INT: Jack Black

Let's get this straight. Though Jack Black is one of the lead roles in one of KING KONG, a role that required him to tone down his persona, he's still, at heart, the Jack Black we've come to know and love. He walks in for the interview sporting a Marty McFly vest and the moustache he sports in his upcoming film NACHO LIBRE. He's already got people laughing. It's just minutes into the interview that Jack uses the phrase "Turds on Ice" to describe a production he would star in for Peter Jackson. Later as he describes a failed pilot he worked on with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, he himself is chuckling. Same ole' Jack...


The character you’ve cultivated with Tenacious D and some other works makes no appearance in KING KONG. How challenging was it to create Carl Denham? You know, every movie presents its challenges. This one was tricky because it was set in the 1930s and it’s not easy to improvise in a 1930's style of talking, so I stuck totally to the script. I really had to trust totally in Peter, Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens] and their vision. They would lead me towards the perfect take. It was a different experience in that it was a lot more about trust than about me taking over and forcing "Jack" into the role. Would you have done the movie even if it wasn’t Peter Jackson directing? It was a cool role regardless of who was directing it. It was a really great script but I didn’t read the script when I accepted the role. I did it because I wanted to party with Peter Jackson. Did you accept it because it was different than the norm, you would be going beyond people's expectations? No, I just wanted to work with Peter Jackson. That was a secret goal of mine and it was unbelievable. I talked to my agent a few months beforehand and said, “God, I want to be in a Peter Jackson movie, can’t you make it happen? You’re a power agent!” She was like, “Dude, everybody wants to be in a Peter Jackson movie.” And I was like, "You're right. So let's just forget it." Then he called, weirdly enough, and asked me to interview for KING KONG. I would have come and interviewed for "Turds on Ice" if he was directing it. Luckily it was one of the most amazing parts I’ve ever read. This is the biggest budgeted movie that I’ve ever been on but it’s still the same job. You want to work with cool people with great minds and Peter Jackson was just an artist that I wanted to hang out with. You’re spending like a year of your life with that person so you want it to be someone who’s company you enjoy. You play a crazy out of control director, did you base that on anyone you worked with? Not really. They told me that they were looking for an unsuccessful version of a young Orson Welles type of filmmaker who, you know, is a real cocky and filled with a youthful exuberance and a little bit of hubris. I was like yeah, so I can be like a genius? And they were like, "yeah, he's a genius, but he's more of a frustrated genius." He's like the unsuccessful version of Orson Welles. He’s got this chip on his shoulder, but also this hunger to be hailed as a genius.

How was it acting with all those special effects? Acting with special effects was a breeze. I felt like I was born to do it. It’s the same job as all the movies I’ve done because it is just pretending that something’s happening that’s not really happening and pretending like you’re feeling something that you’re not really feeling. I loved it. I loved running as fast as I can and screaming as loud as I can. I feel like I am ready to be in extreme death-defying situations now. Do you hope this will change the kind of roles you get in the future? Oh I dunno. We’ll see. I can't imagine... It’s not like I was frustrated, “God, why don’t people take me seriously? I want a better career where people will see me for KRAMER VS. KRAMER type material. I can make them cry and get awards.” I’ve had so much fun in the last five years. It’s been such a great run. I just hope I get to be in another Peter Jackson movie. But it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s someone I’m excited to work with. But it doesn't really matter, drama, action, comedy, as long as there's, you know, someone exciting to work with, that's all that I care about. Did Colin Hanks get cast after you because you two had that previous relationship from ORANGE COUNTY? I’m not sure. But I did not have a hand in getting him. I didn’t say, “Look if you want me you got to have Colin. We’re a team.” But I do love Colin so I was really stoked when they cast him. But I was not gonna make that the make-or-break. Is TENACIOUS D: THE PICK OF DESTINY definitely coming out next October? I don’t know what the release date is right now. We are going in to do a re-shoot of the finale. I thought the finale was kickass with us in a club singing a song. But then when we watched it, the movie is so exciting and ridiculous up to that point so now the world has to explode. It was my first time writing and producing so there was a learning curve. I’ve learned that there’s no shame in going back and re-shooting. So we’re going to go and explode the world for the end of the movie.

How is the rest of the film going? I love it. This is my chance to show the world what I think is funny, because I’ve been in a lot of comedies and nothing makes me laugh as much as what me and my friends come up with when we’re stoned and farting around in our apartments. So that’s what this movie is going to be. What else are you working on? A film with Edgar Wright, who directed one of my favorite movies ever, SHAUN OF THE DEAD. There’s a book called "Them" about all the extremists of the world and all the shapes and sizes they come in from different cultures. A lot of them believe that the whole world is controlled by a small group of billionaires called the Bilderberg Group and they control everything. It is a big conspiracy theory but when you look at the people who have these theories, there’s a lot of humor but there’s also this little scary thing that makes you think that maybe there are these rich, scary, a-holes who are controlling everything and having dinner parties and doing blow. What projects do you have with your company? Well this is our flagship production, KING KONG it's our first - no, just kidding. No, NACHO LIBRE that Mike White wrote and I'm starring in, and Jared Hess is directing. I also just finished playing a Mexican wrestler, in Mexico. That's the mustache, I haven't had time to shave it.

I saw a short you made called "Computer Man." Yeah. How does it feel to be on a blockbuster scale now? You've come quite a ways. Well not really, you know, I did "Computer Man" right before I did KING KONG. That wasn't like way in my past. No. You know how I - yeah, Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon. You'll hear about a lot of actors, who they'll be out making huge movies, but then they'll go back to their roots, in the theatre, to rediscover why they do it for free, the love and the passion, that's why - I don't go to Broadway, I just go and do some like underpants videos for the internet, that's my roots! Is it refreshing to do that? Yeah! It reminds you of why you do it. Because in the beginning, as much as it is now, I had just as much fun before I was getting cast in anything, because I was doing it for free, for fun, to get the attention [laughs], just the juice you get a buzz off of performing in front of people, so it's good to remind yourself. Will we ever see you collaborate with those guys, Rob and Dan, on something big? Yeah, we're always working on stuff and talking about stuff. They're writing a draft of an animation feature that I'm working on for Katzenberg, the KUNG FU PANDA. And they're writing a draft of "Heat Vision and Jack" screenplay, which is based on the failed pilot, but we still think it could be a good movie. Basically "Six Million Dollar Man" type of story. Where I - when the sun hits me, oh forget it. [As the crowd cheers him on] OK... When the sun - I'm an astronaut, who got too close to the sun, I come back to earth, and something's wrong with me, but whenever the sun hits me I become the smartest man in the world. Hilarious. [laughs]
Source: JoBlo.com



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