Artist of the MonthArtist of the Month: Nikolai Will

Actor Nikolai Will talks about his toughest role, obstacles in the industry and his old self
6. April 201924


Nikolai Will was born on May 25, 1981 in Kulmbach. He works as a film actor and audiobook speaker.

From 1999 to 2002 he took private acting lessons with Andreas Buettner from the Academy of Dramatic Arts “Ernst Busch” Berlin.

The Cologne-based actor has participated in more than 300 projects and has already won several awards.


Nikolai, I am pleased to present you on IndieNuts as Artist of the Month. By now you were in over 300 speaking roles. What role did you most need in retrospect?

Yes, well and gladly over 300 parts, but often “the last in the credits”: Werberollen, Sketchparts etc. make then quite a lot. In 2010, I was most challenged by the role of a pedophile in the Salzburg graduation film “Kleines Püppchen Teddybär”. It was the first time I had worked with an acting coach to put myself in the picture, without really having to think about one’s thoughts, or even worse, having to find such thoughts in myself. These are shoals that you do not want to explore for a role.

How does the role study look like?

I am rather the actor who goes from the outside to the inside. I need to know what the character looks like, as different as possible from my private life, the more I can open myself. That’s why I’m always a little bit sensitive when it’s said: bring clothes from home, I can not be someone else in my everyday clothes. In general, I think it’s a pity that versatility rather in Germany is not in demand or it is an actor who is not so well-known, is not credited. First, you have to find your drawer to earn money.

You’re not just a movie actor, you’re also on the boards that mean the world. What is more to you? Can you even compare that?

I have not played theater for a long time, but I would like to do it again. Being on stage is nice because you can play through a character in one piece and receive immediate feedback. On the other hand, I am also such a collector type and would like to be able to put what I’ve done on the shelf afterwards or maybe someone can show later. This is rather difficult with a play. And I just have a lot more role models in the cinematic area. Far ahead, Philip Seymoure Hoffman died much too early !!

What do you currently see the difficulties for actors?

Since you do not know where to start, that would need a very long essay. After all, art is often without a lot of work. Payments are sinking more and more, casts that are always on the safe side, incredibly high deductions and I still believe a certain dishonesty of fellow actors among each other, because in each case it is great, “the next project is currently in progress”, etc., as long we do not talk honestly with each other, we bite our own flesh.

Anyone following you on Instagram will see that you’ve just got off to a good start and put on an impressive body transformation. What was the reason for that?

Had a good turn with the last 112 pounds, but in the 330 days when I did not shoot, it was sh … walking around with such a body. Besides, it was very humiliating not to fit into the costume at all times. If only 5 trousers had to be tried on the set before, what suited. Not to forget the script descriptions of my characters: “Thick sweaty computer expert pushes one piece of pizza after the other in …”. Health it was also a disaster: No day without heartburn, constant cough, because my stomach acid ran through the thick belly into the esophagus, depression. And I hated the summer because my shapeless torso looked catastrophic in every shirt.

Such a transformation requires enormous consistency and perseverance. How do you keep motivating yourself?

I can no longer do without sport, meanwhile an important part of my life!

Rice, vegetables and white meat? Or what is your diet plan currently?

A lot of protein, so 1.5 to 2 grams per kilo and try to drink a lot of still water, an espresso in front of the sport also not bad. Everything cranked up the metabolism. Interval fasting I do again and again. In general, diet and chocolate is actually a big weak point of mine, otherwise I would be much further, but still 23 kilos are down 7 to 10 are still down.

Let’s get back to acting, what role would you like to play once?

One that was written for me because there is no other person for the person who can best embody this part. When a talented actor gets the right role and then has the luck to get a capable direction, many of us are capable of a worthy performance!

Which roles would you definitely reject?

Have already rejected a lot. For example, I do not advertise for cigarettes, alcohol, parties or the BILD. Hate it, even if subjects are being exploited in a lurid manner, figures are shown to be discriminated against.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing to survive in the huge market as an actor?

A branding, something that makes you unique. As many as possible should come up with at least one sentence about your person, an adjective. I’m trying to position myself in a comic corner and I’m the guy with the “anecdotes from my tragic life.”

In 2015 you were chosen by the internet portal “” as the “horror movie actor of the year”. Are you someone who likes to watch horror movies privately?

Yes, although not so many in recent years. The more bad things happen in the world, the less buck for horror.

Which horror movie should you have seen?

I am currently expecting a lot from “WIR” in the cinema!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk briefly. Finally, we want to know, where and when do we see you again? Is there a secret indie project you are working on?

First you see me on the 17th of April in the new “Mens Health”, something my fat self never imagined and I can announce a great price nomination soon for my first own short film production “Ohne Dich”. 🙂 There are actually -truism free- just 2 own projects in the PreProduction. You have to take your career into your own hands, become a doer.

Photos: Daniel Dornhöfer and Klaus Rosen

2000: Bavarian Youth Film Award for his role in the short film Seeking Philipp
2010: Golden Rheinnixe of the course of studies film and television of the MHMK Cologne for the role of an autistic in here speaks Rupert
2015: Award of the internet portal as ``horror movie actor of the year``

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