Role Daddy: An Interview with Jack Black
By Role Mommy West Coast Correspondent, Kristin Flannery
When I first met Jack Black, who was promoting his new film "Gulliver's Travels," I expected he'd be wild and crazy, but instead, was pleasantly surprised to find a soft spoken family man who sat down and talked about everything from playing with dolls, to paparazzi hiding in the bushes, to shooting pictures of his kids at the park.
Jack plays the lead role and serves as executive producer of Gulliver's Travels, which opens nationwide in theaters Christmas Day, December 25. Jack has two boys, ages 2 and 4 and says he's tried to shield them from his fame but his older son is starting to recognize his voice in movies and recently asked "does everyone know you?"
Another interesting Jack Black tidbit...he's not embarrassed to play with dolls. I admitted that at one point in the movie I really believed he was talking to the actors playing little people. "Well, it doesn't sound like real professional actor preparation, but I do play with a lot of toys to get ready for the giant and tiny person relationships," says Black. "Luckily I had a bunch of toys at home, because my kids have them everywhere."
While he had not seen any of the Gulliver's Travels films, Black says he read the classic Gulliver's Travels novel when he was approached about the project by John Davis. While they incorporate the theme of the book in the film, Jack shares how they worked to expand on the book's messages. "That's a theme that we thought would be great that's not really in the book. Since it deals with, a giant and tiny people, we thought it would be cool to have that insecurity theme about being a small person in a big man's world and being, insecure about being lost in the shuffle. And I think that ties in really well with kids' insecurities about being the little guys and wanting so desperately to be big, famous heroes."
When asked if he would choose to live in the imaginary land of Lilliput, Jack was torn, "In a way, it's an ideal society. But, as you said, everyone takes your word as truth. That's why he's able to get away with making up this elaborate story about himself, because everyone just says, "Yeah, he said it. It must be true."" But, it's a fun place for an adventure. But, no, I wouldn't want to live there."
Since every kid can't be transported to a fantasyland, is there a way that people can reinvent themselves in their own lives? Black responded "It's always a slow journey of self-discovery. That's what it's all about. The reason this role resonated with me was I remember being a kid and wanting so desperately to be special and wanting to be bigger than I was."
Now that he's a father, Black says he consciously chooses different movie roles. He says, "I do think about it more now that I have the boys. I think about having movies that they can see, you know, in the next 20 years as opposed to having to keep it on the shelf."
While we thought Jack Black did an amazing job in Gulliver's Travels, he ended the interview by paying our roundtable a huge compliment. "Man, I wasn't ready for these great questions. You guys asked some great stuff."
More fun interviews to come...in the meantime, check out theofficial Gulliver's Travels website for more great previews! And comment now and enter to win an autographed poster from the stars of the film!