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Jack Black and Owen Vaccaro Face The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Sep 18, 2018

By: Lynn Barker

In The House with a Clock in Its Walls, ten-year-old Lewis (played by tween actor Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his eccentric uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise. He soon learns that Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) and his feisty neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett), are powerful practitioners of the magic arts. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town's sleepy facade suddenly springs to life, revealing a secret and dangerous world of witches, warlocks and deadly curses.

Mrs. Zimmerman, Lewis and Jonathan sense evilMrs. Zimmerman, Lewis and Jonathan sense evilCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Check out what Owen and Jack had to say about the fun and creepy house sets, what magical powers they wish they had and what actually scared them on the movie set.

Jack and Owen at the film's premiereJack and Owen at the film's premiere

Q: Owen, how does your character Lewis react to all the magic he suddenly sees?

  • Owen: He was shocked but also really excited because he knew that his uncle Jon (Jack’s character) was a magician and he might be able to learn and he did great. There’s a montage in the movie where Lewis is trying to learn magic and that’s my favorite scene in the entire movie.

Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman decide what to teach LewisJonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman decide what to teach LewisCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: What magical power do you wish you had?

  • Owen: This sounds so basic but it would be so much fun, flying.
  • Jack: Good call. I’m going to say telekinesis because that includes flying. You can move things or yourself with your mind.

Lewis is fascinated with learning magicLewis is fascinated with learning magicCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: Owen, what about magic in real life?

  • Owen: You have to have your own magic because there is no other person exactly like you so every style of magic has to be your own.

Young Lewis is both excited and afraidYoung Lewis is both excited and afraidCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: Well said. What did both of you enjoy most about the amazing house sets?

  • Owen: The planetarium thingie, that place was insane!
  • Jack: I loved that crazy portal that you had to crawl through that looked like a giant monster’s mouth/face and if you pulled a secret lever, the mouth would open and you would have to crawl on the tongue through it to get into the secret laboratory area.  But every nook and cranny of the house was cool. I loved the foyer when you first came into the house and there were like a million clocks all over the walls.

Jack Black as Jonathan listens for the tick in the wallsJack Black as Jonathan listens for the tick in the wallsCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: Was there a magic trick that you never learned that you wish you had?

  • Owen: Energy! (he moves his hands as if conjuring up a ball of energy).
  • Jack: Oh we aren’t talking about real magic but supernatural powers now. Energy balls? Give it. (Owen “tosses” the imaginary ball and Jack catches it. They juggle it until jack “eats” it).

Lewis thinks he hears ticking in the wallsLewis thinks he hears ticking in the wallsCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: You guys are hilarious. Jack, how was working with Owen?

  • Jack: Owen is so awesome in the movie and the key is he loves to put on a show and at the end of the day you can tell because most kids will be like ‘Oh, I’m sooo tired. I want to go home. I want my i-Pad’ but Owen is like ‘No!’ and they’d say ‘You have to leave, kid. You can’t work past this hour. It’s the law, the union rules’ and he’s ‘No! I want to stay’ because he was having so much fun and he had the hunger for the show. Some people have it. Some people don’t. He has it.

Jonathan (Jack) wonders how much he should tell LewisJonathan (Jack) wonders how much he should tell LewisCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: And, Owen, what about hanging out with Mr. Jack Black?

  • Owen: Amazing! He’s great.

Magic gone wrongMagic gone wrongCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: Was there actually something that made you two jump when you saw it?

  • Owen: There is one specific humanoid/robot guy that scared me and a goat with devil legs but Eli (Roth, the director) was like ‘Aw, look at how nice he is’ and now I really want him.
  • Jack: There were some scary looking jack-o-lanterns out in front of the house. They had some expert pumpkin carvers that I was really impressed with. I (told them) ‘Wow, that’s cool…and super creepy’.

Lewis with one of the creepy jack-o-lanterns in backgroundLewis with one of the creepy jack-o-lanterns in backgroundCourtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.

Q: What about the movie makes it cool for all ages to see?

  • Owen: There is a big family element to the movie and that’s fun.
  • Jack: I think people of all ages can enjoy magic and a magic journey about a warlock and a witch that are a good warlock and witch and are teaching this kid how to be a warlock. I think there’s a fascination for everybody about that world. Everyone secretly wishes they had magic powers and this explores that.

Courtesy of Storyteller Distribution Co.
 

You can see The House with a Clock in Its Walls in theaters now!

Tell Everyone What You Think

Did you read the novel on which the movie is based? Do you wish real magic existed in the world? Do you think it actually does? Have you seen a lot of Jack Black movies? We want to know what you think. Leave a comment below or write about it on your profile page.