Jack Black: ‘Kung Fu Panda’ is like my happy place

Los Angeles: Actor Jack Black, who is returning to his role as Po in the new chapter of action-comedy ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’, has talked about the franchise tagging it as his “happy place”.

The franchise revolves around the endearing panda, Po, voiced by Black, who talks about lessons of self-discovery, overcoming fear and the power of teamwork.

The fourth instalment, the narrative takes a turn, guiding Po on an internal journey of growth and change.

Talking about playing Po again, Black said: “Returning to play Po feels like reconnecting with an old friend who’s still as awesome and goofy as ever. Po’s journey this time around as the Spiritual Leader adds a whole new layer to his personality.”

“He has a new depth to him, like this whole ‘wise and all-knowing’ thing, but, at the same time, part of him wonders, ‘Can I really do this? Am I wise enough to step into these shoes? Can you be the wisest dude in the room and still crack a joke?’ Po thinks so. And he’s out there trying, and that’s what makes Po so awesome,” he added.

Black said that the “most rewarding part” is seeing his character Po evolve emotionally.

He added: “Going from a noodle-slurping warrior to a spiritual leader with a heart as big as his appetite.”

Black shared: “When Po steps into the shoes of the spiritual leader, you get to see his whole internal struggle. He has the staff of wisdom, but he’s scratching his head wondering if he knows anything about wisdom at all. This chapter is like Po’s mid-kung fu-life crisis. More wisdom, fewer dumplings, but the same lovable Po.”

Black shared that the Po and the film had profound effect on him.

“Kung Fu Panda is like my happy place – Po and the gang are like family. It’s the humour, the heart, the whole package that brings me back. My perspective on Po has grown, too. He started as this bumbling panda with dreams of being a kung fu master, and now he’s becoming the spiritual leader.”

“And just knowing that Po’s adventures have resonated with audiences worldwide and being part of that legacy…it’s an honor, man.”

A DreamWorks Animation, ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’, which is directed by Mike Mitchell and Stephanie Ma Stine, will be released in India on March 15 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.


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