#INTERVIEW: NICK KROLL ON “ADULT BEGINNERS”
By David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
“This is somewhat uncharted territory for me.”
Nick Kroll is just as hilarious and authentic in person as his Characters are on hit TV shows The League and Kroll Show. He has had some small Film roles in the past but he found his first leading performance in the new Film, Adult Beginners. He went all in with this one, credited as a Producer and for the Film’s Story as well. It has been a long day of interviews by the time we speak to him, but you would never know from how enthusiastic and excited he is to talk about it.
The Film casts Kroll as Jake, a savvy Tech Entrepreneur who is forced to move back in with his pregnant Sister Justine (Rose Byrne) and her Husband Danny (Bobby Cannavale) after his Company tanks the night before the big launch. Jake wants to get his life back on track, so he starts by becoming Nanny to his Nephew Teddy (played by twins Caleb and Matthew Paddock).
Adult Beginners is being released on VOD and in select Canadian theatres this weekend after premiering at TIFF this past September. “Toronto always seemed like the right place for us. The Audiences were great and it was a great experience,” Kroll says. He first brought the project to Executive Producer and fellow The League Castmate Mark Duplass three and half years ago, just before the first season of Kroll Show went to air. Their goal was to not “make the big schticky version of this movie” and “to tell a real story.” But it took some time to put together, and he is incredibly honest talking about the development cycle: “I don’t assume anything I work on will get made or turn into anything real,” so he prefers to “get a lot of things going, and see what things get momentum.”
While he had to “call in a ton of favours” from scene-stealing friends like Joel McHale, SNL’s Bobby Moynihan and The League’s Jason Mantzoukas to help with the Film, he admits they were very lucky to land Byrne and Cannavale. He “wasn’t intimidated” by their dramatic acting experience, but knew that he “wanted to step up” with his own acting. And coming from a background in Comedy and Television, Kroll was very surprised with how each scene ended, telling us that it was a “new exercise in not finishing every scene with a big joke”. He cannot help but mention however that “there’s a little taste of improv in just about every scene”. One such element is the repeated mention of the sconces that Justine has installed in the house to help make it sell better. “I am not anti or pro sconce,” he tells us, “But I am pro callback.”
With Kroll Show ending and The League coming up on its final season, Kroll is not showing any signs of slowing down. He’s a voice in the 2016 Seth Rogen-written animated Film Sausage Party (“It’s made some very dirty people blush”) and is about to begin pre-production on the feature adaptation of Sophie Goodhart’s Palme d’Or-nominated Short My Blind Brother. He may also be in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, but has not seen the Film himself to confirm. A friend says they “saw him” when watching the Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, but he is not at all worried about the very real possibility of the notorious Director cutting his performance from the Film.
If Kroll learned anything from making Adult Beginners, it is that it made him “want to continue to experiment and just try to make new things.” He does not want to become typecast or stick to any one genre in the future. He tells us in parting, “It’s good to take risks creatively and professionally, and see what happens.” And if his eclectic resume of performances suggests anything, Nick Kroll will not be typecast anytime soon.
Thr Archive release ADULT BEGINNERS on Friday, May 8, 2015 in select threates and VOD.