Originally posted on TVLine:
In the past two seasons, AMC’s The Killing may sometimes have zigged where it should have zagged, but fans of the polarizing drama have always been able to rely on one constant: Joel Kinnaman‘s enthralling performance. As the rough-and-tumble Detective Stephen Holder, the 32-year-old Swedish-American actor brings a unique vulnerability and likability to a part that could easily have been a stereotypical, one-note member of Seattle’s finest.
Despite The Killing’s still-uncertain fate, the underrated thesp’s critically acclaimed turn has him poised for a possible Emmy nod — if Academy voters take note before it’s too late to recognize him for the role. The big screen beckons, as well. With a future in features ahead of him (he’s set to play the titular crime fighter in the buzzy RoboCop reboot), Kinnaman is just eager for — and open to — whatever comes next.
TVLINE | This season, your character, Stephen Holder, seemed vastly different than the man we met in Season 1. More human, even. Would you attribute that to your choices as an actor? Or did the writing allow for it?
Season 2 was more fun for me to play because the framework [of Season 1] was that they wanted to put the audience in the place where they didn’t know if they liked Holder; they didn’t know if he was a good guy or a bad guy. That’s great from a series standpoint, but for me as an actor, wanting to play out all the colors of my character, that was a bit limiting. I couldn’t really respond 100 percent in the way that I wanted to… I couldn’t be charming, because they wanted to keep the audience on the fence. It wasn’t until Episode 8 [in Season 1], after my Narcotics Anonymous scene, that I could really spread my wings with the character. There’s also that thing when you come back to a character you’ve played and have had some time to set it aside and let it mature… When you come back, you get that sensation that you’re expressing more, but you’re doing less. That’s how I felt with Holder. It felt a little bit more centered; I knew the character better and didn’t have to push it. It was also more fun because they centered a little more of Holder’s life outside of the police station… [and] that’s what I was most looking forward to; that arc of seeing Holder slipping and sliding and really getting [close] to falling back into the dark side.