NessNotes: Finding Jack Black…

People have the wrong idea about Jack Black. They see him as a comedian struggling to make it in a serious thespian world, a fledgling Jim Carrey or Robin Williams. But look a little closer. Both Carrey and Williams, like any number of comics-turned-actors, first brought their practiced comic personalities to the screen (take The Mask or Good Morning Vietnam) and then attempted to expand into “proper” acting. Or rather they’ve attempted to DEFLATE into proper acting as they’ve tried to rid themselves of those huge, hyper-active funny-man personas.

Jack Black, on the other hand, is an actor first and foremost.

Jack Black (b. 1969) is a one-man dynamo—a manic, scruffy ball of energy who has quietly been shaking up the entertainment world for years. Acting steadily since the mid-1990s, Black usually took on smaller roles that were usually quirky, but always unforgettable. He also became one-half of a comedy rock duo called Tenacious D, which played regularly in small comedy clubs in California. As a result, Black developed a cult following of fans, who watched and waited for him to break out as a star. In 2003 fans got their wish, when Black skidded onto the screen as rocker-turned-teacher Dewey Finn in the blockbuster School of Rock. Almost overnight, Jack Black became a household name.

Read more: Jack Black Biography – life, family, children, parents, name, history, school, mother, young, etc.

Sure, the exuberance and risk of his early years in acting had led him back to drugs. But with Tenacious D he found himself at last following the advice of his 9th grade drama teacher, Debbie Devine, who told him to not just act but write, direct and produce if possible.  Now he was doing so his confidence grew exponentially. He cleaned up and even moved out of his mum’s house.

As it stands, Jack Black has it all. His hobby, Tenacious D, sees him pack houses across the world, allows him to perform for charity, and gives him a political voice, as he showed when playing a benefit for Democrat candidate John Kerry in 2004 (he also joined Michael Moore and Michael Stipe on TV to criticize George Bush). Onscreen he’s working alongside the biggest names and in the biggest productions. He’s even happy at home.

More on Finding Jack in my next post. — Ness

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