An Interview With Jack Black on ‘Holiday’


Jack Black isn’t exactly the one you think of when it comes to romantic comedies, yet he scored one of the lead male roles in Nancy Meyers’ latest The Holiday which opened on Friday. The role is one Nancy actually she said she wrote with Jack in mind a role he will tell you he was surprised to get. However, he handles it well, yet he was a bit short on words in most cases. Take a read below.

Were you surprised that they came to you with the offer to do this movie?

Jack Black (JB): I was surprised, I don’t usually get offers for romantic comedies so that was flattering, and my mom was overjoyed. Nancy is a fan and she thought I had the goods to pull it off… She believed in me and in my adorableness. My adorable side that is yet to be excavated.

Was it difficult to find that adorable side?

Jack Black: It was a challenge; I don’t usually show the soft and cuddlies. I think I am getting a little red right now.

Why was your mom overjoyed?

Jack Black: My mom loves Nancy Meyers. She always wants me to do something in her neck of the woods, and although she supports me with The D and with the crazy crap that I do it’s not really her cup of tea. [laughing] Believe it or not she doesn’t listen to the heavy metal, but she was stoked and I was stoked to do it too.

How about Miles relationship with music, did that make this movie easier?

Jack Black: Yeah, that was a good thing for me, I could relate to that Miles was a film composer and I just got done composing my music for my score. So I knew about that world.

Do you appreciate the classic film scores, like your character did?

Jack Black: I do appreciate music for film scores; my taste runs more toward the creepy scores. I like the music in Eyes Wide Shut, all the Kubrick scores. Yeah, I can appreciate the other ones too.

Is singing instrumental out loud something you do?

Jack Black: Always, that’s my bread and butter. I’m a scat artist by nature; I take after Bobby McFerrin in that way.

How bummed were you when you found out you didn’t have a make out scene with Kate Winslet?

Jack Black: Not bummed, in fact I was worried they were going to try to sneak one in. Just because… oh god… I am not one for big public displays of affection and you can’t get more public than in a major motion picture. So I was relieved that our story was the sweet one and the other one was the full tongues-a-blazin’.

Everyone has told us what it is like to work with you, but what do you think it is like to work with you?

Jack Black: I never think about that. How is it? Let me imagine being someone else and working with me… I like to think that I am easy going and funny and giving, as an actor, that I am there, off camera, giving all the sauce. I think about it a lot actually, what’s the best thing that I can do have them be as they can be. When I’m off camera I try to do less acting a little bit. I mean I am there for them fully but I try not to really nail my acting because then I find it’s a little distracting when others are giving too much off camera. It’s like, just stand there, just stand there and relax your face and this is my time.

It’s nice to see that you didn’t have to fall back on acting funny all the time with this movie, do you think that is something you have to overcome?

Jack Black: Yeah, there’s pressure to being known as the funny guy, that you’ve got to constantly be funny and you can easily get sucked into the Robin Williams mania of “Be funny all the time!” So I try to take that pressure off myself in a situation like this one where I can relax and try some different stuff.

How much of Miles was written and how much did you bring to the character?

Jack Black: It was written very specifically and Nancy had a very clear picture in her mind what she wanted the characters to look and sound like down to the fine detail. But she was also open to little accidents and little improvs that would happen along the way. Boob graze, that’s mine.

Does the boob graze work?

Jack Black: Boob graze as a technique of copping a feel? Is that what you’re suggesting? No, that was strictly accidental. No Schwarzenegger strategies on my part.

Kate [Winslet] said that you were perfect and they were lucky to get you and she said you are humble, hard working and sensitive. Is that true and what was it like working with Kate?

Jack Black: Am I humble, hard-working and sensitive? I like to think so. I’m very sensitive.

Kate was incredible as I anticipated; it was a huge reason why I wanted to do the movie. I was such a big fan of hers; I just love her work and her acting. It was interesting to find out that she came from a family full of actors and she grew up in that theater world and it totally makes sense because she is so damn good. She’s from that world and whenever we were doing a scene I would get lost working with her. You kind of go into a trance because she’s real, she’s so believable and beautiful that you kind of go… Daroree! [slaps his face] Snap out of it! Get into this thing.

The Holiday hit theaters on December 8. For more on the film click here for my review click here.