Nick Kroll’s Guide to Creating Your Own Work

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Photo Source: Mark Stinson

“In the Envelope: An Awards Podcast” features intimate interviews with award-winning actors and other creatives. Join host and Awards Editor Jack Smart for a front row seat to the industry’s most exciting awards races, and valuable acting and career advice from contenders!

Nick Kroll, hailing from New York, educated at The Mountain School in Vermont and then Georgetown University, and inspired by all things comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade, began appearing in some of Hollywood’s funniest recent projects—from films like “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” “Adult Beginners,” “Sausage Party,” “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie,” and “The House” to television shows including “Cavemen,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “The League”—after deciding he’d rather create his own acting roles than wait for them to be handed to him.

“I do believe just about everyone can be a writer,” he reveals to Backstage. “If you’re smart enough to act, you’re smart enough to write.”

On Comedy Central’s “The Kroll Show” he did both acting and writing to spectacular effect, opposite future collaborators John Mulaney, Jenny Slate, Jon Daly, Jason Mantzoukas, and more. He and Mulaney then starred first off, then on Broadway in “Oh, Hello,” as their beloved characters Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, and hosted the Film Independent Spirit Awards twice. Kroll also appeared in more dramatic fare, including the Oscar-nominated “Loving” and this year’s “Operation Finale”—less a stylistic departure, he says, than another opportunity to apply everything he’s learned as a performer and grow.

Now, he leads the Netflix animated comedy “Big Mouth,” co-created with Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett. One of the wackiest, raunchiest, yet most heartfelt TV offerings, the series follows a group of middle schoolers coping with the humiliations and oddities of puberty, the Gotham- and Emmy-nominated show has dropped two brilliant seasons and been renewed for a third. Among its voice talents are Mulaney, Slate, Mantzoukas, Jessi Klein, Fred Armisen, Jordan Peele, Andrew Rannells, and Maya Rudolph. Listen to Kroll provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of collaborating on “Big Mouth,” compare improvisation versus scripted lines, and preach the gospel of producing your own work.

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