We don’t get to see Jack Black making his eyebrow faces in Kung Fu Panda, because he is just providing the voice of a cartoon character. It’s still distinctly his voice though, and he is taking the character into his real life. He showed up wearing a Panda shirt with the word, "Skadoosh," his catch phrase from the film.
Crave Online: Did you have that shirt made specifically for the film?
Jack Black: This is very important advertising space, my chest. Skadoosh, we’re pushing it as a catch phrase.
Crave Online: Was that your contribution?
Jack Black: It was a little improvisation that made it into the film and apparently it’s very popular with the kids. Skadoosh.
Crave Online: Was this your way to live out your kung fu fantasies?
Jack Black: In a way it was my way of living out my kung fu fantasies. When I was a child, I took the obligatory one year of karate. I believe I got a yellow belt. I graduated to yellow belt. And then I quit. I don’t know why I quit. I got my colored belt and I was on my merry way. And then I also did some judo. I believe I made it to a green belt. But never kung fu. I’d always wanted to do kung fu and I’d seen the movies, all the Bruce Lee and the great television series that Mr. Carradine was in. I’d always been really interested in the mystical art of kung fu. It seemed like the most wise of all martial arts. So this was my chance to explore that world a bit.
Crave Online: Could you break a board?
Jack Black: With my mind. I don’t even have to use my hands. It’s the highest level of kung fu.
Crave Online: Do you do a movie like this to bring out the child in you?
Jack Black: Yeah, doing this movie definitely was a way to get back in touch with my inner child. That’s the only reason I did it was just for therapy.
Crave Online: Did it work?
Jack Black: It did. I’m back in touch.
Crave Online: Was doing American Idol also a rock n’ roll fantasy?
Jack Black: American Idol was a blast, yeah. That was just a crazy Ben Stiller idea that I was all aboard for. Anything he comes up with is usually worthwhile. He’s got a great mind for the comedy.
Crave Online: Do you have some panda-esque qualities?
Jack Black: Yeah, I feel like I’m panda-esque. We are both rolly polly. Rolly polly’s the main one. Cuddly. Yeah, I’m furry and my beard has black and white in it now that I’m gettin’ older. So I’m kinda like a panda in that way.
Crave Online: Did you record a big bank of grunts and screams?
Jack Black: We just did a little bit at a time. It’s not like one of those things where I just came in and in one day cranked out the whole movie. I would come in and do a few scenes, and then a month later I’d come back and do a few other scenes and then go back and redo the scenes that I already did but with slightly different dialogue tweaks. Yeah, every time I would do three or four groans and screams and kee-yahs. For years I’ve been grunting and groaning and screaming for this movie. It was not all done in one sitting, no. It’s a lot like Miles Davis used to work. When he entered the music studio, the recording studio, they were rolling tape all the time just in case some magical genius happened. Same with me. Like if I come in, I’m just taking a sip of water, they’re rolling tape just in case.
Crave Online: So you’re the Miles Davis of animated movies.
Jack Black: Yeah, it’s not for me to say, but thank you for saying that I am the Miles Davis of animated feature films. Vocal performing.
Crave Online: How is fatherhood?
Jack Black: Fatherhood is good, very good indeed. He’s only one. He’s almost two but these are magical days because he’s only one for another two weeks, so I’m documenting really closely everything he does in the next two weeks, because I’ll be able to say, "He did that when he was one. He’s a genius." If he did it when he was two, not such a big deal, but when he’s one.
Crave Online: You were a shark, now a panda, what’s next?
Jack Black: I was a shark, yeah, now a panda. I’d like to be a winged creature, like an eagle. Although I kind of was an eagle in Nacho Libre. I had the eagle powers so maybe next I’d like to be a cheetah. That’s always been my favorite animal because of his speed. The fastest of all creatures. Also my favorite superhero was The Flash because he was the fastest. He ran the speed of light. I don’t know why I like the fastest of all things because I certainly am not the fastest.
Crave Online: That was my next question.
Jack Black: Am I the fastest? At some things. Not running. That’s all I can say.
Crave Online: We know how you’re a panda, but how are you dragon warrior?
Jack Black: How am I dragon warrior-esque? Well, you know, I wouldn’t call myself a master, but Po becomes a dragon warrior when he realizes that he doesn’t have to imitate his heroes, the furious five. He just has to be himself. If he can be himself completely and be the best that he can be, then that would make him a master of his craft. It wasn’t until I started, for me, Jack Black, I didn’t really have a real career going on until I found my own voice because for many years, I just imitated other actors and comedians that I loved and then it wasn’t until I started writing my own music and scenes and finding my own voice that I became "a master of my craft." Didn’t want to go down that road but then I did, I guess.
Crave Online: Food is Po’s motivation. What is yours?
Jack Black: I’m gonna say for me, it is also food. Food is my motivation. I love food. I love my babies. And yeah.
Crave Online: What’s your favorite food?
Jack Black: I love pizza. Pizza’s the first thing that came to mind. Pizza, cheeseburgers. Cheeseburger is the perfect food because I love good sauce and I love meat. I don’t know why. Melted cheese? I don’t know, it’s just the perfect sandwich. It never ceases to deliver the mouth watering satisfaction.
Crave Online: Do you have any other artistic aspirations besides acting and music?
Jack Black: Well, I’m a fan of all of the arts. I like drawing and painting and working with arts and crafts like that. No one will ever by my art but I like to do it. It’s fun to do and I like to go and see other people’s work.
Crave Online: What is the secret to Dreamworks animation?
Jack Black: You can’t tell people the real reason why, the special thing because it’s like the colonel’s secret herbs and spices. The techniques that make the Dreamworks animations different.
Crave Online: Are there any stories you like to tell your son?
Jack Black: Well, he loves books and stories. I love to read him stories. I love to read him Dr. Seuss. It’s always my favorite but the other day I was reading him One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. That book is too long. It’s like 63 pages long. Why did he have to do that? It’s a trilogy. Break it into three books. It takes 20 minutes to make it through. Besides that, I would say Dr. Seuss, there’ll be more of that and slowly graduate to more complex children’s stories.
Crave Online: Are there any characters you’d like him to see you play?
Jack Black: Well, right now, my son really likes to pretend like he has the super power of breath power, that he can blow and that it’ll blow me across the room. It’s kind of an exhausting game because he blows at me and then I go, "Arghh" and I fall and flip away. But it’s a lot of exercise to get blown around. And then when I blow back at him, he doesn’t fall down. Sammy, you’ve got to understand the concept. We both have the power of blow power.
Crave Online: Did you ever do any dirty takes for fun?
Jack Black: Did I drop any foul language? It was more just to