Jack Black on Losing His Brother to AIDS: 'The Worst Thing I Can Possibly Imagine'

by Alex Ungerman 5:32 PM PDT, October 08, 2015
Playing Jack Black on Losing His Brother to AIDS: 'The Worst Thing I Can Possibly Imagine'

It has not always been an easy life for Jack Black.

The 46-year-old actor is opening up to Parade about his struggles with loss and drug addiction earlier in life.

A child of divorce, Jack Black found himself falling in with the wrong people and becoming hooked on harder drugs at a young age.

"I remember just lots of turmoil from that time period,” he says of when he was just 14 years old. “I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine... I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school [because] one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there."

WATCH: This Jack Black 'Goosebumps' Interview Might Be Wilder Than the Movie!

Black says being able to turn to his school therapist helped him get his life back together.

"I spilled my guts, telling him I felt guilty about stealing from my mom to get money for cocaine," he confesses. "I cried like a baby. It was a huge release and a huge relief. I left feeling euphoric, like an enormous weight had been lifted from me. It changed me."

Black has also faced tragedy through the death of his brother, Howard, to AIDS, in 1989. The actor says this tragic experience has caused him to be even more attentive to his own children -- Samuel, 9, and Thomas, 7.

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"Sometimes I think maybe I’m a little bit of a helicopter dad hovering above my kids and making sure that they never are in harm’s way," he says. "But losing a family member is the worst thing I could imagine."

“I have two gay siblings: my big sister, Rachel, and my big brother, Howard,” Black continues. “He was a big influence on me. He took me to my first rock concert."

Eight years separated Black and his brother Howard, who died at age 31.

"[Death] didn’t happen quickly. We all saw the deterioration. He was only 31. So very young," Black admits. "We were robbed of something precious. It was devastating. It was hard for all of us, but it was hardest for my mom when we lost Howard. She’s never really recovered.”

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What keeps Black going, through all of his struggles, is his amazing sense of adventure.

“If you lose the fun of the journey, then there’s no point in going on," he says. "It’s the thrill that I love the most. I’ve been on this ride that’s been really magical. If there were no money? I’d be putting on shows!"

And Black brings that sense of joy and silliness to his interactions with others. ET caught up with actor in September while he was promoting his new movie, Goosebumps, which he believes does justice to the long running young adult "scary" books series.

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"The script is really funny and scary and cool and awesome, and I wanted to be a part of it," Black told ET. "I really connected with the character, R.L. Stine."

Goosebumps hits theaters Oct. 16.

Watch the video below.