Nick Kroll celebrates Harry Styles for EW’s Entertainers of the Year: ‘He’s so f—ing charming’

“No matter what I accomplish in my life, it will probably go somewhere in my obituary: ‘father, comedian, creator, and also someone kissed by Harry Styles,'” Kroll says in his tribute to his Don’t Worry Darling costar.

By Nick Kroll December 12, 2022 at 08:00 AM EST

Harry Styles has had one hell of a year, ensuring that going forward his career will never be the same as it was. In addition to the release of his third solo studio album, Harry’s House, which debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 200, he hit movie theaters in both the paranoia thriller Don’t Worry Darling and gay romance My Policeman.

In addition to drawing notice for his first leading roles on the big screen, Styles made headlines (for many reasons) with his press tours for both movies as they premiered at glamorous fall film festivals. Then, there’s the world tour, which has been entertaining flocks of screaming fans since September 2021 and isn’t slated to end until next summer.

To honor the former British boy bander as one of EW’s 2022 Entertainers of the Year, Big Mouth creator Nick Kroll — who acted opposite Styles in Don’t Worry Darling — pays tribute to the pop and movie star.

Entertainers of the Year

Harry Styles; (inset) Nick Kroll

| Credit: Getty Images

If Harry Styles were just to put out an album or just go on tour or just put out one movie, that would be an accomplishment. The fact that he is able to do all of these things in the same year — and then, still be a human being who you can drop in and have a real conversation with — is incredible. The elephant in the room is all the noise around his personal life. To navigate all of that, stay above the fray and to continue to try to make his art, it’s a tightrope to walk. He is able to navigate it with a ton of class and grace.

When you watch him on stage, there’s a buoyancy. There’s clearly real joy in his performance. That’s not dissimilar to how he is as a person. When you’re with him, it doesn’t feel like you’re getting a show. It feels like you’re getting a chat. On set, it surprised me how genuinely connected he was to everyone he came into contact with. Oftentimes people who are super unbelievably famous have to create some emotional boundaries. There was not a wall up, which frankly there often has to be just to make it through a day without having all of your energy sucked out of you. There wasn’t a day where he didn’t show up on set with coffee or donuts or extra vitamin C packets for people. He was always providing for people in a very nice way. One of the things that I enjoyed about him as an artist — but also now as someone who I know — is that he really doesn’t take himself, or any of it, too seriously. When you’re someone in his position, that’s hard.

As an actor, I really wasn’t surprised that he was so natural. One of the biggest performers in the world would be a great performer. He was so collaborative and open and fun to watch and play with. If you’re used to performing live, there’s nothing better than finding other people who enjoy spontaneity. In almost every scene that I was in with him, there’s a found moment. 

There’s a moment the film where I back up, we’re going in our car and I salute him and then give him the finger, and then he looks back at me and gives me the finger. The best thing you can do is find someone who wants to feel alive in a scene with you. Anyone who’s watched him perform live has seen that. He feels very present, whether you’re in a conversation with him or you’re in a scene with him or you’re watching him live on stage. It’s why he’s so f—ing charming — you feel like you’re watching someone who is in the room with you at that moment.

He’s somehow able to be an actor in two very different films, and while all of that has been going on, he has been on a world tour for a year and a half getting hit with Skittles. It’s a weird thing to say, but he made me much cooler with my nieces and nephews (and many, many people) by very publicly kissing me at the Venice Film Festival. I want to rewrite the story where Prince Charming kisses a frog. I’m the frog, and I become a frog with a little crown on top. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life. That was not planned. We kiss in the first scene of Don’t Worry Darling, but nobody had seen it, so it just appeared that Harry Styles had grabbed me for no reason and kissed me. No matter what I accomplish in my life, it will probably go somewhere in my obituary: “father, comedian, creator, and also someone kissed by Harry Styles.” I gotta say, I ain’t mad at it. That’s his power.

More EW Entertainers of the Year 2022:

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