Jack Black interview

The king of comedy lends his talents to the latest animated movie, Kung Fu Panda

The star of King Kong and School of Rock, Jack Black now lends his vocal talents to voicing the star of DreamWorks’ new animated movie, Kung Fu Panda. He plays Po, a lumbering panda who dreams of becoming a martial arts expert.

Do you believe in Po’s received wisdom of following your dreams?

Yeah, definitely. You’ve got to at least try to make your dreams come true. It doesn’t mean that they necessarily will. But if you don’t then your life will be filled with regret. You must try to reach for the stars!

Were you the kind of boy that fantasized about being a kung fu master?

Yes, I did. Like all kids, I had an active fantasy life. My big one, though, was being bionic – like the Six Million Dollar Man. I also loved the Bruce Lee films and I took karate classes. I wanted to be a kung fu master.

Is it easy to be funny all the time?

It’s only fun and funny when it’s easy. I don’t know why…it’s hard when it’s expected of you. Like, ‘Now be funny, right now!’ And there are whip-cracks on your back, and you feel like a trained comedian monkey. No, it’s not always easy to be funny.

How do you keep the balance between your acting and your music with Tenacious D?

Well, I have my band still. And we have projects in the works. We’re always planning our next album. It’s still there. It’s just on the back-burner. It’s just taking up a lot of time. I have a baby now, so I don’t have a lot of time for anything else. But we have some concerts coming up in August. We’re going to play in England.

Talking of kids, you’re friends with Dave Grohl. Have you had play dates together yet?

We haven’t had play-dates yet with Dave Grohl’s children, or truly any other celebrity children. No. Not by design. Celebrities are very busy people, off in different countries and places. But that’d be nice. Maybe some day they’ll start a band – Children of Rock Band!

Kung Fu Panda opens on 4 July.

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