An interview with Nial Iskhakov, a.k.a. EuroTrip’s Bert Thomas

Thursday July 14th 2011

Nial Iskhakov was born in Uzbekistan, grew up in Prague and now lives in Amsterdam. He played Scotty’s younger brother Bert in EuroTrip.

How did you get the part of Bert?
Before EuroTrip I had a part as an extra in the BBC TV series Young Arthur that didn’t air unfortunately. I got that part (and the part in EuroTrip) thanks to Nancy Bishop and her casting agency. I was introduced to her by my drama teacher when I was in middle school. I considered myself lucky to have got the part in EuroTrip, but I think it was also my own experiences with my older brother that helped me play Bert.

How old were you at the time?
If I remember correctly, I was around twelve when we filmed.

What was the atmosphere like on set?
It was electric: everyone walking around with a purpose, a specific function. I always had someone who was watching over me, keeping me company, making sure I didn’t run into any trouble. I was also fascinated by how they built the sets, and the different methods they used to give the movie authenticity. I got along really well with Jacob Pitts and we’d talk about comics and he even leant me some to read while we were on set. Scott Mechlowicz was great too and treated me like a little brother throughout the shoot, which really helped me feel like part of the group.

Is acting something you’re still pursuing?
I still keep an eye out for the occasional casting opportunity, but acting isn’t as easy as many people seem to think and the chances of being picked for a major role aren’t good.

You live in Amsterdam now – how does it compare to the version featured in EuroTrip?
It does sort of look like it does in the movie, but the streets are usually smaller and the architecture is different. There are a lot more trees too.

Have you seen the movie recently?
Not recently, no, but I have seen it plenty of times — enough to still remember my lines.

Do you ever get recognised?
It has happened a few times, and my first reaction is always surprise that somebody’s actually recognized me, followed by happiness that my performance left an impression.