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The Holiday - Jack Black interview

Jack Black in The Holiday

Compiled by Jack Foley

JACK Black talks about his surprise casting in romanic comedy drama The Holiday, the appeal of working alongside Kate Winslet and film soundtracks…

Q: Nancy Meyers wrote the character of Miles for you, after she saw you in the film, School of Rock. What was your first reaction when you were approached?
Jack Black: My first reaction was: “Romantic comedy? Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?” I was flattered, a little bit nervous, and I didn’t really know if I could do it well. But Nancy insisted that she saw in me all the skills that were necessary to be adorable! [Laughs]

Q: You don’t see yourself as adorable?
Jack Black: I’m used to being crazy and “rock-n-rolly”, which is a little different than this world. For me, it was a chance to stretch a little bit.

Q: Is it true that you accepted the role because you wanted to make a movie that your mother could enjoy without blushing?
Jack Black: Oh yeah. This is my mom’s favourite type of movie. A love story with sweet feelings and lots of emotions. Also, Nancy Meyers is a very accomplished director. It would be hard to turn something down if she really wanted me. And, of course, the chance of working with Kate Winslet was a dream come true.

Q: Music is a strong part of this movie, and a big part of your life, so was it a good combination?
Jack Black: It was a great role for me because I am familiar with the world of film composers. In my last film, Tenacious D, I composed a lot of the music for the movie, so I actually understand that job. A lot of my movies involve music. That’s my world. It’s a pleasure working with music, but there’s a lot of hard work involved. You can’t just have a fun playtime with music and expect to get the job done.

Q: How did you enjoy working with Kate Winslet?
Jack Black: She’s great and she’s very funny. For sure, she’s one of the best actors I’ve worked with. She’s so believable when she delivers her lines that sometimes I got lost. I would ask: “Are you acting?” You have to remind yourself to stay in the scene, I forgot the cameras were rolling. She’s so good.

Q: One of the great scenes in the film features you and Kate [Winslet] picking up movies in the store and explaining them with their soundtrack. Which are your favourite soundtracks?
Jack Black: My favourite soundtracks are a little creepier. Any Stanley Kubrick movies: love ’em. They’re so scary. The Shining, A Clockwork Orange. Also, I love Scorsese’s use of rock “n” roll in some of his gangster movies. The score is important because sometimes music can make or destroy a movie. Too many violins telling the viewer how to feel, that makes it corny. It takes a lot of artistry, which is what Hans Zimmer has. This film has some great, gentle, moving musical pieces.

Q: What kind of soundtrack would you use to define yourself?
Jack Black: Electric Guitar. That’s for sure. I’d have to choose Back in Black by AC/DC.

Q: Miles, your character, has problem with girls in that he always falls for the bad ones. Did you?
Jack Black: When I was in High School I fell for pretty much any girl I ever met. But I was so desperate that I couldn’t get any of them because they sensed my desperation! After many, many years, I learned to relax and just be myself.

Q: Who would you swap houses with, if you could trade your house with someone else?
Jack Black: I’ve heard that David Copperfield has an incredible house in New York. I wouldn’t want to be a magician, however. I’m sure Bono has a sweet pad. They both would probably be a bit disappointed to swap with my little apartment.

Q: This is a Christmas movie. What will you be doing for the holidays?
Jack Black: For the holidays my wife and I will visit our families. We’ll have four different celebrations. We’ll go to her mother’s house for Hanukah, then we’ll go to my mother’s house for Hanukah. Then to my father’s house for Christmas, and then to her father’s house for Christmas. Four different houses.

Read our review of The Holiday

Read our interview with Cameron Diaz