Jack Black

Jack Black

Jack Black has become one of Hollywood's most recognised faces since he broke through in 2000 with High Fidelity.

Since then the actor and musician has enjoyed major success at the box office, as well as some failures, and returns this week with Gulliver's Travels.

Despite small parts in movies such as Dead Man's Walking, Waterworld and Enemy of the State it was the role of record shop worker Barry in High Fidelity, an adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel that got him recognised.

Next up for the actor was the role of Hal Larson in Shallow Hal, alongside actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

The romantic comedy follows Hal who is superficial and shallow and attracted to woman because of their appearance.

After meeting a famous life coach he's hypnotised into seeing people's inner beauty and he falls for Rosemary who, to Hal, is slender and beautiful but is actually very obese.

He had to wait until 2003 and School of Rock to cement himself as a comic leading man.

The role of Dewey Finn, a wannabe rockstar who pretends to be a school teacher and puts together a band of fifth graders, landed Black a Best Actor - Comedy or Musical nomination at the Golden Globes.

Animation was next as he lent his voice to the character of Lenny, a great white shark, in A Shark's Tale from Dreamworks Animations.

In 2005 he stepped into the blockbuster movie for the first time when he was cast as troubled filmmaker Carl Denham in Peter Jackson's King Kong. The film grossed over $550 million at the global box office and is one of Black's most successful movie.

Next he was a masked luchador in comedy Nacho Libre. Ignacio is a friar who became a masked wrestler to help support the orphanage that he directs.

Unfortunately the film received only mixed reviews. Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, a film based on Black's band, was next and that also performed poorly at the box office.

A change of pace was next as Black teamed up with Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh in black comedy Margot at the Wedding.

2008 was a busy year for Black as he starred alongside Mos Def in Be Kind Rewind, where two friends and remake some of movies most classic movies before returning to animation with Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda.

Black's character Po the Panda's defining characteristic appears to be that he is the laziest of all the animals in ancient China.

That's a problem because powerful enemies are at the gates, and all hopes have been pinned on a prophesy naming Po as the "Chosen One" to save the day.

The film stormed to the top of the American box office when it was released and went on to gross in excess of $631 million worldwide.

We haven't seen Black on the big screen since the colossal fail of Year One last year - sorry but it really was bad!

But this week he takes on the role of budding writer Lemuel Gulliver in Rob Letterman's adaptation of this popular story.

Gulliver, a perpetual underachiever and wannabe travel writer at a New York newspaper.

When he finally makes an effort to actually venture out the city to write a travel piece, a storm-tossed voyage lands him on an island inhabited by tiny folks called Lilliputians.

After a rocky beginning, the gargantuan Gulliver becomes an inspiration to his new six-inch-tall friends.

He brings them modern-day wonders like a PDA and music video game - while they help him kick it old-school during his travels through this unforgettable world.

And the actor already has a string of movies in the pipeline as he has completed work on The Big Year and Bernie as well as returning to voicing the character of Po in Kung Fu Panda 2.

Gulliver's Travels is released 26th December.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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