‘FOR ALL MANKIND’ Video Interview: Joel Kinnaman and Shantel VanSanten on new season’s themes of growth, sacrifice


Preston Barta // Features Editor

Shantel VanSanten, left, and Joel Kinnaman star in ‘FOR ALL MANKIND.’ Photos courtesy of Apple TV.

We’re coming up on the second launch of Apple TV+’s alternative history space drama For All Mankind, with returning stars Joel Kinnaman, Shantel VanSanten, Krys Marshall, and Sarah Jones.

The series’ first season envisioned the history books reading that the Soviet Union put boots on the moon before the United States, and since then, the space race has continued to evolve. Season 2 of For All Mankind jumps ahead nine years to the 1980s. NASA’s lunar base has grown from the size of a house to a massive complex, staffed with dozens of astronauts and entangled with the American military under the Reagan administration.

The image of armed astronauts hopping around the lunar surface is a scary sight to see, as is the new season’s opening episode with sun activity putting our heroes in peril. But what keeps thrills sending skyward (and viewers emotionally invested) are the incredibly complex characters.


Ed Baldwin (Kinnaman) kicks off the new season behind a desk, keeping tabs on other astronauts and assigning them missions. His wife, Karen (VanSanten), runs a bar/restaurant and is still processing her son’s death and how it changed her marriage.

Fresh Fiction spoke to Kinnaman and VanSanten about where their characters are, the growth they’ve experienced through the show, parenting, and sacrifice.

Our interview with stars Joel Kinnaman and Shantel VanSanten:

Season 2 of FOR ALL MANKIND premieres through Apple TV+ on February 19.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.