Ah, child and teen actors — what a weird concept. Regardless of where you stand on this phenomenon, it’s pretty undeniable that over the last 15 or so years, we were introduced to some great Jewish former child/teen actors, who are now fully grown actors, like Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale.
At the same time Efron and Tisdale dominated on Disney Channel, Nickelodeon of the mid-aughts was also ruled by a pair of Jews: brothers Nat and Alex Wolff. And thankfully for us, they’re as busy as ever in the acting world today!
Here are 18 things to know about Nat and Alex Wolff.
1. Nat and Alex were born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother.
Nat was born in 1994 in Los Angeles, and Alex was born in 1997 in New York City.
2. Their father is jazz musician Michael Wolff.
In a 2006 interview, Michael explained that his family is “culturally Jewish,” saying, “In my house we still do Chanukah and Passover.”
Swipe to see a video of Michael playing “Have Nagila” for Nat at a family gathering:
3. Here is what they looked like as children:
4. Their mom, Polly Draper, was first hesitant to let them get into acting.
However, after Nat put signs on his bedroom door stating, “I want to be a child actor,” Draper, who is an actress and producer, helped start their careers.
Now, Alex likes to joke, “I’ve basically been on camera since the sonogram.”
5. Nat and Alex first came into the public eye through the movie and then TV show of the same name “The Naked Brothers Band,” a mockumentary about their lives as faux rockstars.
Here’s their first music video for the show:
6. The boys’ next project after “The Naked Brothers Band” was the TV film “Mr. Troop Mom.”
Check out the trailer and their very 2009 fashion:
7. After the Naked Brothers Band, Nat and Alex focused on music, and in 2011 they put out the album “Black Sheep.”
8. Nat has been in not one, but two movie adaptions of John Green novels.
In 2014 he had a supporting role in “The Fault in Our Stars,” and the next year he starred in “Paper Towns.”
You can watch the trailer for “Paper Towns” here:
9. Alex thinks the Jewish community is “super attractive.”
10. For the film “Admission,” Nat learned how to do ventriloquy.
“I had never even seen a ventriloquist act before, but I worked with this great guy, Jon Geffner, for a month, and we basically came up with these 30-minute acts,” he said in an interview.
Nat Wolff doing ventriloquy? To be honest, we’d pay to see more of that.
11. Despite loving the genre, Alex usually isn’t “a big horror guy” in terms of acting. Still, he starred in the critically acclaimed film “Hereditary” in 2018.
You can listen to him discuss the role here:
12. Alex’s directorial debut came in 2019 with the film “The Cat and the Moon.”
Check out the trailer here:
13. Here’s a video of Nat holding Andrew Garfield in his arms, just because:
14. Like a lot of Jewish entertainers, Nat and Alex struggle with anxiety.
In an interview, Nat explained, “[Dealing with anxiety has] been like, our whole lives.”
It also inspired their song “Glue,” which you can listen to here:
15. Here’s a scene from the 2021 movie “Pig,” in which Alex starred alongside Nic Cage:
16. Nat and Alex are planning to drop a new album called “Table for Two” this year!
You can listen to them talk about it here:
17. Doing press for his movie “Old,” Alex said that he is “more afraid of balding than dying.”
You can watch the full interview here:
18. Nat is currently playing Travis Maldonado in Peacock’s “Joe vs Carole,” based on the Netflix docu-series “Tiger King.”
“I was obsessed with the documentary series, like everybody else. I emailed my agent at 2 in the morning after I finished it saying, ‘Hey, if they ever make a live-action of “Tiger King,” I have to play this guy Travis.’ And he wrote back, ‘Please do not email us at 2 in the morning,’ Nat said, explaining how he got the role. “But then a year goes by and then I got to do it.”
Here’s a behind the scenes look at him as Travis: