The best part of being Jack Black’s body double was the Hollywood parties. Sometimes, he would send me to things when he was desperate to spend time with his children, the children that he made the Goosebumps movie for. He told me that he was making enough money to never have to take his clothes off for an audience again. He could do whatever he wanted.
I had the opportunity to attend the Oscars one year. He wasn’t up for any awards, but he was invited. He told me later, when he was stoned late after a night shoot, that he was embarrassed to show up without a nomination. I met my wife at that party. We ate shrimp and drank champagne until four in the morning. He hasn’t skipped a year since.
They once gave out awards on the set of one of his movies, and I received the “Best Look-a-Like” trophy. I thought the trophy was for my great work as a body double, but they told me it was simply because I looked most like a star. Then the production assistant corrected himself and said that I had looked most like a cast member. I felt bad for Jack. My wife astonished. She thought Jack was a hunk and most definitely a star. It’s what attracted her to me in the beginning, and it’s what ruined our marriage. She asked me if it would be okay to call me Jack in bed. I said no, and she left me.
This began a period where I continuously got him in trouble. He sometimes had to clarify what had happened at awards shows or invite-only dinners on talk shows, things the tabloids would get a hold of. I would break down at a table full of people, and they were usually too nice to not console me. Glenn Close once rubbed my back while I cried into an appetizer at a black-tie event. As a stand-in for a high-profile celebrity, it was better to remain low-key. I knew this, and I was trying. I had been devastated by my wife’s filing for divorce. I couldn’t help but get drunk and cry, working all the while.
When I stormed the stage at a friend of Jack’s wedding, wrestled the microphone from the DJ, and gave a speech about love being bullshit, I lost my job. He told me that it was the end of the line. He told me that I wasn’t anything to him, just an ugly wannabe, an ugly man without a future. He said that I’d never work again, that no one else would hire me. He said that the only reason that I was ever anybody was because I was sometimes him.
Eric Larsh is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. His small apartment is crammed with charming and worthless garbage culled from antique stores across the southwestern United States. He tweets as himself @meaneric.