How Actor Kevin Pollak Ended Up Directing ‘The Late Bloomer’

The Late Bloomer, starring Johnny Simmons, Maria Bello, and J.K. Simmons, might seem like a movie that could only come from a team of comedy writers, but in fact is based on the real-life story of Ken Baker — “a guy who doesn’t go through puberty until the age of 30,” said director Kevin Pollak. “We find out he has a benign tumor on his pituitary gland, and once it’s removed, rather easily, through his nose, testosterone is released through his body for the very first time.”

Pollak, of course, is best known for his work as an actor, comedian, and podcast host. So how did he come to be director of The Late Bloomer? “I directed a documentary that premiered at Sundance Film Festival last year called Misery Loves Comedy,” Pollack told Yahoo Movies. “Shortly thereafter, I guess, my acting agent submitted me to play the father in a movie called The Late Bloomer. The producers said, ‘We’re big fans, but we need a director; we’re not ready to cast. Speaking of which, we’re hearing great things about Misery Loves Comedy and Kevin Pollak. … [He’s a] director now; maybe he wants to read the script [and] pitch us how he would direct it.’ That’s how that happened.”

Despite Pollak’s successful career — now in its third decade — he waited quite a while before helming a film. “I put off directing a film for a long, long time,” he continued. “It seemed too daunting to me, and I stayed away from it. And then The Late Bloomer came out of nowhere, and it’s finally coming to theaters and so it’s sold and the investors got their money back. So maybe I’ll get to do it again.”

The Late Bloomer is now out in theaters.

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