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Jack Black Kung Fu Panda 4 interview: ‘We’re definitely going to do 5,6,7,8, and 9 but who knows about 10’

In an exclusive interview, Jack Black discusses returning as Po in Kung Fu Panda 4, finding inner peace, and singing Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero nude.  

When I interviewed the directors of Kung Fu Panda 4 last December, they reiterated the obvious: the lead character, Po, is quite similar to the actor who plays him, Jack Black. “He’s action-packed, enthusiastic, and a fanboy,” co-director Mike Mitchell explained. In an exclusive interview, I ask Jack if he agrees, and he assumes a Po-like Kung Fu stance.  

Po way of life.  

“I see similarities with Po. I’m just like him when he meditates and all those thoughts race through his mind. It’s really tough to quiet my inner voices, and there are several of them. I can identify to his youthful excitement, feeling of play, and adventure. “That’s how I live my life as well,” Jack explains. “The advantage of having a persona that is solely mine is that I don’t have to do any preparation. Maybe I should look back to when I was a youngster and put on a show – my own Kung Fu. It was extremely easy to get back into that. 

It’s no surprise that Jack has been playing Po for 16 years, beginning with the first Kung Fu Panda film in 2008. Po has gradually rubbed off on Jack, and he confesses that it has taught him to face his concerns in the typical Po style. “Although I enjoy putting on shows, I’ve always been afraid of social encounters. I have stage fright, just like everyone else. Over the years, I’ve struggled to attain inner serenity. ‘Relax, settle down, you’ve been here before. Admit to yourself that it could go well!”  

Jack says that he has had to battle the “inner monster of self-doubt” before every film, recording, live performance, and interview. “I have a feeling this is going to go horribly. I am not going to be excellent at this. And I have to calm myself down and tell myself, ‘It’s all in your head,'” he explains. Jack’s journey for inner peace so parallels Po’s, and he acknowledges that the role was extremely beneficial in allowing him to pull off what he did last year: sing Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero naked.  

One nightmare that I frequently had, as do most performers, was being on stage and forgetting what you were doing. I claimed I was going to replicate my nightmare. So I stripped down to my underwear, as nightmares do, and sung whatever came to me. “I took requests from the audience and ended up singing the Taylor Swift song,” Jack explains, emphasizing that he has no particular fondness for the singer but prefers pop queens with distinct voices.  

This contains Britney Spears’ song (Baby One More Time), which he covered for the end credits of Kung-Fu Panda 4. “Sorry, I was thinking about Madonna. “I should check out her song tonight,” he quips as he drifts off. 

Living life one panda at a time.  

Jack Black, the lead vocalist of the rock combo Tenacious D, should have little trouble experimenting with his voice and molding it for any role or platform. But the actor has some tactics that have helped him nail the voice of Po in the four films he’s appeared in. “I adore reading through the entire sequence. Some people record it line by line, but I prefer to record the entire thing, even if it’s horrible, so I don’t stop until I’ve finished it. “And then I can go back and work on it line by line,” Jack explains. 

He goes on to say that the secret sauce of sustainability is not always giving his all. “Sometimes it’s better not to try too hard. You tell yourself, ‘I’ll do my best.’ But it will put a strain on your voice. This may be lousy advice, but I like to call it in sometimes. When you don’t work too hard, you can relax a little. “That’s also what I do with live music,” Jack explains. However, this does not indicate that he is sitting in an armchair and eating dumplings while recording. He’s as active as Po is in the Kung-Fu scenes.  

“I truly perform the thing. That is how I do it. When Po is tangible, I am also physical. When he kicks, I kick. That was also essential to the filmmaker. He wanted me to sound physical. “And that’s the only way,” Jack says matter of factly. His sense of humour returns shortly after, when he gives another helpful tip: “Take the change out of your pocket so that there is no jingling.”  

Jack may be jingling his way back home, having made a fortune from the Kung Fu Panda franchise. As allegations of him hanging on his bamboo staff circulate online, Jack dismisses them, reminding me that similar rumors occurred following the release of Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016. “Honestly, I’m just taking it one panda at a time.” Who knows what the future holds for Po, given how much I’ve enjoyed him? We’ll surely do 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, but who knows if there will be a ten? This conversation occurs every time a new Star Wars product is released, implying that there will not be another. But I would never forecast the end of the world in that manner,” Jack clarifies.  

He goes on to say that even if he does transmit the mantle with Kung Fu Panda 4, he is simply thinking about gratitude. “Look, I’m feeling blessed. It’s been an insane life to be able to put on a show in front of people all over the world. That is inconceivable! it having the opportunity to do it on a large stage is both daunting and a dream come true. So I thank my lucky stars that I am still invited to the show. I cannot believe I am still doing this. What does this mean for me? It implies greater opportunity to perform. And I love it. “And I hope it lasts forever,” Jack says, signing off.  



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