Suotamo attended Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and played the power forward and center positions for the Penn State Nittany Lions basketball team. While at PSU, he studied film and video graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008. Suotamo continued to play basketball in Finland's basketball leagues, as well as the Finnish National team and junior teams.
A few years before The Force Awakens, the original Chewie, Peter Mayhew, had gone through knee surgery. Due to having issues with his knees, Joonas Suatomo was brought in to take over some of the more physically challenging scenes. With Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), Mayhew served as consultant and Suoamo wearing the Wookie suit for all filming.
Suotamo also appeared as Chewbacca in May 2018, in Solo: A Star Wars Story, alongside Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo.