Joel Kinnaman Shares His Hard-Hitting 'Silent Night' Workout Plan

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JOEL KINNAMAN DOESN'T mince words when he talks about his physical preparation for Silent Night, the first Hollywood film from action legend John Woo in two decades (currently in theaters and hits PVOD on December 19). He was single-minded about being in the best shape possible for an important reason: "I had a f***ing montage," he told the Men's Health crew. "As soon as you get a montage, you know where you need to go with that."

But getting jacked for that single sequence wasn't the only driving force behind his training plan. The movie, a holiday-themed revenge thriller, features more than just one scene where Kinnaman's physicality needed to be on display. "We wanted to make the action sequences really dirty and messy and frenetic" he continued. That meant training specifically for the stunt work he needed to master for the scenes, but also continuing to hone his more general martial arts skills in striking and jiu jitsu.

The 44-year-old Swedish actor has been practicing the ground-based martial art since 2018, and has called it "my favorite game." "I always need to keep training to keep my mind sane, regardless of what role I'm preparing for," Kinnaman told MH. "I'm always keeping my regimen on some kind of good level—so I need to train at least four times a week."

He also says that his consistency can help him in the long run—even for roles he hasn't anticipated. "In this business, things can come up pretty quickly. Someone falls out, you get an opportunity to jump into something really interesting, but you've got to be in good shape" he says. "That's why you gotta stay ready, so you don't have to get ready."

Joel Kinnaman's Martial Arts Workout

Kinnaman starts his workout with some shadow boxing and pad work with Yoko Hamamura, an MMA instructor, gym owner, and one of Kinnaman's co-stars in Silent Night. After a few rounds, he moves over to grappling for a few rolls on the mat honing his jiu-jitsu techniques with Jerry Marinas, a martial artist and fight coordinator the actor has worked with since 2015 on the Netflix series Altered Carbon.

While Kinnaman says that he also took on some strength training for his montage muscles, he didn't share any details. For him, the martial arts and stunts seem to be the major focus. When he bid the MH crew goodbye, he said that his routine was on "part of" what he does for a role—reminding us that we can only ever see a bit of what goes into a full fitness plan.

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