Birthdate: November 25, 1979
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Joel Kinnaman (birthname: Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman) is one of the busiest Swedish-born actors to jump into Hollywood and U.S. film production. For the first twelve years of his film career, Kinnaman co-starred or starred in over 25 Swedish-produced or co-funded movies, including the hit policier franchise, Johan Falk (2009-2012), and the starring role in the hit Swedish film series, Easy Money (2010, 2012-2013).
Kinnaman’s first role in a major international production was in a supporting role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), directed by David Fincher and co-starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, and grossing a strong $239 million globally. Joel Kinnaman’s first starring role in a Hollywood movie was as Alex Murphy/RoboCop in the reboot of RoboCop (2014), directed by José Padilha and co-starring Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, and Michael K. Williams, and turning a profit for Sony Pictures/MGM with a worldwide take of over $242 million.
Kinnaman was then cast by filmmaker Terrence Malick for a role in his saga, Knight of Cups (2015), with a star-laden cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Freida Pinto, Cherry Jones, Nick Offerman, and Clifton Collins Jr., but failing at the box office with a $1 million return. Kinnaman co-starred opposite Liam Neeson, Common, Ed Harris, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Nick Nolte in the thriller, Run All Night (2015), released by Warner Bros. Kinnaman reunited with Rapace, along with the notable cast of Tom Hardy, Oldman, Paddy Considine, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel, in the thriller, Child 44 (2015), written by Richard Price, but losing money for distributors Lionsgate and Entertainment One.
Joel Kinnaman’s first role in a studio superhero movie was as Rick Flag in writer-director David Ayer’s DC Comics production, Suicide Squad (2016), with Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Cara Delevingne, and delivering a solid global gross of $747 million. Kinnaman returned in the same role in the commercially failed sequel ($169 million theatrical worldwide, during the COVID-19 pandemic), The Suicide Squad (2021), written and directed by DC Studio head James Gunn, and with new cast members Idris Elba, John Cena, and Sylvester Stallone.
After receiving good reviews for his lead performance in the little-seen Canadian-produced drama, Edge of Winter (2016), Kinnaman then starred in the U.K. thriller, The Informer (2019), with Rosamund Pike, Common, Ana de Armas, and Clive Owen, whose poor box office ($3 million return on a $60 million budget) was caused by a two-year theatrical release delay between 2018 and 2020. Joel Kinnaman co-starred with Matthias Schoenaerts, Maika Monroe, Paul Schneider, and Ryan Phillippe in writer-director Jeremie Guez’s U.S./France/Belgium/Netherlands co-production, Brothers in Blood (2020), and released by Vertical Entertainment after its Deauville film festival premiere.
Kinnaman once again teamed with Noomi Rapace and cast mate Chris Messina in the Yuval Adler-directed thriller, The Secrets We Keep (2020), receiving a limited theatrical release from Bleecker Street. Kinnaman then reunited with director Adler for the psychological drama, Sympathy for the Devil (2023), playing opposite Nicolas Cage, and released by RLJE Films after premiering at the Fantasia film festival in Montreal.
Joel Kinnaman joined legendary Hong Kong director John Woo for his first feature in six years as director-producer, the dialogue-free vengeance drama, Silent Night (2023), with Scott Mescudi, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Harold Torres, released by Lionsgate. Kinnaman then starred opposite Mark Strong and Michael Eklund in The Silent Hour (date to be announced), directed by Brad Anderson. Kinnaman turned to the sci-fi genre with director Neill Blomkamp for the adventure, They Found Us (date to be announced), and then starred in The Beast (date to be announced), directed by James Madigan, and co-starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Joel Kinnaman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and was raised by parents Steve Kinnaman (American-born former U.S. military who deserted in Bangkok during the Vietnam War) and Swedish-born mother Bitte (therapist). Kinnaman has five sisters, including Sandra Kinnaman and Leyla Drake, and half-sibling and actor Melinda Kinnaman. In 1990, Kinnaman was briefly a child actor on a Swedish-produced soap opera. During his high school years, Kinnaman was an exchange student in Del Valle, Texas.
After graduating from high school, Kinnaman traveled the world for two years, working along the way. Subsequently, Kinnaman attended drama school before re-launching his acting career in Swedish film and television. Kinnaman has been in relationships with actors Olivia Munn and Jane Timglas, and was married to model/tattoo artist Cleo Wattenstrom from 2015 to 2018; the couple has no children. Kinnaman was then in a relationship with model Kelly Gale, with whom he announced an engagement in 2021. Kinnaman’s height is 6’ 2 ½ ”. Kinnaman’s estimated net worth is $14 million.
Bi-lingual: Joel Kinnaman grew up learning Swedish from his mother, and English from his father. Because of his parents, Kinnaman is a joint citizen of Sweden and the U.S.
Rare Condition: Kinnaman was born with a rare condition called pectus excavatum, resulting in a caved-in chest cavity. A subsequent surgery involved the insertion of two metal bars which pushed his sternum outward.