Some might say Jack Black was born to play the funny, rockin' substitute teacher in "School of Rock." Whether or not that's true, Black says the role was at least written with him in mind.
The comedy, which opens this week alongside Denzel Washington's "Out of Time," was penned by "Orange County" scribe Mike White.
"Mike called me before he wrote it and said, 'Listen, I was thinking about writing something to star in, a thing where you are a substitute [and] where you are a failed musician,' "
Black said of his close friend, who also appears in the movie.
"I thought that [it] was a great idea. I said, 'Yeah, man, let's do it.' Because I'm a huge fan of his writing already — 'Chuck & Buck,' 'The Good Girl,' 'Orange County,' which I had a little part in. I love all of his stuff."
In "School of Rock" Black plays Dewey Finn, a down-on-his-luck wannabe rock god who lifts the identity of his schoolteacher roommate, Ned Schneebly (White), and ends up turning a class full of kids into his new band, much to the chagrin of Ned's girlfriend (Sarah Silverman), who eventually finds out.
"I play a real A-hole in the movie," said Silverman, who also worked with Black on last year's "Run Ronnie Run!"
"Most of my scenes were with Jack and Mike, and that was awesome," the comedienne said. "They are so funny. Jack is a genius, really. And Mike is like this idiot savant, prolific, amazing writer. Literally [screenplays] just shoot out of his ass at an alarming rate.
"I catch them and I stack them," she said with a smile.
Denzel Washington spends much of "Out of Time" hoping no one catches him — least of all his fellow authorities. His small-town cop character takes money from an evidence locker to help a woman who ends up dying in a fire — a fire that some suspect him of setting. The movie reunites him with Eva Mendes, one of his co-stars in 2001's "Training Day," for which he won an Academy Award.
In addition to "School of Rock" and "Out of Time," filmmaker Sofia Coppola's ("The Virgin Suicides") moving Bill Murray drama "Lost in Translation" goes into wider release this week after playing in select theaters and earning rave reviews.