Joel Kinnaman is ready to blast off into space for his new TV series For All Mankind. The show, created by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), depicts an alternate history where the space race between the United States and the USSR never ended.
“Our show starts with the Soviets landing on the moon,” Kinnaman says. “It creates this alternate timeline. It plays off of a scenario of, ‘What needed to happen for the space race to continue?’ I play Ed Baldwin, who is the commander of Apollo 10 and it’s just fantastic writing. It’s a very original show.”
The series is one of the most anticipated TV shows of 2019 and will be one of the high-profile releases on the new Apple TV+ streaming service, launching this fall. The first season of the series mainly takes place in Houston and follows the astronauts, engineers, administrators, and their families as they caught up in the drama of the space race.
The role gives Kinnaman a chance to flex his dramatic chops after starring in action-related projects like RoboCop, Hanna, and Suicide Squad. In his Men’s Journal cover story, Kinnaman described his For All Mankind character as “all-American…a little bit conservative, who goes through an absolutely transformational event. That’s really what drew me to the role: How does that kind of personality deal with something like tragedy? I feel like I was able to break new emotional ground. I reached an emotional desperation I’d never achieved on camera before.”
As for tackling the wide-open frontier of space? Kinnaman was excited to explore the stars: “[Space is fascinating] because it reminds us of the mystery that life is, and what we’re doing here and what’s our place in this vastness,” Kinnaman says. “And that there’s so much we don’t know—it’s the great unknown.”
For All Mankind is set for a fall release on the new Apple TV+ streaming service.
Watch the video above for all of Kinnaman’s thoughts on the new show, and check out his full profile in the July/August issue of Men’s Journal for more on his journey from Sweden to Hollywood.