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Jack Black on 'Gulliver's Travels': I didn't even read the CliffsNotes

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12/25/2010 by Corinne Heller

Jack Black did not do his homework when he was first offered the lead role in "Gulliver's Travels", which sees him playing a man perceived as a giant.

"I didn't even read the CliffsNotes," he told KABC Television, OnTheRedCarpet.com.

The film, which was released on Saturday, Christmas Day, also stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, is a contemporary take on the novel by Jonathan Swift, which tells of a traveler who visits strange lands, including one inhabited by very small people. The story has been adapted into several movies and a miniseries.

Black said a producer at 20th Century Fox called him three years ago and asked if he would be interested in playing the title role in his film remake of "Gulliver's Travels."

"I quickly read the book," he said. "Loved it, and said, 'Yeah, I DO want to be Gulliver.' I was really excited about the special effects, huge fantasy-adventure-comedy aspect of it. Reading the books, I saw tons of potential for just mind-blowing comedy adventure."

In the new movie, Black plays Lemuel Gulliver, a travel writer assigned a story about the Bermuda Triangle. He ends up on a mysterious island inhabited by tiny residents and becomes a hero in their eyes by lying about his abilities.

"'Gulliver's Travels' seemed like the perfect combination of 'School of Rock' and 'King Kong.' I was the big giant King Kong this time and I still like to rock and I brink the rock to Liliput."

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