IAR INTERVIEW: Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and Billy Campbell Talk 'The Killing' Season Two

Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:15 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR INTERVIEW: Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and Billy Campbell Talk 'The Killing' Season Two

One of the most controversial shows on television returns this Sunday, April 1st as The Killing begins airing its second season on AMC. The series, which is based on the Danish show Forbrydelsen, follows Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and her possibly shady partner Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) as they try to solve the mystery of who killed local Seattle teenager Rosie Larsen. The show also revolves around prime suspect and Mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell), as well as Rosie’s parents (Brent Sexton and Michelle Forbes) who are dealing with the aftermath of their daughter’s death.

The Killing was a bona fide hit last season for AMC, which is also home to such popular series as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. But The Killing made national news last year when fans of the series were in an uproar after the show’s finale aired. The episode had been advertised as giving final answers to the show’s main mystery, however all it did was offer new questions and no clues to who actually killed Rosie Larsen. Fans of the series took to Twitter in an angry fever relieving their pain by bashing the show’s failure to follow through with answers as promised. While many fans swore to never watch the series again, I have a feeling they will all be returning Sunday night for the second season in hopes that some answers may finally come to light. But don’t expect closure to the show’s main mystery Sunday night as producers have said publicly that Rosie’s killer won’t be revealed until the end of this season.

Earlier this week, along with several other members of the press, I had a chance to sit down with Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and Billy Campbell to discuss season two of The Killing. The actors talked about the series; it’s controversial season one finale, their surprise at the fan’s outcry, Linden’s engagement, Holder’s true intensions, Richmond’s ultimate fate, how the show’s success has affected the actor’s careers, and just who did kill Rosie Larsen?

I began the interview by asking each of the actors if they were surprised by the fan’s disappointment over the finale to season one. “I was totally baffled because it’s such a character-driven piece that it seems clear to me, if you love these characters, you want to spend more time with them,” explained Enos. “Once Rosie’s case is solved, these people go away. Anyway, I loved the ending.”

“I think I was surprised by the fan outcry,” said Campbell. “I watched the Danish (show) before I did this series. They do the same thing. You don’t find out until the end of the second season and there was no outcry over there. So I’m thinking that the big difference must’ve been that because of the log line and the slogan: ‘Who killed Rosie Larsen?’ - that this must’ve built a certain expectation. Because the story’s being unfolded exactly as it was conceived to be unfolded.”

I was also very surprised at the extent of it,” added Kinnaman. “It was like an earthquake. People were furious. They were like, you stole my life!” I followed up by asking the actor if he read any of the fan’s angry comments on Twitter. “No, I ended my Twitter account a week after I got on the show,” laughed Kinnaman. “I felt like, this is not a good tool for me to keep my narcissism at bay, so I cut it off. I’m happy that I wasn’t on Twitter when this whole thing came around. But, I can understand it. I think there were some mismanaged expectations. There was a marketing thing that said, tune in for the last episode and find out who killed Rosie Larsen? I can understand that people felt a little bit tricked, and that was unfortunate. From a creative standpoint, we knew all along, exactly what story we were telling. We knew that we were in for a twenty-six-episode mystery that followed the original Danish timeline almost exactly. They had twenty-six one-hour episodes and we have twenty-six forty-five-minute episodes.”

Kinnaman was next asked to talk about what fans can expect from season two of the series. “Well, I killed her,” the actor joked. “I just got mad. I was just angry. She pissed me off, so I killed her, threw her in the back of the trunk and tossed her in the water. What are you going to do?”

“What is true about the second season is that we are beyond the red herrings,” answered Enos seriously. “Every new piece of information is part of the actual puzzle. It’s the end game, and the stakes just keep getting more and more intense.” Enos was then asked if she knows who killed Rosie Larsen? “No, we don’t yet,” she said honestly. “I’m almost admitting something here, but I know everything about my character. But, I don’t know who the killer is,” Kinnaman added. If that is true, it proves that Holder is not Rosie’s killer.

(Showrunner) Veena Sud is very happy to sit down and tell us our back-story and how these things relate to our psyche,” Enos continued. “We just don’t know the actual murder plot. But I’m happy to be ignorant. I’ve always said that I think that I will be really sad when I find out because it’s such a horrifying thing to have done that whoever has it on their hands, it’s very hard to imagine redemption for that person. I’m happy to keep it until the last moment.”

Speaking of the killer, actor Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galatica) plays Linden’s on-again-off-again fiancé Rick Felder on the show. His character has had very little to do on the series thus far and since Rennie is such an accomplished television actor, I have a theory that he would never have signed on for the show if his character wasn’t going to have a bigger role. Therefore, I believe he must either be the killer or more involved with the overall conspiracy then has been revealed so far. When I shared my theory with Enos and Kinnaman they just laughed suspiciously with their best poker faces on.

