If you’re anything like me, you probably know Nick Kroll from The Kroll Show (2013-2015), or from his many characters on Comedy Bang Bang!, from El Chupacabra to Bobby Bottleservice. Trying to prove that he can do everything, this month he plays Mossad agent Rafi Eitan in Operation Finale, a Chris Weitz film about the operation to kidnap former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and bring him to justice.
It’s not his first foray into drama, having also appeared in the critically-acclaimed Loving, and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. In fact, Nick Kroll doing drama doesn’t feel quite like the ol’ Jonah Hill/Jim Carrey dramatic turn, because Nick Kroll has had, and continues to have, so many projects going on, from writing on his animated show, Big Mouth, to assorted bit parts like Uncle Drew, that it never really seemed like he was in danger of getting pigeon-holed or accused of not having range.
Like his Operation Finale director Chris Weitz, Kroll also has a well-known father — Jules B. Kroll, who in 2004 sold his company Kroll Inc. for $1.9 billion. Kroll has never tried to hide the fact that he comes from money, and unlike other actors and comedians with well-off backgrounds, you almost never hear people use Kroll’s as a pejorative. That’s probably a testament to his abilities as a performer. He’s just so obviously talented that you’d never look for another way to explain his success.
In any case, the man contains multitudes. Which is probably why it felt fairly natural, when I spoke to him by phone this week, to shift freely from topics as disparate as the philosophical aspects of pooping yourself to the famous Nazi hunters he knew growing up. Like a lot of performers, he seems much more comfortable improvising in character than he does talking about himself.