After his mother, Donna, took him to see a children's play at the age of 4, Nick confidently declared that acting would be his future. Commercials and community plays followed, two television movies were also released in the early 90s. The breakthrough he needed came next when he starred alongside Mel Gibson, who hand-selected Nick for the role, in The Man Without a Face (1993). Nick played Chuck, the little boy who befriends a stranger that was disfigured in an accident. At age 17 he was cast in Disturbing Behavior (1998) and the ensemble film Тонкая красная линия (1998), which was nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards. He has continued to find success with acting, and though he has been featured in major studio productions he is still, to date, more widely known for his edgier and darker indie film roles.
I try to avoid the sweet-ass roles.
If I had some fake tanner, I'd like to play 'Ernesto 'Che' Guevara' ! I think I kind of look like him except for my skin tone. But seriously, He's one of my idols.
I was an escapist, the guy who wanted to get out of school and out of the suburbs...Acting saved me.
I've always chosen the movies and roles that I do solely by the content. That's what I've always tried to do. Something like T3 was so unexpected for me, and was not something I can honestly say that I expected to be doing, given the films I'd been in before. I think that the scale of a movie and the budget a lot of times determines the quality. Sometimes you find that there is better material in small and more independent movies. There's more risk-taking. I want to keep doing that for the future and choose projects based on the content and the role, and how good those are. And I think the budget of movie to me is somewhat secondary. - On his career choices.
(On his initial reaction to living in Los Angeles) It's a place built on this industry, and that's hard to get used to. Whenever your career is not on your mind, then there is always something there to remind you of it. Early on, it was very competitive in that way, and I am not an extremely competitive person. I had to find ways to enjoy it. I had to do my own thing and not get caught up in that kind of rat race.
(On "Carnivale" (2003) getting canceled) It ended because there weren't enough people watching it. It's pretty simple and comes down to not enough people watching versus the amount of money they spend on each episode. I would say more people come up to me about that than anything else. It was on a premium channel, which narrowed the field of viewers off the bat. It never had the numbers that they wanted. But the fans that it had were very hard-core and loyal fans that loved it. It kept us going for two seasons.
I've been lucky to get to do good films. That's all I've ever asked for. Acting is the only thing I've ever done. A studio film would be great to do. I'm not opposed to any genre or budget. A lot of times the smaller films happen to be the better ones - that's just the way it is. But I'm not opposed to doing bigger films, as long as they're not god-awful.