The Kromka Twins are in Sync
Story by Jenny Connell; photo by Dan Landau
From their history as child actors to their academic interests, the Kromka twins have a lot more in common then just looks. Nicholas and Michael Kromka are both 20-year-old juniors double-majoring in political science and criminology at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Initially, they both came to FDU wanting to major in film so that they could one day write and direct their own films. This desire for the big screen started at a young age when the brothers tapped into Hollywood’s need for twins, and at age 12, acted alongside big names Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman in the 2007 film, “Heartbreak Kid.” Earlier, at the age of ten, the two were in the film “Loverboy” — an independent film directed by Kevin Bacon, featuring Academy-Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock playing their mother. “Even though we were really young, that was our first big role,” says Michael.
Fame brought a negative side effect, though, as Nicholas explains, “People were like, ‘Oh, you are in that movie,’ and I felt like that was the only reason people knew me. Then I started to consider all these celebrities who are being chased by paparazzi. So if I’m just getting this little attention from a minor role, then I cannot imagine what it feels like to be a major star. I didn’t want to do it anymore because of the attention. And I think Mike would agree.”
The twins say their perspectives changed some during high school. “My whole mentality towards a lot of things changed — I decided to do something really meaningful in my life. I don’t want to offend any filmmakers, but for me, it just didn’t seem like something fulfilling and something I wanted to do,” says Michael.
“As I child I wanted to be a superhero, and since I couldn’t do that I eventually figured the next logical thing is law,” says Michael.
Nicholas interjects, “I’m still on the superhero thing.”
With the same exact class schedule since freshman year, the brothers stumbled upon their love for the law while in Professor Bruce Peabody’s class. “When I came in as a freshmen, I had a pessimistic view on politics until I took ‘American Government and Politics’ with Professor Peabody,” says Michael. “Peabody is the best! His was the first class that we had at FDU. That class helped show me that we can change our social environment through politics. It is a means and a social vehicle to help people,” says Michael.
The Kromka twins are currently involved with several projects with Peabody including the Crime Recovery Education Initiative (CREI) and Law in Liberal Arts (LiLA). For CREI, Nicholas explains, “We raise money to give scholarships to survivors of crime so that they can take classes at FDU. We don’t want them to have the economic burden of tuition as well as the burden of the past victimization.”
The two have also been involved in introducing the LiLA program to FDU. “It’s between a minor and a major; it’s a go-between for anyone interested in law school,” says Michael. LiLA is an integrated set of experiences, courses, and professional development programs designed to teach students about law, prepare them for law school, and improve their career prospects after graduation.
In some ways, the two may sound like they are “super twins” because of all of their achievements, but both attribute their success to their close relationship. “We grew up so fast because we never felt the need for social acceptance because we had a built in buddy,” says Nicholas. “We always have each other. I never needed social acceptance because I always had him. If I wanted to wear yellow sweatpants I knew he had my back.”
“I find that alone we are still confident human beings who can function on our own, but we still prefer working together,” says Nicholas.
The Kromka twins may finish each other’s sentences and look identical, but their differences are vast. Michael refers to himself as more extraverted, whereas Nicholas has a more introverted personality. Also, Michael just got married over the summer to another FDU student, freshman Yenifer Kromka. He also speaks fluent Spanish, whereas Nicholas has intermediate Spanish-speaking skills. The easiest way to tell the two apart is that Nicholas wears glasses. In the future, the two will focus on their at-home personal training business and getting accepted into law school.