Jack Black Film Career
A native of Santa Monica, CA, Black attended the University of California at Los Angeles. He got his professional start on the stage, appearing in Tim Robbins’ production of Carnage at the 1989 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He would go on to collaborate with Robbins throughout his career, making his screen debut in the director’s 1992 political satire Bob Roberts and appearing in Robbins’ Dead Man Walking (1995) and Cradle Will Rock (1999).
Black spent the ’90s playing supporting and lead roles in a variety of films, including Demolition Man (1993), The Cable Guy (1996), which cast him as the best friend of Matthew Broderick’s character, and Jesus’ Son (1999), in which Black had a small but extremely memorable role as a pill-popping hospital orderly.
In 2000, Black had one of his most recognizable and enthusiastically received screen roles to date in High Fidelity. Stephen Frears’ popular adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name, it featured Black as Barry, a thoroughly obnoxious record-store employee.
The part allowed the actor to do some of his own singing, a talent that he had previously inflicted on numerous audience members during his years with the aforementioned Tenacious D. The band, comprised of Black and fellow holy terror Kyle Gass, had existed since 1994, and it had been featured on the TV comedy series Mr. Show and as the subject of their own HBO series entitled (tongue firmly in cheek) Tenacious D: The Greatest Band on Earth.
It was only a matter of time before Black stepped up from supporting character to leading man, and with the Farrelly brother’s Shallow Hal Black may just have found the ideal vehicle for the successful transition.
As a superficial man who falls in love with a 300-pound woman after being hypnotized to see only the “inner beauty” of the opposite sex, Black co-starred alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Jason Alexander in what promised to be a charmingly offensive addition to the Farrelly canon.
Though MTV Films’ heavily marketed Orange County (2002) was not a huge commercial success, Black’s supporting role as the lead character’s slacker brother was well received by critics and long-time fans alike, and the once obscure figure began appearing on media outlets including Saturday Night Live, Primetime Glick, commercials for The Osbournes, and various MTV music and film awards.
In 2003, Black starred in his first big hit — director Richard Linklater’s musical comedy School of Rock, which featured Black as a disgruntled heavy metal-guitarist doing a substitute teaching gig for extra cash. Critics were so taken by his performance that he was honored with a Golden Globe nomination.
2004 saw Black turn in a cameo in the Will Ferrell vehicle Anchorman, after starring opposite Ben Stiller in director Barry Levinson’s black comedy Envy. While the film was a box-office bomb after having its release pushed back several times, Black still had much to celebrate when it was announced he would be taking the lead in Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated 2005 remake of King Kong.
Black, also known as JB or Jables, is the lead singer for the rock comedy band Tenacious D. They have released two albums, a self-titled debut, and the follow up, The Pick of Destiny, from which one of their songs “The Metal” was used in the music video game “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock”. “Rock Your Socks” from the album “Tenacious D” was played in the music videogame “Rock Band Unplugged”, and “Master Exploder” from “The Pick Of Destiny” went on to be used in music video games “Guitar Hero Van Halen” and “Rock Band 2″, along with their song “Tribute” from “Tenacious D”. “Master Exploder” and “The Metal” featured in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, features recurring characters such as Lee the superfan and Sasquatch. Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl as Satan. Ben Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at Guitar Center, and also another appearance in the music video for “Tribute”.
Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to raise awareness and funds in San Diego on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo are performing their song “The Five Needs” at a “Save the Environment” party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show entitled “Ellen the Musical”, alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film Nacho Libre with the host.
Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl’s Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song “I Am The Warlock”, and Lynch’s Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song “Rock and Roll Whore”. Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in the last sequence of High Fidelity. He lent his musical abilities to the Queens of the Stone Age song “Burn the Witch” with rhythmic stomps and claps, some performed with his eyes closed. He also provided vocals for The Lonely Island’s track “Sax Man” from the album Incredibad.
Black has also recorded a duet on Meat Loaf’s new CD Hang Cool Teddy Bear. The song is called Like a Rose. Meat Loaf also played Black’s father in the Pick of Destiny movie. Hang Cool Teddy Bear also features Hugh Laurie, Kara Dioguardi, Brian May, Steve Vai & Patti Russo, produced by Rob Cavallo.
Black has appeared in music videos of Beck “Sexx Laws”; Foo Fighters “Learn To Fly”, “Low”, and “The One”; The Eagles of Death Metal’s “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)”; Sum 41′s “Things I Want”; Dio’s “Push”; and Weezer’s “Photograph.”Related Information: