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We might find co­me­dian Jack Black funny but ac­cord­ing to the ac­tor, his kids think he’s lame.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - en­ter­tain­[email protected]­ Philip Berk

JACK Black has cer­tainly proved the scep­tics wrong.

In his first ma­jor role, he played the comic side­kick in a movie that went al­most un­no­ticed but has since be­come a cult clas­sic, High Fidelity.

Be­fore that he was known as one half of a rock band The Tena­cious D and as a mem­ber of Tim Rob­bins’ Los An­ge­les the­atre com­pany, the Ac­tors Gang.

He was this chubby comic who would be lucky if he could one day sup­port a fam­ily.

But what do you know, he did be­come a semi su­per­star, thanks to his co-star­ring role in the in­ter­na­tional block­buster Ju­manji.

But even be­fore that, he had played ro­man­tic leads op­po­site some of the most beau­ti­ful A-list ac­tresses in the busi­ness in­clud­ing Gwyneth Pal­trow, Kate Winslett, Jen­nifer Ja­son Leigh, and Amanda Peet.

At the mo­ment the 49-year-old is shar­ing top billing with Cate Blanchett in The House With A Clock In Its Walls.

What a unique ca­reer he’s had, jump­ing from slap­stick to se­ri­ous roles and in be­tween find­ing a huge fam­ily au­di­ence when he voiced the lov­able Po in the Kung Fu Panda movies.

When did you first want to be an ac­tor?

As a kid I al­ways wanted to be an ac­tor. I loved to per­form, but I didn’t fit the mould.

But I knew early on that I loved to get up on the stage and put on a show. When I was about 25 and do­ing Tena­cious D that I found my voice through writ­ing and play­ing mu­sic.

How did you segue into act­ing?

I was a the­atre ma­jor at UCLA, and I got a lucky lit­tle break when I got a part in an Ac­tor’s Gang Theater pro­duc­tion.

We went to Ed­in­burgh The­atre Fes­ti­val and had so much fun. And then we went to New York and got the worst re­views that you have ever read. But I didn’t care, be­cause I was 20 hav­ing so much fun I just dropped out of col­lege and fo­cused on the the­atre for awhile. And then Tim Rob­bins gave me my first part in his (1992) movie Bob Roberts .And when he took it to the Cannes Film

Fes­ti­val, I wasn’t in­vited be­cause I had such a small part, but my father lived in Cannes, so I was like this is a sign to go visit my dad.

And then I called Tim and said, “Hey, weird thing, I’m in town!”

Were you pop­u­lar at school?

I was the class clown. I wanted to make ev­ery­one laugh. And I would go to great lengths to hu­mil­i­ate my­self.

Shame­lessly. Any­thing to get a laugh. The laughs were a fan­tas­tic drug. They put me in a state of eu­pho­ria.

Speak­ing of drugs, you’ve ad­mit­do­ing ted to drugs in high school. So many co­me­di­ans have fallen vic­tim to ad­dic­tion. What’s been your ex­pe­ri­ence?

I have had ex­pe­ri­ence in the world of ad­dic­tion, al­co­holism in my fam­ily, so I know per­son­ally what some of that is about. I have strug­gled too. This sounds ridicu­lous, and maybe you can’t com­pare it, but my ad­dic­tion to cheese­burg­ers and just food in gen­eral. I feel like it’s not that far apart.

I’ve been to a cou­ple of meet­ings for Over Eaters Anony­mous, and I feel like we’re all ad­dicted to some­thing; it all comes down to dopamine, there’s a plea­sure sen­sor in the brain that gets stim­u­lated whether it be al­co­hol or food or heroin.

But there are so many el­e­ments be­yond just the chem­i­cal. There’s the psy­cho­log­i­cal and the emo­tional.

Where do you make your home? (Black is mar­ried to cel­list Tanya Haden since 2006. The cou­ple has two sons aged 10 and 12)

My wife, kids and I live in a very old house by Los An­ge­les stan­dards, not by Euro­pean stan­dards.

But in LA if you live in a 100-year-old house, it’s like an­cient; like liv­ing in an Egyp­tian tomb.

Even my wife and kids some­times feel like it’s a haunted house and it’s got spir­its in it.

While I am not sen­si­tive to that, my wife had an ex­pe­ri­ence where she saw a ghost. I have never seen one; I wish I had cause that would mean proof of af­ter­life and it would change my whole world per­spec­tive.

What type of a dad are you? Are you strict?

I try to en­force some level of dis­ci­pline, but yeah, I am prob­a­bly a lit­tle lax in that de­part­ment.

To be hon­est, I prob­a­bly have failed in the dis­ci­pline de­part­ment but they don’t have com­plete run of the house­hold. I try to keep them on sched­ule.

Are they cool with your be­ing their un­con­ven­tional dad?

I am def­i­nitely in the an­noy­ing dad cat­e­gory. My kids find me em­bar­rass­ing and there’s a lot of, “Dad shut up! You are so stupid!”

How­ever, for the other kids at school I am one of the cool dads, just not for my own.

Have they in­her­ited your act­ing genes?

Well they do like to put on lit­tle short films on their iPads. And they have shown some prom­ise. They are very funny. They got great sense of hu­mour. We will see where it leads, but it’s their jour­ney.

I am not go­ing to pres­sure them to fol­low in their father’s foot­steps.

Although we might do a lit­tle father and sons YouTube chan­nel at some point.

We are talk­ing about do­ing a video game chan­nel and that would be fun.

Do you have fond mem­o­ries of School Of Rock?

That’s my tomb­stone we are talk­ing about. That’s my finest mo­ment, it’s where all the plan­ets aligned,

When you have a great writer who is writ­ing some­thing just for you, for your strengths, which is what I had in my cor­ner, that was a very for­tu­nate mo­ment for me.

Would you say that film changed your life?

You know, High Fidelity was prob­a­bly the one where I felt like, “Oh, I have a foothold here, I don’t need my head­shots any­more.”

But School Of Rock was the one where I felt like it was a home run, and we re­ally con­nected with a large au­di­ence. It was fun and it rang all the bells for me.

How did High Fidelity change your life?

Well af­ter that, sud­denly I was get­ting se­ri­ous of­fers. Be­fore that I was scrap­ing and scratch­ing and try­ing to find jobs.

I went and au­di­tioned and it was fun, but it was al­ways like climb­ing a moun­tain.

But af­ter High Fidelity, I didn’t re­ally (need to) au­di­tion any­more. The game changed very dra­mat­i­cally.

Do you watch your old movies with your kids?

Kung Fu Panda was the first one I showed them. But I don’t like watch­ing my­self. So, I don’t say hey, we are go­ing to watch daddy’s movie now!

They have dis­cov­ered a cou­ple (of my other movies) on their own, but they pre­fer Will Fer­rell and other co­me­di­ans, be­cause like I said, ev­ery­thing I do an­noys them and I am a hu­mil­i­at­ing crea­ture.

Photo: Hand­out

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