Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman on Hanna, Reconnecting, Esme Creed-Miles & More!

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Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman first made waves when they starred together in the United States version of the international sensation The Killing on AMC. 

Now they're reunited on the new series Hanna on Amazon Prime. 

Hanna is an adrenaline-induced coming of age story starring Enos, Kinnaman, and Esme Creed Miles written and executive produced by David Farr.

We had a chance to talk with Enos and Kinnaman about the new show, reuniting, and working with a young girl on her way up in Hollywood.  

Mireille, Esme, and Joel - Tall at Hanna Premiere NYC

What drew both of you to the roles in "Hanna"?

Mireille: David Farr's gorgeous writing. And how multi-dimensional they are and flawed and interesting.

Joel: I also had the incentive of Mireille already been signed onto the project.

Well, that leads me into my next question, of course. How does it feel to be working together again and is there any challenge to forming a new dynamic like the one in "Hanna"?

Joel: Yeah, I think it was important to us that when we re-team that it had to be something very different dynamic than "The Killing". So, this was ideal for that. It couldn't be more different.

And I think when we got into like the meat of our scenes where we're in the same room and in Episode 4 it's almost like a mini-play between us. We had four or five long scenes.

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And what struck me was that even though we had such different characters, I mean I was playing with this German accent and Mireille's a completely different character.

It was the joy that we had playing with each other was the same, and we just found that flow that we had before almost immediately and I realized, "Oh, okay, it's not just something between those characters, it's more between us." The way that we read each other and enjoy playing with each other.

Mireille Enos as Marissa - Hanna

Mireille: It also made me wonder, like what else is possible in our long lives, and long careers, like how many different ways we could configure it. It'd be really fun every ten years or so to find something new.

Joel: Yup.

I think the fans would really like that as well. And as a father, Eric is as vulnerable as Hanna. How did you approach the role both emotionally and physically?

Joel: Well, so much goes on the page in terms of figuring out what Eric is going through and how he's looking at things. I was focusing on the aspect of leaving society and going into the wild for fourteen, fifteen years, how that affects a person.

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And I gave myself this little task of staying three nights in this cabin high up in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia where it was like minus 20 degrees, snow, no electricity, no water.

I just wanted to stay there and see what happened with my head and I was like climbing walls, I was so ill-equipped of dealing with the immensity of that boredom, but it was really good. It was a good exercise and I was walking around out in the snow.

Knock Out - Hanna

I also had this realization that ... it was one day I was going out on this little excursion and I was wearing snowshoes and then I kind of hit this patch where I just fell through in the snow and all the sudden the surface was above my head and I was struggling getting back up and then I had this realization that: if I don't get up here, my tracks are gonna be gone within an hour and no one's gonna find me.

If I don't get up here, that's probably a wrap.


Joel: It was a good realization of how vulnerable that we are and this sort of precede security that we have living in the city and it was easy to imagine all the situations that Eric had to go through, especially with the little infants, trying to keep her alive.

Whoa, that's a neat story. I'm glad you made it out!

Joel: Yeah, me too!

Hanna Poster

And Mireille, your character doesn't exactly go to those extremes, but she's a bit of an enigma, and that's become one of your trademarks. What's steered you towards such complex characters?

Mireille: Oh, that's super interesting -- that I play people who are enigmas!

You do!

Joel: That's just because she's so good.

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Mireille: I think we're all weirdos. We all walk around trying to present as acceptable people in society and whatever. But, actually, on the inside, all of our brains are full of a million different idiosyncrasies and so playing people with the writing, gives room for the exploration ... that's the most fun.

Also, the idea that you can take somebody who is structurally the antagonist and then you can give them strong enough reasons why that there's room for empathy.

Marissa Works - Hanna

Right, I think that's very important. And some people don't do it very well, to be honest.

Mireille: Not at all.

As a seasoned actress, what was it like working with Esme, a young girl just honing her craft?

Mireille: Well, you know I didn't get to work with until nearly the end of the shoot because our characters aren't together much. But I think she's a very talented, remarkable girl. I think she had a huge undertaking here and she's going through her own coming of age moment.

She was brave enough when the camera was rolling to show all of those different crazy emotions that are going on with her and her own fears and insecurities and empowered feelings and the rollercoaster that she's on. I think she's great.

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What's your take on her, Joel?

Joel: She's incredibly talented and she also comes from an acting family. Both of her parents are actors, so even though she's inexperienced, I think a lot of the ideas around acting, like the philosophies and the way that you have to think that can take another person a few years to figure out, I think she had those masterly.

She's also very intelligent, she has a strong sense of ... she can really analyze the part. And when the cameras were rolling, it was a pleasure working with her, it was just a ... she's always there, she's very talented.

Loving Father - Hanna

And do either of you have a favorite episode of the series that viewers should look forward to seeing?

Mireille: Well, I loved Episode 4 because that's where Joel and I got to come together, our characters are actually in the same room and have this mini-play in episode 4. So, that was a super highlight for me.

Joel: Yeah, me too.

That makes perfect sense. And finally, starting with you Mireille, can you both use three words to describe your characters?

Mireille: Vicious, sneaky, and veiled.

Hmm, good.

Joel: I would say: strong, weak, and lethal.


If you haven't already started Hanna on Amazon Prime, head on over and begin. For those of you diligent fans, it released early, so keep an eye on TV Fanatic for another interview and reviews of every episode!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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