Jack Osbourne was supposed to go to SXSW last month for the premiere of “The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne,” a documentary about his dad that he produced, before the festival was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. “We had a children’s choir that was going to sing ‘Crazy Train,’” Jack says on Thursday’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.” “I’m so heartbroken that we couldn’t do it.”
The film, which will debut on A&E this summer, details the Black Sabbath rocker’s long battle with addiction, run-ins with the law and marital problems with wife Sharon. They were in the midst of filming when Ozzy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — something Jack had to convince his parents to include in the doc because they hadn’t yet gone public with the news.
“I had to kind of persuade both my dad and mom,” says Jack, who co-hosts “Portals to Hell,” a Travel Channel show that investigates locations believed to be haunted. “I was like, ‘We would be doing this film an injustice to not do this. This is a monumental moment in your life and in your career. … To ignore that, then we should not even be doing this doc because we’d be lying to your fans.”
How are you getting through the lockdown?
I’m a bit of a prepper, which not many people outside of my close circle know. I’ve done tons of survival courses, and I’ve read a bunch of different survival books. So when this popped up in January, I saw the writing on the wall. I started stocking up on things. If they said, “You cannot leave your house for anything for a month,” I’d be totally fine.
You were very emotional while talking about your dad’s diagnosis during one of your interviews in “Nine Lives.”
When we did that interview, we didn’t know if my dad was ever going to be able to perform again. With that comes a lot of fear because it’s like a racehorse when they can’t race anymore: They give up. That’s the fear I had. Now, since doing that interview, my dad went and did another album. It was one of his most successful albums to date. He’s going back in the studio when this coronavirus bulls— dies down. But there was a time of huge uncertainty, which really kind of shook the foundation of the whole family.
It seems like your dad has had way more than nine lives.
We pegged it to nine lives because our director, Greg Johnston, says there are nine main phases in the film. But yeah, it’s probably closer to 12 to 15 and ongoing. We didn’t even touch on the success of the new album, “Ordinary Man,” or his song “Take What You Want” with Post Malone. And there are some other really big things that I can’t yet talk about, but that are in the works. There are a lot of good things that are in the pipeline.
You’re in Season 2 of “Portals to Hell.” Have you always believed in the paranormal?
I’d always had an interest. When I was a kid, I used to read a lot of the “Goosebumps” books and all that stuff. It’s always fascinated me.
When was your first encounter with a ghost?
I was living in our family home in England, and my mom had taken my eldest sister to school, and me and my sister Kelly were home sick. We heard someone walking on the floor above us. I heard someone walking down the hallway and dragging their hand against the door and it going clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk. I freaked out. I locked the door, and I called my mom on her cellphone. I nearly jumped out the window because it was coming toward us. I mean I heard it. My sister heard it. Clear as day.
Have you thought about a reboot of “The Osbournes”?
I would be lying to say the conversations haven’t been coming up recently. I think nostalgia is such a huge, hot-button word right now. You look at all these shows coming back from 20 years ago. The only thing, and what I struggle with, is we don’t all live together. One thought I’ve had is, why don’t we all just move in together for two months? It’s 20 years later; we’re all moving back into the house together.
So when is this move going to happen?
I guess when someone pays me a hell of a lot … because the amount of therapy I’m going to have to buy into after that is going to be monstrous.
This interview has been edited and condensed. You can hear it in its entirety below. “The Big Ticket” can also be found at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.