Gold Standard: Joel Kinnaman: ‘The Killing’s’ final season ‘very liberating’

After three seasons on AMC, the acclaimed crime drama “The Killing” is moving to Netflix for its fourth and final go-around. Will viewers notice any changes because of the network shift?

Joel Kinnaman, who plays Det. Stephen Holder, stopped by The Times’ television studio recently for a live Web chat and was happy to report that, yes, restrictions will be loosened for the series’ final six episodes.

“This season Holder gets to talk like Holder should have been talking,” Kinnaman says, referring to his street-savvy detective. “We can use whatever words you want to use. There’s no rating. Sometimes you could feel a little held back by those limitations that were set up.”

“I think I started with an avalanche of cuss words, just to get that off my chest,” Kinnaman adds. “I don’t know if that made the cut. But the show is still the show. It’s just that we just didn’t have to censor ourselves in any way, so it was a little bit more free. It was a very liberating experience.”

Elsewhere, Kinnaman talks about the “exhilarating collaboration” in developing his character through the course of the show, the price he’d pay for going home to Los Angeles and getting a tan while shooting the Seattle-set series and his thoughts on the backlash directed toward the show after failing to resolve its story in Season 1.


And of course, there’s plenty of discussion about the final season, including working with Jonathan Demme on the series finale. Kinnaman says fans will be satisfied ... unless they’re looking for a definitive answer about Holder’s “vegetarianism.”

“That is something that is constantly evolving,” Kinnaman says, smiling.

“The Killing” returns on Netflix on Aug. 1.

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