Kidsday interviews the stars of 'Kung Fu Panda 2'

Actor Jack Black on the red carpet for

Actor Jack Black on the red carpet for the new movie "Kung Fu Panda 2" at the Ziegfield Theater in Manhattan with Kidsday reporters Brooke Musmacker, Eliza Brant, Samantha Saar and Jessica Masure (Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly)

In the movie “Kung Fu Panda 2,” directed by Jennifer Yuh, Po and the Furious Five take on their biggest task yet: to save Kung Fu. A new villain has emerged, Lord Shen. This evil peacock plans to conquer China and destroy Kung Fu forever.
 
We know what you are thinking. How can you destroy Kung Fu? Lord Shen has a weapon that will destroy anything in his path. Now it is up to the Furious Five to save China and Kung Fu from Lord Shen and his followers.
 
Po (voice by Jack Black) will have to look back and uncover the secrets of his mysterious past. Only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
 
We were lucky enough to interview Jack Black and Lucy Liu (she did the voice of Viper), two of the stars of “Kung Fu Panda 2.” We met them on the red carpet during the New York movie premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on Tuesday. Being on the red carpet was an experience we will never forget. There were so many people from magazines, newspapers, and TV wanting to talk to and take pictures of Jack Black and Lucy Liu. It was also a lot of fun being a part of the press. We really felt important.
 
We give “Kung Fu Panda 2” a 4.5 (out of 5 smiles). The movie was packed with tons of action and there was more of a story line than the first “Kung Fu Panda” movie had. If you enjoyed the first movie, we think you will like this sequel even more. There were a lot more Kung Fu scenes and the animation was very realistic.
 
Although it was a great movie, some of the action scenes felt repetitive. We saw the movie in 3-D, and we felt that the movie did not have to be in 3-D because the events in the movie don’t really have a good response to 3-D effects.
 
We recommend this movie to those ages 7 and older. Some of the scenes could be a little intense and scary for some kids.
 
There are lots of familiar voices in the film such as Dustin Hoffman (Shifu), Angelina Jolie (Tigress) and Jackie Chan (Monkey).
 
Overall, we think this movie is a must see!
 
Here are our interviews with Jack Black and Lucy Liu:
 

JACK BLACK – "Kung Fu Panda 2"

Do you have a favorite scene or line in the movie?

A favorite scene or line from this movie? My favorite scene to film or to record rather is when I first meet Shen, the evil peacock. Because I got to record it with Gary Oldman, the actor, who plays the villain in this movie and he’s always been one of my favorite actors. Because in his eyes there is sort of a crazy danger and he’s very charismatic. So that was a thrill for me personally to be able to work with him in person. That was the only time I worked with another actor in this movie. The rest of the time I just did it by myself pretending like they were there. So that made that special too.

Were you the class clown when you were younger?

I did like to clown around. I like to get people laughing from a very early age. Guilty.

Is it harder to star in animated movies or non-animated?

It’s easier in most ways to do an animated film because you don’t have to worry about costume or make-up. The schedule is a lot easier. You only go in like once a month, twice a month over three years. So that adds up to a lot of hours in the end, but it’s really easy. You can be doing another job and just come in and do this on the weekends. It’s very cool. I hope I get to do a lot more of them.

Who inspired you to be a musician?

Well the first song I really liked was an Abba song I heard on the radio. You know that song, “Take a Chance, Take a Chance on Me” I think it’s called. But I really also love The Beatles. The first Beatles song I heard was “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” So I would say Abba and the Beatles. The A and the B of rock’n roll.

What was your inspiration to become an actor?

I just really loved putting on a show. I love the relationship between an audience and the performer. That was really cool and exciting. And I wanted to put on shows and make people laugh and just – it’s something magical about it that I liked.

Are you anything like Po in real life?

I am a lot like Po when I was younger. Like Po just worships his Kung Fu master idols and he wishes so badly he could be one of them. I remember when I was a kid I would look up to my actor idols and my rock’n roll idols and wish I was one of them. And so that’s how I relate to Po and that’s how we’re the same.

Do you know Kung Fu in real life?

I do know some Kung Fu, but I cannot say I’m a Kung Fu master by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve learned some. I hired a Kung Fu master in England to teach me some moves while I was there making another movie and I’ve already forgotten most of the moves, but I remember some of the movements.

LUCY LIU – "Kung Fu Panda 2"

Are you like your character in real life?

No. Well she’s really sweet, so I hope people will consider me to be sweet and she’s very support of Po. She really wants to stand behind whatever he wants to do. She knows that he’s very talented.

What was it like to be an angel in the “Charlie’s Angels” movies?

Oh, it was really fun, but it was hard because we had to do a lot of training for the action scenes and that was intense. I think we were all in a lot of pain before we started the movie.

What other animated kids movies did you star in?

I guess this is the first one, since this is the sequel it’s the second one? And then I’ve done a bunch of Tinkerbells. I did a couple of TV shows and Ni Hao Kai-Lan and other things like that. Which I really enjoy doing. Voice-overs are really fun to do.

What fairy were you in Tinkerbell?

Silvermist.

What kind of marshal arts do you do?

Well I haven’t done a lot since I started working but I’ve generally have done Tai Chi, Knife and Stick fighting. Which I really thought was beautiful. And I did Tae Kwon Do a long time ago. But it was not easy like a lot of hand-to-hand combat. Running kick isn’t fun.

Besides “Kung Fu Panda” and “Charlie’s Angels” what is your favorite movie you’ve ever been in?

Oh, that’s a good question. I had a really good time doing “Kill Bill” and I had a really good time doing “Lucky Number Slevin.” That’s my favorite movie.

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