Jack Black’s twin talents have always been in lock step. After appearing on acclaimed late-’90s HBO sketch series Mr. Show, Black scored a spinoff miniseries for his then-budding spoof-rock band, Tenacious D. His hilarious frontman theatricality landed him the perfect breakout role, as a Marvin Gaye-singing record-store employee in 2000’s High Fidelity, and the rest is equal parts rock and comedy history. This year, Tenacious D nabbed the Grammy Award for best metal performance, a mere two weeks after his new movie, The D Train, in which he’s a star and producer, sold at the Sundance Film Festival. Not bad for a 45-year-old whose résumé ranges from X-rated songs like “F— Her Gently” to the most family-friendly of roles, Kung Fu Panda‘s lovable lead Po.
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Acting Is Like ‘A Real Job’
“You get there before the sun rises for a 12-hour day. You work into the night memorizing. I’m not one of those gifted people who can just look at a page of dialogue and remember it. That’s what Robert Downey Jr. does.”
Music, Not So Much
“You got to rehearse your jams, but once they’re in your bloodstream, it’s one of the best, easiest jobs there is. And the charge that you get in front of a crowd — it’s sexual.”
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“Have any actors asked me how to break into music? No. They just look at me longingly, and I feel hot jealousy beaming from their nose and ears.”
What’s Worse: Movie Or Album Flop?
“I wouldn’t know. I’ll tell you when I’ve made one.”
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Jack Black Facts
– Tenacious D won the Grammy for best metal performance in 2015.
– Black’s films have grossed $1.4 billion total.
– He doesn’t consider Tenacious D’s albums comedy: “I take them seriously — they rock harder than most albums out there.”
This story originally appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of Billboard.