“Jack Black takes good care of us,” young actress, Odeya Rush, tells FilmInk of her famous Goosebumps co-star. “Jack is always like, ‘Are we okay with that take?’ He’s always taking care of us. When someone hurts their hand or something, he’s the first person to call the medic. It’s nice because he’s really protecting us. You feel like you don’t have to worry too much. He’s really fun too. He just loves to hang out and play basketball and video games and talk. And play the guitar. He’s very musical. We play the guitar sometimes. I’m learning. I know a few chords now. [Co-star] Dylan [Minnette] taught me. I’m gonna surprise him!”
In the new film, Goosebumps, musician, actor, funny man, and Tenacious D frontman, Jack Black, doesn’t strap on his axe, instead getting decidedly more literary. In a meta twist, this adaptation of the eponymous popular series of kids’ horror and thriller books sees Black playing a version of their real life author, R.L. Stine, the highly prolific Ohio-born scribe often referred to as “the Stephen King of children’s literature.” In this appropriately twisted take on the famously scary-funny source material (which was adapted for TV in the mid-nineties) from director, Rob Letterman (who previously directed Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels), and screenwriters, Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, Big Eyes) and Darren Lemke (Jack The Giant Slayer), the one and only R.L. Stine himself has to team up with his daughter (Odeya Rush) and their young neighbour (Dylan Minnette) when the monsters in his books literally jump off the page and terrorise their small town home.
“I did meet Bob, as I’m allowed to call him,” Jack Black says of R.L. Stine. “We just talked about the project, and I got his blessing. He’s a really nice guy, a sweet guy. He’s got a good sense of humour. I’m not doing an impersonation of him at all. I’m just doing what is best for the piece. Obviously, this isn’t autobiographical. We don’t have to get his persona down exactly, because none of this happened to him in reality. None of his creatures came to life. None of this is a part of his history…that we know of! I’ve certainly taken liberties with the character.”