Barry - High Fidelity (2000)
Is He The Lead? No. He’s hardly onscreen, but Jack Black’s misanthropic music obsessive downloads every scene from under the nose of supposed-to-be-the-star Jon Cusack.
Skills Acquired: How to be a film star. Black first found success on the comedy circuit with his ranty guitar act Tenacious D.
Fidelity was the first movie role to tap into Black’s innate ability to shout loudly about music. Not coincidentally, it was his breakout role.
Hal - Shallow Hal (2001)
Is He The Lead? Sadly, yes. Black buckled under the pressure to deliver in his first headline feature.
He’s desperately miscast as an average chap who expects his ladies to be perfect.
Skills Acquired: Jack learnt the lesson that if there’s going to be a fat character in his films it should always be played by him.
Oh, and that he’s not a romantic lead.
Dewey Finn - The School Of Rock (2003)
Is He The Lead? Yes, in fact the part appears to be directly tailored towards him.
No-one else could play a music teacher bringing the power of ROCK to a bunch of kids with quite the same passion.
Skills Acquired : None, Dewey Finn is essentially High Fidelity’s Barry with a parking permit.
Carl Denham - King Kong (2003)
Is He The Lead? No, despite the fact he could probably have made quite a convincing stab at the title character, with some make-up, fur and a bit of pritt stick
Skills Acquired: None. Kong was Black's first fully serious role, but he played it so tongue in cheek you wouldn't notice.
Nacho Libre - Nacho Libre (2006)
Is He The Lead? Yes, he plays the title character, no less.
Skills Acquired : Nothing useful. Libre was yet another role tailored to Black’s shouty fat bloke shtick, he even serves up a song in one scene.
But sadly, adding wrestling and a silly accent to his usual routine didn't connect with audiences.
JB - Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny (2006)
Is He The Lead? Pretty much. Along with his mate Kyle.
Skills Acquired: None. in fact, this is arguably a devolution, as after the disaster of Libre, Black fled back to a character forged during his stand-up career.
But it didn't exactly light up the box office either. Time for some indie cred...
Jerry Gerber - Be Kind Rewind (2008)
Is He The Lead? No, but close. He shares the spotlight with Mos Def for most of the movie.
Skills Acquired: Again, Jack is essentially playing Jack (and yes, he does sing – a hilarious rendition of the Ghostbusters theme tune).
The part is so Jack Black that if someone told you this was a videoshop set sequel to High Fidelity, you’d probably believe them. Still, it's brilliant.
Jeff Portnoy - Tropic Thunder (2008)
Is He The Lead? No, Thunder was Black’s first ensemble blockbuster since King Kong. They were both set partially in jungles. Thunder was funnier.
Skills Acquired: The ability to use back-story – his character is a cocaine abuser – to explain why he shouts 90% of his dialogue.
Zed - Year One (2009)
Is He The Lead? Nope, he shares the screen with Michael Cera.
Skills Acquired: Hopefully he’ll take the key lesson from Year One that he failed to glean from Nacho Libre.
Namely, the more flesh Black flashes, the fewer people will be prepared to see the film.