In a new big-screen sequel, "The Whole Ten Yards," Kevin Pollak re-teams with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.
But wait! Wasn't his character dead in the first film? Yes, this time he comes back as an off-the-wall mob boss who is looking for revenge against a retired hit man and a mild-mannered dentist.
Pollak explains to Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, "When Bruce Willis called me six months before we started shooting the sequel, saying, 'I just read this script, looks like we'll do a sequel to 'The Whole Nine Yards.' Knowing I died in the first one, I said, 'Have a good time. Are you rubbing it in my face?' He said, 'No, you're coming back as your old man.' I said, 'All right.' And Lazlo was born."
Lazlo, Pollak says, other than a "cartoon," is a Hungarian in his 70s. To prepare for his role, he says, "In terms of the Hungarian, I must apologize to all Hungarians. I had to make a choice to either be authentically Hungarian or go for the funny. Tough choice. I went for the funny and that's why I apologize."
Next for Pollak is more comedy.
He says, "I actually decided to tour again about a year and a half ago. I do maybe 10 or 15 weekends a year. In fact, this coming weekend, I'll be in Tempe, Ariz., at The Improv. How about that? ... I have a film coming up, then right back to the stand-up. For me it's like legitimate actors going back to the stage. For me, I need to go back and do stand-up."
About Kevin Pollak:
- Began doing stand-up comedy routines at age 10, lip-synching to Bill Cosby Recordings. He got his first paying gig, one night at a nightclub in the city of Campbell, Calif. in his late teens; and began touring at age 20.
- In 1982, he won second place at the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. The following year, he moved to Los Angeles.
He briefly formed a comedy team with Dana Carvey; both auditioned for NBC's
"Saturday Night Live," but only Carvey was selected.
- In 1984, he made his TV debut in "National Lampoon's Hot Flashes" (syndicated).
- In 1987, he made his feature acting debut in "Million Dollar Mystery."
- In 1988, he played a three-inch tall Brownie in Ron Howard's "Willow." And starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom "Coming of Age."
- In 1989, he made his first solo comedy special, a segment of HBO's "One Night Stand" series.
- In 1990, he had his breakthrough screen role as Aidan Quinn's business partner in Barry Levinson's "Avalon."
- In 1991, he was cast as Morton in Rob Reiner's short-lived sitcom "Morton and Hayes" (CBS); he starred in HBO's "Kevin Pollak: Stop With the Kicking;" and portrayed Steve Martin's agent in "L.A. Story."
- In 1992, he Re-teamed with Reiner for "A Few Good Men," earning particular notice for his dramatic turn. He also formed Calm Down Productions with Lucy Webb.
- In 1993, he played Walter Matthau's son in the feature comedy "Grumpy Old Men."
- In 1995, he co-wrote with Lucy Webb, the "Anger" segment of Showtime's "The Seven Deadly Sins;" also directed; Webb starred. The same year, Pollak took the part of an explosives expert in the ensemble of "The Usual Suspects;" appeared in Martin Scorsese's "Casino" as the innocent front man who gets the loan from the Teamsters; and reprised the role of Matthau's son in the sequel "Grumpier Old Men."
- In 1996, he starred opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in the comedy "House Arrest." And he acted in "That Thing You Do!" written and directed by Tom Hanks.
- In 1997, he portrayed the hostage in "Truth or Consequences, N.M.," the feature directorial debut of Kiefer Sutherland; and had his first association with actor Vincent Gallo.
- In 1998, he made his cameo appearance in Gallo's directorial debut, "Buffalo 66." And he played Joe Shea in HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," executive produced, co-directed and co-written by Tom Hanks; this award-winning 12-part docudrama was the most expensive single project in TV history at $68 million.
- In 1999, he starred opposite Nancy Travis in the short-lived CBS fall sitcom "Work With Me;" also served as co-executive producer with wife Lucy Webb. Pollak also appeared as Arnold Schwarzenegger's sardonic sidekick in the apocalyptical thriller "End of Days." And was cast as the US President facing a global crisis in "Deterrence;" debuted at Cannes; released theatrically in 2000.
- In 2000, he portrayed a Hungarian gangster from Chicago searching for a former employee in the feature comedy "The Whole Nine Yards," starring Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis. And portrayed Gerald Lefcourt in "Steal This Movie!" - based on Abbie and Anita Hoffman's book "To America with Love: Letters from the Underground".
- In 2001, he had a cameo as Matthew McConaughey's golfing buddy in "The Wedding Planner." And co-starred in "3000 Miles to Graceland."
- Pollak, an avid poker player, has been married to Lucy Webb since December 1995.