Posted by Matt Juul @MattJuul
Digital Arts and Entertainment Writer at Boston Magazine
Matt Juul

While Suicide Squad may be getting a lashing from the critics, it's not due to a lack of effort on the part of the actors.

Case in point Joel Kinnaman, the RoboCop and House of Cards star who's taking on the role of Rick Flag in the DC Comics' super villain, team-up flick. In a recent interview with Variety, the actor revealed that he went through an intense training regimen in order to get into character as the leader of Task Force X.

Kinnaman told the publication that director David Ayers wanted him to get big for the film, so the star gained 35 pounds in just three months. Not only did he pack on the muscle, but Kinnaman also did a lot of work to make sure that his fighting skills and military tactics looked believable on the big screen.

"I became close with our military advisers on the film," he told Variety. "Two of them were former Navy SEALS who went on to become CIA operators. These guys were real life Rick Flags."

The advisers put Kinnaman through the ringer as the actor said he often had to run through the woods with a 50-pound backpack strapped to him.

In addition to the crazy workouts, the military personnel also wanted to get Kinnaman in the right mental state, so they made him watch gruesome videos of actual crimes.

"They wanted to drain me physically and deprive me of sleep," he said. "They’d show me videos of cartel beheadings and torture. The most awful things I’ve ever seen. The whole thing culminated with this six-hour exercise where they’d take over this abandoned meat locker — like this underground maze."

From there the actor worked with around "15 to 20 Canadian military guys" in a faux hostage scenario so he could get both the strategy and the confidence down for dealing with such an intense situation.

"The most important part was the attitude," Kinnaman said. "This guy isn’t just a top tier operator. He is a commander."

And we thought Jared Leto took things a bit far while preparing to be the Joker...