Actor? Check! Comedian? Of course! Singer-songwriter? You betcha! Irreverent multitasker Jack Black is adding another title to his resume: Kung Fu Panda (rated PG). We snagged some one-on-one time with the busy father of soon-to-be two. Here's what he had to say.
Q. What made you want to do this movie about a karate-chopping panda?
A. I had a lot of fun working on Shark Tale [as Lenny, the scene-stealing, vegetarian shark], and I wanted to do another good animated film. You have more time for improv and character exploration when you're doing animation. And I thought it would be interesting to play a character who has an idea of himself as a kung-fu master but is really less than a master.
Q. Now that you're a dad, do you want to take on more family-friendly roles?
A. I would have done this movie even if I wasn't a dad because I just loved it. But it's icing on the cake that I'll be able to watch it with my son in a couple of years.
Q. Another new animated film, called Wall-E, is about a robot. Who do you think would win in a fight: a panda with mad martial-arts skills or a futuristic robot?
A. Wow, hard to tell because I don't know what power the robot has. He's from the future, so he could shoot lasers from his eyes. But I have to say Kung Fu Panda is a force of nature. I'd go with him. I think the panda is a better movie -- I mean, better fighter!
Q. Why should parents take their kids to see this movie?
A. It's got a good message about following your dreams. And it's funny! Your kids won't be bored or crying to leave the theater. I guarantee it will keep them interested -- and parents too.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the June 2008 issue of Parents magazine.