White Stripes Climb the "Mountain"

Jack White gets acting and songwriting gig in coming film

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White Stripes frontman Jack White has landed a bit part in the upcoming movie Cold Mountain, and he will write songs for the soundtrack. Starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Renee Zellweger, the film -- based on Charles Frazier's book of the same name -- is the story of a wounded Confederate soldier's odyssey from a hospital to his North Carolina home and the woman he left behind.

White, a film buff who worked lyrics of songs and dialogue from Citizen Kane into the Stripes' song "The Union Forever" (from 2001's White Blood Cells), has great admiration for the craft of writing film music and especially for those who wrote for the classic musicals. "When songwriters back then were writing songs for a musical, they had a job to do," he recently told Rolling Stone. "In order to get paid they had to get these melodies across. I like that because it forces someone into a box where they have to relate to their fellow man. It's very hard to sit down and say, 'I'm going to write a catchy song.' I think that job is really interesting."

The film will begin shooting in Romania later this month and is expected to hit theaters next spring.

The White Stripes recorded their fourth album, tentatively titled "Elephant," last month at Toe Rag Studios in East London. It is due early next year. The Detroit rock duo (which also includes drummer Meg White) will play a short series of home-and-home shows with New York's Strokes later this summer, with each band headlining in its own hometown.

White Stripes/Strokes dates:

8/9: Detroit, Chene Park
8/14: New York, Irving Plaza
8/15: New York, Radio City Music Hall