This morning we spoke by phone to actor Joel Kinnaman in London about his upcoming contemporary romantic comedy, Lola Versus, which opens in theaters on June 8th. We will run the full interview later in the week, but we wanted to share today what Kinnaman had to say about his upcoming role in the RoboCop reboot which starts shooting in September. He talked to us about working with director José Padilha, being a fan of the original film directed by Paul Verhoeven, how Padilha plans to make the remake different from Verhoeven’s version while still throwing nods to the original film in, why he believes retelling a story can break new ground, and his excitement at having the opportunity to work opposite Gary Oldman whom he considers a master at his craft. He also revealed his favorite Oldman films and why he believes Gary should have won the Oscar for his role in Soldier Tailor Tinker Spy. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
KINNAMAN: In September. It’s very exciting.
Are you surprised by the level of interest?
KINNAMAN: A little bit, yeah. It’s like when you say one thing, it’s everywhere, and that’s pretty awesome and a little bit intimidating. It makes you realize you have to think before speaking. That’s a quality I’m continuously evolving. For some reason, it seems like I’m bumping my head into the wall a little bit too many times, but now I think I’m doing alright. It’s fantastic. I used to be like “Why are we doing a remake? What are remakes being done for?” But then, we do that all the time in the theater. If we weren’t doing remakes, nobody would know who Shakespeare was. I’m not saying that Robocop is Shakespeare, but it’s a way to … we’re retelling. That’s what we do as human beings. We retell our favorite stories. That’s what we’ve done since we were sitting around campfires. It’s a part of the human spirit. It doesn’t have to be negative to creativity. It can be completely opposite. That’s how you can break new ground by rethinking something that’s already been done. José has a completely different take on this than Verhoeven had, and with all respect, everybody that’s involved in this movie loved the original and we have a lot of respect for it. We’re going to have a lot of throwbacks and there’s going to be a lot of fun stuff for the fans of the first movie. It’s a new story within the old one.
KINNAMAN: I’ve seen it maybe 20 times before I got this part.
Have you been reading the online sites and forums about the RoboCop reboot?
KINNAMAN: No, not really.
Were you nervous when you signed on for a few movies as part of a multi-picture deal?
KINNAMAN: No. I mean that sort of comes with the territory, and so far, everything that I’ve been promised and everything that I’ve heard about the project has really come to life. Everybody is trying to make something real, something with a core of substance, and of course, an exciting action movie with a lot of terrific stuff and fantastic visuals and everything, but at the core of it, it’s a movie with substance and something that is going to make people think.
How excited are you to work with Gary Oldman?
KINNAMAN: That feels about as surreal as me being RoboCop. I couldn’t be happier. He’s pretty much the grand master of the game. I still think it made everybody that voted for the Oscars look bad that they didn’t vote for Gary Oldman, because what he did is so difficult in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It’s a completely different kind of thing. I mean, I loved The Artist. I thought it was fantastic. I saw it early before the whole hype of it and I thought that French actor (Jean Dujardin) did a great job, but he’s more like that guy. I’ve seen him in interviews and he is a bit animated like that character. But, Gary Oldman disappears into his character. It’s so subtle. It’s so difficult what he does, and it’s something that I don’t think maybe two or three other actors could do on their best day in the world right now. It was a master’s performance and he’s on top of his game right now. He’s in his golden age. So, I’m very, very excited and we have great scenes that have a lot of the substance that I was talking about. It’s very much a relationship between Gary Oldman’s character and Alex Murphy.
KINNAMAN: It’s like going to school…for Gary, of course. (laughs)
What are your favorite Gary Oldman movies?
KINNAMAN: I have to say there are so many. Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and then most definitely Nil by Mouth, a movie that he directed, and then Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.