How Joel Kinnaman And Mireille Enos Felt Reuniting For Amazon's Hanna

Hanna Mirellle Enos listening to a very concerning call

Some partnerships are too good to break apart, no matter the distance or time. The most recent example of such a pairing, at least in the TV world, is that of Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos, former co-stars on AMC/Netflix’s hit series The Killing. Reuniting for the Amazon Prime series adaptation of director Joe Wright’s film Hanna, Kinnaman and Enos found themselves fulfilling a pact that they’d made back in their previous run of work together, and thanks to their previous efforts, they were all the more prepared to spar this time around.

Though the actors' characters are on completely different wavelengths than their respective roles on The Killing, Kinnaman and Enos apparently didn't miss a step in reattaining their chemistry. Kinnaman described it like this when talking to THR.

On the last day of shooting The Killing, we were standing on set with [showrunner] Veena Sud and [director] Jonathan Demme. We were all hugging it out and we said, "In 10 years, we'll come together again and do something completely different." We didn't make it 10 years, but it's been five years and we did this! I think it really fits the criteria that we were looking for in that it was something very different and dynamic between the characters so that it wouldn't get confused. And when we got to the meat of our scenes — like halfway through the show, we have a mini-play between our characters — I was just struck by how, even though I was playing this completely different character and Mireille was just completely different, we still had the same enjoyment of playing with each other. It felt like we almost immediately found this flow, I think both from knowing each other so well and playing with each other so much, so it's just easy.

Though it was "cancelled" following Season 2, The Killing ran for three seasons on AMC, with one additional season rounding out the series’ run on Netflix. The Killing saw Joel Kinnaman playing the role of Stephen Holder, with Mireille Enos playing Sarah Linden. The detectives attempted to solve various cases while being continually led back to the enigmatic mystery that kicked off the entire series. After that much time acting opposite the same actor in the same universe, it shouldn’t be hard to spark up that same bond once another project comes along.

Hanna is certainly an exercise, both for the cast that play the very complicated characters, as well as the writers bringing the film to extended-format life for streaming television. Only here, Joel Kinnaman’s Erik and Mireille Enos’ Marissa are on opposite sides of the action for a majority of the eight-episode run that triggered their reunion.

With Erik looking to protect the titular Hanna, and Marissa seeking to capture her, the two play a large cat and mouse game that eventually leads to some rather interesting revelations in both of their lives. But as adversarial as their characters are, the recently reunited co-workers are on pretty much the same page.

In some language that plays out as almost the exact opposite direction of their on-screen antics in Hanna, Enos ran down just how well her working relationship with Kinnaman flows. In her words:

Shooting The Killing, there was a real sense of being each other's allies through that process. Everyone was great, the directors were wonderful, everyone was collaborating beautifully. But we knew that we had each other's backs no matter what. If there was a question about anything, we would go to each other first. We just made a really safe space. That's special when you find that kind of ease and trust, and so it was great to drop back into that in this totally different context, just knowing that it's super exciting working with someone that you do your best work with because you're so curious about what they're doing.

Of course, getting together with an old friend and colleague brings back a lot of memories, but it also threatens to put you both back into the old habits that feel like breathing. That’s fine if the intent is to come back for the same mission as before, but with Hanna, there was a different energy, different character alignments, and overall a different goal this time around.

Joel Kinnaman, who's no stranger to such mechanics after his one-season stint on Netflix’s Altered Carbon, further revealed it was a calculus that he and Mirielle Enos were all too mindful of.

There was a danger of reuniting and playing into the fantasy of redoing The Killing, which we definitely didn't want to do, as it wouldn't be fair to The Killing and the project at hand. So this is more for people who like to see me and Mireille playing together, but just in a completely different shape.

While Hanna is extremely different from The Killing, it shouldn’t be any less watchable for fans that enjoy Mirelle Enos and Joel Kinnaman at work together. Their energy propels the show’s short first-season run, even though they're not on screen together all that muh. Plus, the end result is one that should have newcomers, as well as old faithfuls, hoping it won’t be long before we see them teamed together again.

All eight episodes of Hanna are available right now, on Amazon Prime; whereas the entire four season run of The Killing is currently housed over at Netflix.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.