Joel Kinnaman is one of the stars of the first Suicide Squad film who returned for The Suicide Squad. With a new director in tow, the former Altered Carbon star said that he was ready to return back to the character and to get a second chance.

Shadow and Act spoke to the Rick Flag actor and other cast members ahead of the film’s release.

The James Gunn-directed film also stars Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Michael Rooker, Flula Borg, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Steve Agee, Mayling Ng, Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, Storm Reid, Taika Waititi, Joaquín Cosío and Juan Diego Botto.

“I was excited to get back to it,” Kinnaman told us. “First of all, there are so many of the cast members from the first film that now are close friends, so I was excited to just get back with my friends. But I think the big excitement and the big boost of energy that the project got was when James Gunn jumped on board.”

The actor says that there was a huge difference between the two films, even though the other one came out not that long ago.

“The first film did very well financially, but creatively there were some conflicting visions,” he explained. “I think that the film ended up not being completely satisfactory. We felt like we sort of had a bone to pick, and we wanted to get it right. And then when James decided to take this on, and we were told that Warner Bros. had basically opened up the books for him and told him that he could have any DC property that he wanted, and then he chose to give his take on the Suicide Squad. We were stoked about it. And then when we got the first script sent to us, all those feelings were confirmed. Every page was funny. and it was a completely different take. I felt when I read it, I was like, ‘This is what it should be. This is the tone.’ It was so irreverent, so violent and gory, and just silly, childish humor mixed in with some really emotional beats. He’s just so confident in the genre, so he can just really go from one extreme to the next really seamlessly, and it doesn’t feel forced or pushed. He just created this very, very entertaining film. It was kind of a dream project because it was so fun to do and so easy. Not easy, it was hard work, but it was easy in the way that we were allowed to just focus on the good stuff. We just focused on the creative process of building these characters out, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

The film, of course, will mark the first return to theaters for a lot of people since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first began.

“When I saw it in the theater with my fiance, I actually got a little emotional,” said Kinnaman. “I think that this is the kind of film and this is the kind of movie theater experience that people have been craving to get and are starving from it. There’s a lot of films that I like. If I’m going to watch an interesting but boring French movie from the ’70s, I’d rather watch it at home so I can pause, go get some popcorn, answer a couple of texts, and then I’ll watch the second half [laughs]. But this kind of film, you want to see this with 200 people in a movie theater because when 200 people laugh together, you feel it in your bones. It’s a communal experience, and those are the kinds of experiences that we’d been robbed of for the past year-and-a-half. So I can’t wait for people to get to have that communal experience together. And it’s a shocking movie. There are so many moments in this film that you will not see coming, and you will get shocked. There’s going to be laughs and oohs and aahs and all of that. So I hope people see it in the movie theaters. This is a movie you want to see in the theaters.”

Watch our interview with both Kinnaman and Elba below:

The Suicide Squad is in theaters now. It will be on HBO Max for a limited time.