We’ve already heard lots (and lots and lots) of details about how Jared Leto readied for his Suicide Squad role by sending his castmates creepy gifts and generally scaring the sh*t out of everyone around him, but it turns out that he’s not the only one who decided to do some over-the-top prep for the film. Now, the squad’s leader, Joel Kinnaman, has revealed his own training routine, and it sounds just as insane as Leto’s.
Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flag, suffered a torn biceps during filming, but according to the actor, that was nothing compared to what he went through before a single frame was shot. In an interview with Variety, he said that his first order from director David Ayer was to “get big.” After he added 35 pounds (and subtracted a bit of belly fat), though, was when things really got tricky. Here’s how he explained his grueling regimen to the trade:
I became close with our military advisers on the film. Two of them were former Navy SEALS who went on to become CIA operators. These guys were real life Rick Flags. We went through intense training. We’d go out in the woods and backpack with 50 pounds. They wanted to drain me physically and deprive me of sleep. For 60 hours we’d be doing these workouts. 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. They enlisted 15 to 20 Canadian military guys. We did these scenarios. Like hostage situations. We’d use blanks, but it was still crazy.
According to Kinnaman, he was told that to fully inhabit the role of Flag, “The most important part was the attitude.” It sounds like anyone would get an attitude after being forced to watch beheading videos and reenact hostage situations, so we assume the odd inspiration paid off. Matt Damon’s complaints about his “brutal” workouts to get back into shape for Jason Bourne sound like much ado about nothing after hearing Kinnaman’s account.