#ManCrushMonday: Joel Kinnaman

Straight outta Stockholm

#ManCrushMonday: Joel Kinnaman
Suicide Squad has had its fair share of negative reviews, but one thing its succeeded in is bringing Swedish actor Joel Joel Kinnaman into the spotlight. Get to know him below

1. Joel Kinnaman's family history is pretty complicated
The 36-year-old was born and raised in Stockholm by a Swedish mother and an American father, who refuged to Sweden after deserting the military during the Vietnam War. His father had children with different women in Sweden, with Kinnaman being the only son. Although he's had a rough relationship with his dad, he claims that he's forgiven him for the childhood beating. "We're good now. I'm working on a film about his life with a Swedish director. I'm going to play him," he shared, in a twist of events. "But see, he was beaten by his parents. And in my teenage years, I was definitely testing the boundaries... hanging out and smoking weed. I had a lot of anger in me, and I was insecure. I was really skinny and I used to get bullied, so it felt good to bully other people. That made me feel stronger."

2. He hung out with the wrong crowd during high school
The problems at home also led Kinnaman to mix with the rough crowd in school. "I wasn't afraid of getting hit, because my head got rung at home," he revealed. When he tried to turn things around and leave the group, they wouldn't allow it. "They would beat up and rob my new friends and punish me. It was bad," he recalled. "I was 16, and I'd come home with a black eye every now and then. My parents were happy that I broke up with that group of friends. Half of them ended up robbing banks."

3. He was sent to Texas for exchange in high school
Kinnaman spent a year in Texas as an exchange high school student because of his misbehaviour back home. Although he didn't graduate high school in Texas, being in Texas kept him out of trouble.

4. He had a grand plan to see the world in seven years
Kinnaman took on some labour work in construction sites and factories to save up money for travelling after returning from Texas. However, his journey only lasted two years and half (as opposed to his original plan of a seven year trip), before his money ran out.

5. Acting became an answer
After Kinnaman returned to Sweden in 2005, his friend encouraged him to apply for the prestigious national acting school. "You had to prepare four monologues to apply to the Swedish national acting school, which is a big deal," he said. "Our colleges are free, but the acting program is the second-most-expensive education, second only to fighter-pilot school. They only accept 10 people a year out of about 1,500 people. And I got in! I hadn't cried since I was 12, and it wasn't until I started acting again that I started to find those emotions. Now I'm a total crybaby."

Suicide Squad is now showing in theatres. For last week's #ManCrushMonday, click here

Text: Jessica Zheng

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