KEVIN POLLAK (Joe Viola) has captured the attention of audiences worldwide with his incredible range of both dramatic and comedic roles. Over the past two decades, he has appeared in over fifty films and television projects and has established himself as one of the first stand-up comedians to go on to have a successful dramatic film career. In addition to his acting talents, he has also proven himself as both a writer and producer. Pollak also continues to entertain audiences with his national stand-up engagements and hosting appearances.
In 2004, Pollak starred with Bruce Willis in the Miramax thriller, Hostage, based on the Robert Crais novel, and the first English language film directed by notable French director Florent Siri. Pollak also received critical praise for his role in the independent film Seven Times Lucky, which was successfully screened at the Sundance film Festival as well as the Los Angeles-based Method Film Festival where it was honored with two awards: the Best Feature Film Award and the Best Screenplay Award. Directed by Gary B. Yates, the film starred Pollak as a man whose life starts unraveling when he borrows $10,000 from his underworld boss, loses it all in a horse race and comes up with an elaborate scheme to earn the money back. Pollak reteamed with director Yates for Niagara Motel, which he recently filmed along with Anna Friel and Craig Ferguson.
In 2004, Pollak starred in the Warner Bros. comedy The Whole Ten Yards, in which he played Yani Gogolak as well as his father Laslo Gogolak, the second role requiring three hours of hair, make-up and prosthetics to transform Pollak into a 75 year-old man.
Pollak first started performing stand-up comedy at the age of ten. He became a touring professional stand-up at 20 and then, in 1988, landed a role in George Lucas’ fantasy film Willow, directed by Ron Howard. In 1990, he appeared in Barry Levinson’s Avalon, for which he received critical acclaim. But it was Pollak’s role in the 1992 film A Few Good Men, directed by Rob Reiner, and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore, that proved his ability to share the big screen with dramatic heavyweights. He then went on to co-star in the box office hits Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men, which starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. In 1995, Pollak appeared in the Award-winning The Usual Suspects and Martin Scorsese’s Casino.
In 1999, Pollak appeared opposite Arnold Schwarznegger and Gabriel Byrne in End of Days, directed by Peter Hyams. He followed that with a starring role in Paramount Classics’ political thriller, Deterrence, written and directed by Rod Lurie, for which Pollak received critical praise.
In 2002, Pollak starred with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey in The Wedding Planner. He also starred opposite Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner in 3000 Miles to Graceland. The same year he reteamed with Eddie Murphy in Dr. Doolittle 2 and Stolen Summer, written and directed by Pete Jones.
Pollak’s other film credits include Blizzard, The Santa Clause 2, Steal This Movie, She’s All That, That Thing You Do, Abbie, Indian Summer, House Arrest, Miami Rhapsody, Chameleon and The Prince of Mulberry Street.
Pollak has also starred in several television projects, including “The Underworld,” a made for television movie for Warner Bros. and NBC, which he co-created and co-executive produced with Christopher McQuarrie and Pollak’s wife, Lucy Webb. Pollak also starred in the CBS sitcom “Work With Me,” which he co-executive produced, “From the Earth to the Moon” and “The Drew Carey Show.
Recently, Pollak hosted Bravo’s “Celebrity Poker Showdown.” He has also starred in two of his own HBO stand-up comedy specials, the latest being “Kevin Pollak, Stop With The Kicking,” directed by David Steinberg.