Film and TV

Jack Black Talks About Goosebumps, Doing His Own Stunts and Being R.L. Stine

The Alamo Drafthouse was buzzing yesterday with the appearance of legendary comedian Jack Black on the red carpet alongside Goosebumps co-stars Odeya Rush, Dylan Minnette and Ryan Lee. The film, based on the beloved '90s kids' horror-book series, opens in theaters October 16 — but will kick off the Mile High Horror Film Festival starting on October 1. Attempts to bring Goosebumps to the big screen started over two decades ago but were stymied until director Rob Letterman finally got his hands on a script written by Darren Lemke, with story concept by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. After receiving the creative blessing of Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, Letterman has created a terrifying/hilarious film that could rise to blockbuster proportions. Black already had a good working relationship with Letterman, based on previous and equally imaginative ventures Shark's Tale and Gulliver's Travels, but with Goosebumps, they really hit it out of the park, Black says. Keep reading for more from Black and his castmates at the Alamo.

Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Dylan Minnette, and Ryan Lee at the Premiere of Goosebumps. Video by Tony White.

Westword: How does it feel for all of you to be a part of the cult-classic Goosebumps?

Dylan Minnette: It's really cool, especially for me, having read the books growing up. I mean, it's really surreal. I can't believe it 'til it's out.

Ryan Lee: Yeah, it's been about 22 years that they've been trying to make it a movie, so the fact that it's finally here, yeah, it's crazy. 

Jack, you play the Goosebumps author in the movie. Did you get to spend time with R.L. Stine, live in his house, study him, or how did that process go?

Jack Black: I did get to hang out with R.L., right at the beginning of the process. We had lunch with him in New York, me and the director, to get his blessing and, you know, to get his creative notes on the script. He was really cool, and he loved the script. He just said, "Make sure it's scary but not too scary, because remember, in my audience there are a lot of kids, you know, little kids." So we made it super-exciting but not terrifying to the point where you couldn't bring your kids. I brought my kids, seven and nine years old, and they loved it.
It is exciting, as well as physically taxing. Did you all do your own stunts?

Lee: We all got our cardio in, that's for sure. 

Odeya Rush: We ran a lot. And they are so fast, sometimes I would have to start in front of them, and still, I would always end up behind. 

Who's the fastest? Did you keep up, Jack?

Black: I did keep up!

Rush: They're all three of them really fast. I thought I was fast until they started running.

Black: I might be heavy, but I'm very spry.  

It's your second (live action) film with Rob Letterman. Tell me, how was it working together again?

Black: Third, actually. We worked together on a little animated film called Shark's Tale, we did Gulliver's Travels, and I said to him, 'You know, we never really fully connected with a home run.' I know this one is going to be the charm, the third time, and I'm glad that we did work together again, because this is my favorite one.

After our chat, the quartet rushed into the theater, where they asked the sold-out crowd's reaction to the advance screening, signed special-edition movie posters and took selfies. Watch the video and view our slideshow from the red-carpet event, and visit for details on the Mile High Horror Film Festival, which runs October 1-4 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
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