Joel Kinnaman talks Robocop: Hollywood, age restrictions and acting in the suit

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If you had no idea who Joel Kinnaman was before, I can guaran-damn-tee that you’re going to be getting to know him very soon. Fresh from not solving a murder in AMC’s The Killing, and fighting to the death with Ryan Reynolds out on some Malmesbury farm in Safe House, the Swedish actor has been busy talking to everybody about his next role, as cyborg cop (and a fetishist’s dream) Alex Murphy, in director Jose Padhila’s Robocop reboot.

He most recently sat down with both Collider and MTV, where he discussed the differences between this film and the original, as well as to just how violent this movie should get.

Speaking to Collider’s Christina Radish while promoting season 2 of his AMC drama, Kinnaman revealed a bit about the differences with working in Hollywood, where he is a relative unknown, as opposed to his homeland of Sweden where is already Brad Pitt-level famous.

“It’s frustrating when you come over here, especially from a position that I was in, in Sweden, where most people know who you are, but then you come here. There’s also a different financing system with movies here. Mid-range to low-budget movies have to have a name in the lead to get financing for it. So, I was meeting a lot of directors and reading scripts, and I was like, “Well, I’d love to play this part,” but I couldn’t. You’re not able to do a lot of projects because you don’t have a name. I wanted to get my movies to come over that hedge, so that I could do the movies that I wanted to do.”

Paul Verhoeven’s original Robocop had a very tongue-firmly-lodged-in-cheek tone about it, despite the fact that it contains scenes of immensely graphic violence. Kinnaman explained how the reboot addressed both these points:

“I’m such a huge fan of the original. I think I’ve seen the first RoboCop, 15 or 20 times. I’m like a kid, that way. And, I love all of [Paul] Verhoeven’s movies. He has a very special tone. I love Starship Troopers, too. That’s really smart. I think he really could portray fascism in a comedic way. It’s funny because both José [Padilha] and Verhoeven were accused of being fascists for their movies because they had fascist leads. So, it’s not going to have his tone, but there’s going to be political satire in it.”

“I sincerely hope they’re going for R ‘cause I can’t imagine how RoboCop could be PG-13. That would be a huge mistake. If I have any say in it, I will fight very hard for it. It has to be violent.”

I sincerely hope that it’s a hard R rating as well. A whole new generation of kids need get freaked the hell out by Acid Man:

When speaking to MTV about what Jose Padhila’s vision was for making this film stand apart from its predecessor, as well how the new redesigned Robocop suit tied into that, Kinnaman had this to say:

“Robocop is going to be a lot more human. The first movie is one of my favourite movies. I love it. Of course, Verhoeven has that very special tone, and it’s not going to have that tone. It’s a re-imagination of it. There’s a lot of stuff from the original. There are some details and throwbacks, but this version is a much better acting piece, for Alex Murphy and especially when he is Robocop. It’s much more challenging.”

 “It’s not going to be [just] jaw action. They’re still working on the suit and how it’s going to look, but the visor is going to be see-through. You’re going to see his eyes.”

Now I know that I’m more than likely going against the flow here, but I actually like the idea of having a transparent visor and being able to see more of Robocop’s humanity come through. As impressively intimidating as the original suit was, I noticed a few years back that actor Peter Weller had this unfortunate habit of pursing his lips ever so slightly whenever he was in a firefight. And since you can’t see what the rest of his face is doing, well….

[WARNING: I’m probably about to ruin Robocop for you for the rest of your life.]

 

That’s right. Robocop is the original Blue Steel. Makes sense now, don’t it?

Last Updated: March 27, 2012

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