’m waiting.
When would that be if you do Robocop and then back to theater?
We haven’t gotten a pickup yet for a third season of “The Killing” so I’m waiting for that.