Den of Geek spoke recently with the cast of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, in which returning voice stars Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day and Will Arnett are joined by newcomers to the franchise like Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz and Maya Rudolph.
The movie, directed by Mike Mitchell (Trolls) from a script by Chris Miller and Phil Lord (who wrote and directed The Lego Movie), is set once again in Bricksburg, the imaginary land made of Legos and populated by Lego characters created by a boy named Finn in the first film. