Jack Black is a cool dad

Raymond Lo L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - We all know Hollywood superstar Jack Black as the kind of chunky guy who almost always plays quirky, dorky characters on screen. As an actor, he makes the world laugh with his comedic style, and as a part-time rocker-musician, he tours and sets the stages all over the world ablaze with the unique folk-rock music he and his band Tenacious D play.

In real life, however, Jack is one of the coolest dads ever! Recently, he treated all the kids in the school his two boys — Samuel, 9, and Thomas, 7 — attend to a special screening of his latest film, the children’s horror-comedy film Goosebumps, which is based on one of the biggest-selling series of books (next only to the Harry Potter series) from author R.L. Stine. Yes, he is bigger than Stephen King! That tidbit is part of the many delightful revelations in the film.

“I convinced Sony to let us take the movie over to their school,” he related. The elementary school his kids go to has a theater equipped with a state-of-the art projector and 5.1 surround sound and the special screening became the unofficial world premiere of the fun-filled film. “We had 300 people in there and everyone was flipping out.”

He added that prior to our interview two weekends ago held at the swanky London Hotel in West Hollywood, he has already seen the movie five times and every time, the reaction is the same. “They love it! It’s like a perfect little film,” he quipped.

But the screening held at his sons’ school is the one that’s most memorable to him because his boys are big fans of the film.

“They loved it. They freaked out. That’s part of why I did the movie. They’re obsessed with monsters. I knew they’d love this movie,” Jack excitedly shared.

“But some of the kids ran out of the theater, the little ones,” he added. “My boys are seven and nine, which is really the youngest I think you can go. Six years old and younger, I don’t think is old enough. I think you’ve got to draw the line there.”

The reaction to the film is only half of why the screening was memorable to Jack. The rest was the reception he got from the kids after the screening that made even his two boys a little bit jealous. “I was even more famous that night,” he joked. “There was a nice little line of kids coming up afterwards to say how much they loved the movie and my boys were, like, ‘Hey, he’s our dad!’ They got a little possessive.”

The cool dad story does not end there.

His two boys are somewhat aware that their dad is super famous and if you are one of the few fans of the actor who may have had a “bad” encounter with him in public, there’s a reason why — a very good one.

“When we go to Disneyland, I am like Mickey Mouse, I am one of the attractions,” he said, recalling several instances when he was out with his boys in public. “But usually, I am very rude to other people when I’ve got my boys with me, not very rude but just, like, ‘Nope, not today. No pictures today. Sorry.’” He explained that he doesn’t want his time with his boys overtaken by his being a celebrity.

Yes, he has considered donning a disguise in public when he is with his boys “but the moustache and the beard don’t really (work), then you’ll only look like an idiot celebrity trying to hide.”

But there’s one day in the year when he actually wears a disguise, and it’s one of the few days in the year that his two boys look most forward to also: Halloween.

He declined to reveal what will be his costume this year although he later said he’ll probably be like the mysterious Daft Punk.

“My boy Tommy really wants to be Slappy,” he shared. Slappy is the puppeteer’s dummy in Goosebumps which comes alive and becomes the actor’s tormentor in the film. In our interview, he fished out his smart phone and showed us a picture of his son made up like Slappy. “We had a dry run. This was his idea. So cute!” he remarked.

In Sony Pictures’ super-fun film Goosebumps, Jack plays the opposite of himself. He plays a stern, strict dad who keeps his daughter Hannah (played by the very pretty Odeya Rush) almost locked-up in their house. He keeps her home-schooled and he disallows her from befriending anyone, including their good-looking new neighbor Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) who just moved in from out of town.

But despite his disapproval, Hannah and Zach continue to become friends and they meet secretly after school and they go exploring the town. They are eventually discovered and Hannah is forcefully locked up in their house. A series of strange occurrences prompts Zach to do some investigation, and he stumbles onto something strange about his neighbors and he discovers the true identity of Hannah and his father.

The movie is one of the most fun movies this writer has seen all year. It’s a delightful blend of fantasy, horror, comedy and romance that will definitely be enjoyed by everyone.

Jack excitedly shared that this movie has the blessing of author R.L Stine himself whom he met at the famous Scholastic attic in New York prior to filming. “He loved the script, so we were just thrilled!”

R.L. Stine has since seen the movie (at one of the five screenings Jack had) and he, according to Jack, “loved it. He was really into it! That was like the main review, how does he like it?”

Goosebumps opens nationwide today.

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