I followed up by asking Enos if Rennie will be returning for the second season and if we can expect a conclusion to the engagement storyline anytime soon. “Callum is in the second season,” she confirmed. “There is no hard and fast conclusion, one way or another. Something that’s interesting for me to remind myself is that two seasons of this show is only twenty-six days, which is a little less than a month. In complicated relationship dynamics and heartbreak, things aren’t necessarily resolved in that amount of time. If you’re going to marry someone, maybe you can be mad for a few weeks and it can still work out. You can tell that I’m still holding out hope, but there’s no clear resolution, one way or another.”

As fans of the series know, season one ended with Richmond seemingly being shot by Larsen family confidant Belko Royce (Brendan Sexton III) after Holder apparently tampered with evidence (as part of a larger conspiracy) to frame the politician for Rosie’s murder. I asked Campbell where season two picks up. “Seconds later,” he admitted. “It’s pretty intense. This is going to be a show that’s going to be a complete joy to watch on the DVD or the Blu-ray. It’s made that way. It’s like a long movie. This is really exciting stuff. It’s the stuff that I always dreamed that television could be.”

That is quite a statement from an actor who as appeared on such groundbreaking shows as Dynasty, Crime Story, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Once and Again, and The 4400, (not to mention starring in the now classic superhero movie The Rocketeer). The actor continued by discussing why The Killing is the most satisfying storytelling experience of his career. “A movie is really a short story right? A series is potentially a novel and that’s why so many movies are so formulaic because you got to get it done in an hour and a half. Where as a TV series, that’s where the really interesting stuff can happen I think. A show like this, I think is phenomenal.”

Since Campbell has worked on network shows in the past like Dynasty and Once and Again, I asked him how his experience working with AMC compares. “I think AMC is the best little cable channel on television. Maybe the best any kind of outlet on television precisely because I spent some time during the first season talking to the guys that were there from AMC, some of the folks who came to be on the set and just hang around. I was really curious about the network’s MO, and they said, the deal is we just make stuff that we want to see. I’ve talked to other people who have taken projects to AMC and they all say the same thing. I think that’s why they’ve had such phenomenal success, because they’re excited about film. Look at who they were to begin with. They show film. They love cinema and it’s obvious. This feels like being in an amazing movie except it’s just ongoing. It’s fantastic.”

Considering what was revealed about Kinnaman’s character at the end of last season, the actor was asked about the Linden-Holder dynamic going forward. “Linden and Holder’s relationship will continue to be complicated and strained,” he answered. “Obviously, it’s getting very complicated. Holder has made some bad choices. How pre-meditated those choices are, we’ll find out. That’s going to have severe consequences on the trust between them. Linden is not the most trusting person, anyway. They’re definitely going to have some difficulty getting back together. Holder is a very fragile character. He’s six-months sober and he needs stability in his life, but instead he’s in this very high-profile investigation and he’s making some choices. She became one of the stable points of his life, and now that’s all shattered. He has some rough times, coming up,” Kinnaman hinted.

But the big question going into season two is … will Holder have a new hoodie? “He has a couple different ones,” answered Enos. “You didn’t think they worked? I thought it was a nice hoodie, that’s why I kept it,” said Kinnaman. “I have a new hoodie and a new jacket. I actually changed twice.”

Enos and Kinnaman were also asked if they ever watched Forbrydelsen, the Danish series that the show was based on. “I haven’t. I’ve avoided it,” replied Enos. “One of the big differences between the original and our series is that my character is completely different,” said Kinnaman. “So I had no fear of being influenced in a wrong way that would set traps for my creativity. So, I watched the whole thing in two days. I was obsessed with it. I was on my knees, in my hotel room, crying with my whole face, like a baby.”

Finally, with the success that has come from the show, both Kinnaman and Enos have big roles coming up in some major Hollywood movies. Enos will soon be seen playing Brad Pitt’s wife and fighting off zombies in World War Z, as well as part in the upcoming crime drama Gangster Squad opposite two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn, and Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin. Kinnaman on the other hand will be soon stepping into the iconic role of Robocop in the upcoming remake, as well as a possible expanded role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire.

“It’s opened amazing doors,” said Enos about the success of the show. “I had so much fun, working on that movie (World War Z). I had been whining to my husband for years saying, I’ve done theater and I’ve done TV, and I just can’t seem to crack that movie thing. Then, my first film ever was this huge tent pole movie, playing Brad Pitt’s wife. He said, ‘I’m done listening to you, ever.’ So, it was very exciting. Then, I got to also work on Gangster Squad, which had this incredible cast. I had a great time on that movie. It’s going to be really, really fun.”

Kinnaman, who was born in Sweden, is a big movie star in his native country and he discussed the frustrations of trying to break into American cinema. “It’s frustrating when you come over here, especially from the position that I was in when I was in Sweden. There’s also a different financing system with movies here. A mid-range to low-budget movie needs 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. With Robocop, I couldn’t be happier,” said Kinnaman. “I’m such a huge fan of the original. I think I’ve seen the first Robocop, fifteen or twenty times. It’s going to be really fun!”

Season two of The Killing premieres Sunday, April 1st on AMC. 

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from season one of The Killing, please click here

Season one of The Killing is available now for purchase on Blu-ray and DVD.

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