Jack Black Opens up About His Childhood and Struggling To Let His Teen Sons 'Leave the Nest'

In the latest episode of We Are Family, actor, comedian, musician, and all-out tour de force Jack Black talks about being raised by two aerospace engineers and the battle to get more quality time with his growing teenagers.

Although he grew up in Culver City, California, just miles from Hollywood, Jack Black didn't grow up in show business. Born to two full-time aerospace engineers, he describes his parents as "unconventional" and "really progressive."

"They never really told me no; there wasn't a lot of discipline," he notes, describing his upbringing as "'60s era, free-thinking, new age, which had its advantages and disadvantages... It was a little chaotic, but it was also a lot of fun, and I was able to express myself and my creativity in cool ways."

And while he has no complaints about his childhood, he does feel like there are some things he'd like to do a little different. "I think that's natural," says Black. "I think all parents take the good and try to avoid the pitfalls that their parents might have fallen into."

But for a bit, Black didn't think he wanted to become a parent himself. When he was working on School of Rock, he was opposed to tying the knot and having children. "At that point, I was like, 'I'm not having kids—I'm not getting married and having kids. That's not for me,'" says the now dad of two.

Black recalls being intimidated by the child actors he was working with. "Then, once we got on the set and we had our first read through with the cast, I was like, 'This is magical, this is going to work! We're all on the same team,'" says the actor. "And I was like, 'What was I afraid of? I was born for this role cause I'm like a kid.'"

It ended up being a good lesson fo the star. "Just cause you're afraid of a thing doesn't mean it's not going to be a great thing," notes the proud dad. "It was like the best thing in my career."

These days, Black, who shares teen sons, Samuel and Thomas, with his wife, Tanya Haden, is grappling with squeezing in precious family time.

"We liked to jam out a lot and listen to music and dance around to music a lot when the boys were younger, in their single digits, but now that they're teenagers—they can't stand my musical taste," says the actor, adding his boys are often just wearing their headphones and not even letting him hear what they're listening to.

The transition to teenhood isn't always easy, notes Black. "We have fun adventures, but it gets harder and harder to get quality time with the kids as they get older," he explains, sharing that his sons don't want to do kids' activities anymore. "And you're like, 'Oh no, but still be my kid. We can still go to Disneyland, can't we?' 'No, it's not cool anymore.' Ugh. But that's just part of growing up, right? You got to let them leave the nest."

Check out We Are Family Season 3, Episode 4 now for more with Jack Black on his latest projects and his continued friendship with the students from his hit film School of Rock.

Listen to We Are Family on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google, and everywhere podcasts are available.

Listen to Season 3, Episode 4 right now:

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