Jack Black finally came clean Wednesday about who’s to blame for telling the world that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are expecting twins.
“It’s my wife’s fault,” the comedian and star of “Kung Fu Panda” told TODAY’s Ann Curry in New York. “Tanya told me like it was common knowledge, because she’s a triplet and she’s interested in that. So I filed it away for something to talk about later if I met Angelina.”
As luck would have it, on May 15 Black and Jolie, his co-star in the animated movie, sat down with TODAY’s Natalie Morales at the Cannes Film Festival to talk about “Kung Fu Panda.” And Black, blithely unaware that Jolie and Pitt hadn’t told anyone that they were, indeed, expecting twins, “spilled the beans.”
“Whoops,” Black said Wednesday.
“There we were on [TODAY], and I said, ‘Ah! So, it’s going to be like ‘The Brady Bunch’ with your twins that are coming,’ ” he recalled. “And then she’s like, ‘Uh… oh… I wasn’t going to say that.’ And then I was like the bean spiller.”
‘I did it for her’
Black said his discomfort was short-lived. “She was actually relieved,” he reported of Jolie. “She wanted to spill the beans and didn’t know how to, and I did it for her.”
Black is a new father himself. His wife, cellist Tanya Haden, gave birth to their second child, Thomas (which is Black’s actual first name), on May 23. Their first son, Samuel, turns 2 next Tuesday.
During Thomas’ birth, “I did not catch, but I did touch his head before he was all the way out, which was a surreal experience,” Black told Curry. He said he told his wife when to push. “I like to think that I helped,” he said.
Black was in New York to plug “Kung Fu Panda,” which opens in theaters on Friday. The comic actor had done voices of supporting characters in two previous animated features, “Ice Age” and “Shark Tale,” and his work earned him the lead in “Panda” as Po, the panda who dreams of becoming a kung fu master.
“They said it was written for me,” the roly-poly star said of the role, noting that he also resembles Po’s generous physical proportions.
Black also identifies with Po’s dreams. As a kid, he said, “I was a lover of the martial arts. I was pretty good. I was better in judo, actually, than karate. That one was better for a low center of gravity — nice way of saying I was a heavy kid. I was able to flip people more easily.”
‘Frat Pack’ member
There’s also the theme of the dreamer, Black added. “Po, the panda, has this dream of being one of the Furious Five, the greatest kung fu masters of China — and I wanted to be one of the furious five comedian-actor masters of Hollywood,” he told Curry.
And he’s done it, although the Hollywood “Frat Pack” that he’s a part of actually includes seven members — Black along with Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Steve Carell and Luke Wilson.
Black, who’s starred in “Shallow Hal,” “King Kong” and “Nacho Libre” among many other films over the past 17 years, said playing Po was “the best role ever.” He told Curry that in many ways, doing a voice in an animated film is better than a live-action role.
“I really love the process of making an animated feature,” he explained. “You get to really focus on all your jokes and characters in a way that you can’t in a live-action film, because there’s so much time. It takes like, four years to do it, so I was able to explore. In some ways I prefer it, because I can take hours and hours on one little section of fun and perfect it. You don’t have time in a live-action film. They’re always rushing you.”