In this excerpt from The Envelope Screening Series, Black talks about how he didn't want to mess with the legacy of "School of Rock," which he calls his "tombstone movie." But after failing to come up with a great idea for a follow-up, Linklater showed Black the script for "Bernie," based on a true story about a well-liked East Texas mortician who forms an unlikely friendship with a grumpy widow.
"I read it and I said, 'Oh. This is nothing like "School of Rock." This is a horse of a different color,'" Black says. "And I was intrigued by it. It presented a great opportunity for a different performance and a challenge and a chance to explore some different sides of myself as an actor."
Black's understated work in the movie has won him great reviews as well as a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for lead actor.
"I was a little nervous about it," Black says. "But I think that's actually essential. You need to be stretching, and in the stretch you get a little adrenaline. And that fear, rush, helps to take you to new places."