Jack Black discusses surprisingly different role in 2011's 'Bernie'
Jack Black is a well-known Hollywood clown. He's been in bunches of movie, playing a role of the laughable jokester. But that's not his only side. In 2011, he played a serious murderer in Bernie. And amidst all of that, he's part of the comedy rock duo Tenacious D.
From a wannabe rock star in School of Rock, to a Mexican wrestler in Nacho Libre, Jack Black is probably the closest thing in Hollywood to a superstar clown.
He’s been described as “big, obnoxious, and funny in a slightly terrifying way.”
So his role as the title character in "Bernie" came as a surprise to his fans: he plays a mild-mannered, church-going mortician who turns out to have some problems, and commits a grisly murder. The movie was based on a true story.
“When I read it, it actually took me aback, because it’s not like any of the movies I’ve done before,” Black said. “There's a fear of diving into new realms and riskier material. And of course that's the stuff that ends up being the best stuff.”
Black’s big break came from High Fidelity, in which he played an obnoxious record store clerk. The role combined his talents for comedy and rock n’ roll.
“It’s kind of ‘what came first, the rock or the egg?’ Acting being the egg,” he said. "I don’t think I could do one without the other.”
Black has been performing as part of the comedy rock duo Tenacious D with Kyle Bass since the early '90s.
“Little did we know we were on our way to being the greatest rock band of all time," he joked.
Tenacious D skewers classic stadium rock, but Black insists it does so with the dedication of a fan.
“Ozzie Ozborne, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin: these are the building blocks of my psyche,” he said.
But Black’s tastes are broad: he performs a cover of Lionel Richie’s “Three Times a Lady” in the style of Bobby McFerrin and a medley of The Who’s “Tommy.”
And Black has big dreams for a celebration of comedy rock — featuring Tenacious D, Spinal Tap, Flight of the Conchords and others.
He’d call it “Festival Supreme.” Because Jack Black doesn’t think small.
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