Posted: Thursday June 8, 2006 11:55AM; Updated: Thursday June 8, 2006 1:27PM
Jack Black stars in 'Nacho Libre.'
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
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SI writer Richard Deitsch spoke with Jack Black for the magazine's Q&A this week. The 36-year-old actor plays a cook in a Mexican orphanage who moonlights as a wrestler in Nacho Libre, which opens June 16. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation.
SI:Robert DeNiro gained 60 pounds to play Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Tom Hanks lost more than 50 pounds for Cast Away. You waxed your entire body for this film. Where should your sacrifice rank in film history?
Black:Well, I wasn't doing it for a stunt like those other clowns. They were pulling a David Blaine publicity stunt. I was doing it because I did a lot of research on the luchadors [Mexican wrestlers] throughout history and all of them were totally hairless. I don't know if that's a genetic thing and South Americans are generally less hairy, but I wanted to fit in with those dudes. So I waxed. Especially around the Nipsey Russells.
SI:Your on-screen physique is always top-notch. Other than waxing your entire body, what kind of training did you have to endure to play Nacho?
Black:I got with this guy named Tom. He wouldn't tell me his secret identity because wrestlers in the Lucha Libre [Mexican pro wrestling] world keep that on the DL. He trained me in L.A. for a few weeks. Taught me the basics. He said, "Holy crap. You're a natural." I don't know if that's what you say just to get someone's confidence up, but I suspect he was being honest and that I am awesome at wrestling.
SI:You keep getting mentioned as part of the new comedy Frat Pack, alongside Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson and other actors. Has the Frat Pack ever competed in a sporting event?
Black:No. I don't really know any of those guys. I've seen them at events and I have said hi to all of them. But I don't have any phone numbers. We don't hang out. I never get the call to go bowling. I really wish that we had secret headquarters where there was a batcave in the Hollywood Hills mountain, like inside the Hollywood sign, where we would drive in and talk about domination of world comedy. We'd have superpowers and drive out in our super-comedy mobiles. But it doesn't exist.
SI:What do you consider your greatest athletic achievement?
Black:One time I rode my bike 16 miles.
Black:Well, I did have to push it for some of the way. I was doing a movie in the Hamptons a couple of months ago. I really wanted to get a cheeseburger and I did not have a car. I heard that the best cheeseburger in all of the Hamptons was in Southhampton at this place called The Driver Seat. So I drove my bike eight miles to get it and it was worth it.