In the upcoming Goosebumps movie, comedian Jack Black stars as spooky storyteller R. L. Stine, whose ghoulish creatures—previously confined to his bestselling children’s books—are unexpectedly brought to life by a teen neighbor (Scandal first kid Dylan Minnette). With the help of Stine’s daughter, Hannah (Israeli actress Odeya Rush), a race ensues to capture the author’s manic monsters from wrecking havoc on their small town. It’s a comedy-fueled horror (due Aug. 7, 2015) that promises to channel Goosebumps’ kid-approved brand of scary while pleasing grownup loyalists of the 1990s franchise.
Did you feel any pressure at all thinking you’ve got to sound or look like a person who is still alive?
I didn’t really because even though I’m playing a real person, this is obviously a fictionalized version of his life and nothing that happens in this movie actually happened to him, other than him writing all the books. So I felt like, I was just going to approach it as a character, doing what I thought was most dramatically interesting and right for what was needed. I also got to meet R.L. and he’s a really great guy. Really smart and funny and sweet. But I made [the character] more of a sort of curmudgeonly dark, brooding beast master. So from the very beginning, I was taking liberties. I think he’s cool with it though. [Laughs] He’s been on set and he actually did a little cameo. He saw what I was doing and he was digging it. Or at least he pretended like he was digging it.