He was born in Radom, where his parents – Hanna and Andrzej Karolak – were officers of the Polish People's Army during the Polish People's Republic (they served in the Air Regiment and Missile Squadron). He appeared in the comedy television series Bao-Bab, czyli zielono mi in 2003. He lived among others in Ustronie Morskie, Warsaw and Mińsk Mazowiecki, where he was involved in drama club work.
After the failed exam to theater school in Warsaw, he got a degree in rehabilitation at the University of Warsaw. On his fourth try, he got into Kraków's National Theatre School, graduating in 1997. He worked as a salesman and builder, and in college he was a bodyguard.