How Jack Black’s fulfilling a longtime wish with his role in 'House with a Clock'


Jack Black’s new family-friendly horror flick will have you squirming in your seat.

“The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is based on the children’s novel by John Bellairs of the same name. Black talked about the role in a recent visit to ABC News.

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“I play this warlock who has his nephew come live with him. And I have to become his de facto father figure. And I don’t know how to do that. I’m not comfortable in that role,” Black said. “And that’s what a big part of what the movie’s about — people coming from broken families and putting together a new family unit.”

Black said his role as a warlock gave him an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong wish.

“I’ve always wanted to play someone with magical powers,” Black, 49, told Peter Travers. “And I know this sounds like a child talking, ‘I want magic powers.’ But that’s the kind of thing that drives us actors to want to do roles.”

Black said that, at first, he was nervous about starring opposite two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. But she quickly helped put him at ease.

“She put me at ease on Day 1, because she saw me stuttering and not able to form a sentence,” Black said. “And she said, ‘Are we gonna have fun on this?’ And I was like, ‘Yes.’ I’m glad she asked that because that’s when I knew, we were going to party. She’s down to get weird. We’re going to be idiots and goof off. And we really did. She just jumped right in, and I never felt nervous around her again. We had a blast.”

Black joked that even his two children, who are 10 and 12 years old, enjoyed the mix of comedy and horror in his new movie.

“They had to admit that they loved it,” he said. “Anything that I have, anything to do with, they’re like, ‘Uh, so lame. You’re embarrassing me.’ But this time they had to be like, ‘We loved it,'” Black said imitating his kids.

Download the all new “Popcorn With Peter Travers” podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Tunein, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

“The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is in theaters everywhere.

Watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Jack Black in the video above.