Interview | Alex Wolff
Napa Valley, CA – Alex Wolff. The name doesn’t roll off the tip of the tongue unless you’re of a certain age, say, perhaps, 17 to 24. As a ten year old, the now twenty-year-old Alex and his older brother, Nat, starred in the hit Nickelodeon TV series The Naked Brothers Band.
The Naked Brothers Band was conceived when Alex and Nat created a home video of themselves performing. The Naked Brothers Band told the story of the lives of a tween rock band led by real-life singer-songwriting/musician brothers Nat and Alex Wolff, in mockumentary style. “I fell in love with acting during that process because it was very loose and a family affair”.
Flash forward to today, Alex Wolff nearly stole the movie Patriots Day, directed by Peter Berg, telling the story of the Boston Marathon attack and terrorist brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. In the film Wolff played Dzhokhar, who is currently on death row.
Wolff also stars as John Backderf in My Friend Dahmer, a film based on the graphic novel and memoir by John ‘Derf’ Backderf portraying his friendship with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in their high school years. “This movie really is more about his [Jeffrey Dahmer] relationship with this kid John Backderf. I think that a friendship is the perfect way to tell a story of this guy and watch the way he navigates, and you get the vibe that maybe he had a bit of a crush on him [John Backderf] and that there was some sort of developing of being gay”.
When discussing playing Backderf, Alex says, “I found my character to be an observer of what’s going on. In my life and in most of the movies I’ve done, I’ve felt like I’ve had more of the lines, more of the stuff to do because I’m a very vocal, loud, sort of aggressive person. I’ve gotten roles like Patriots Day where I do a lot of the talking, a lot of the driving, so in this I got to be more of a point guard, and I got to experience a lot of listening and a lot of trying to take someone else in and focusing on someone else. As an actor that makes it easier on you because you don’t have to think about yourself, you’re thinking about him and what’s going on with him, so I’m really lucky.
This Christmas Wolff appears in the Jumanji reboot, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. His character starts out as a high school student stuck in detention with his peers, but once sucked into a video game is played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
We can expect Alex and Nat to work together for the first time since The Naked Brothers Band alongside their mother (actress Polly Draper, Thirtysomething) next year in a movie that she directed, Stella’s Last Weekend.
At the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival, Alex Wolff was part of the Rising Star Showcase that also featured Analeigh Tipton, Gregg Sulkin, Austin Stowell, Ana de Armas, and Odeya Rush. Make sure to keep an eye out for Alex Wolff as he continues to make a name for himself in Hollywood.
Dylan Tracy contributed to this interview.