LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 03: Jack Black arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Universal Pictures'

INTERVIEW: Jack Black Didn’t Know ‘Nacho Libre’ Fans Were Going to Oaxaca to Recreate Scenes

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 03: Jack Black arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "Kung Fu Panda 4" on March 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)

Kung Fu Panda isn’t the first time Jack Black has won the hearts of fans all over the world. He won over kids in 2003’s School of Rock and inspired a whole generation of musicians. He won over romantics in the 2006 rom-com classic The Holiday. And he’s been in classics like Tenacious D and High Fidelity. The point is, no matter what walk of life you’re on, you’ve probably encountered his work and been won over. 

Remezcla got a chance to interview Jack Black during his press tour for the 4th installment of the adventures of Po, the Dragon Warrior, in the DreamWorks Animation film. And even though he looks a bit different than his School of Rock days with his thick salt and pepper beard now present, he’s still the same guy many Latine people have known since his Nacho Libre days. That’s where we started off in this interview, because Kung Fu Panda 4 is where he’s at now, but Nacho Libre is where a lot of us began with him.

Filmed in 2006, Nacho Libre, tells the story of a monk who follows his dream to become a Luchador. Recently, there have been a ton of viral videos on TikTok of longtime fans of this movie visiting the filming location in Oaxaca, Mexico. And Black, well, he didn’t know fans were doing that. “People go and visit there? That’s awesome…that’s so cool.” When we explained that fans even recreate iconic scenes like Nacho meeting Esqueleto, his response was, “I love that.”

Black went on to explain one of his fondest memories in Oaxaca, which was attending a Día de Muertos celebration. “It was an unbelievable night. The whole city was marching in a procession through the streets.” He proceeded to blend in with the crowd and joined them as they honored their loved ones. “It wasn’t a sad thing. Everyone was having this beautiful celebration of life and love for their family and having delicious food, dance, music. I love Oaxaca.”

Born in Southern California, Black grew up around the Latine community. He knows enough Spanish to get by and make George Lopez nod in approval. And he has a deep appreciation for food just like his character Po does. But during this interview, it was clear that he missed the food of Oaxaca deeply. “There’s also a thing that I had there that I haven’t had anywhere else in the world called tlayuda,” Black said before pointing to his mouth and saying, “I’m getting a little watery in the mouth.”

For Black, he believes playing Nacho also prepared him for his role as Po. “Nacho had many levels of battles with opponents. And so did Po. So yeah, I had some experiences on Nacho that I carried into Kung Fu Panda.” Another essential part of his past experiences helping him succeed as the man he is today is also thanks to the bond he has with Omar Chaparro, the Latin American voice for Po. Chaparro has come along on this ride with Black in creating a character that is fun and genuine. And when asked about Chaparro, Black had only good things to say about the Mexican actor and comedian.

“He brings an incredible amount of charisma,” Black said. He and Chaparro had just reunited on the black and white carpet premiere for Kung Fu Panda 4 before this interview. And he started recounting one of his favorite interviews with Chaparro. “At one point, we were just started jamming and we were riffing and we were singing and dancing a little bit of Michael Jackson.” He then went on to look at the camera before saying, “If you haven’t seen it, look it up on the Youtubes.”

We will. To watch Po vs. Po, we totally will.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is now available in theaters.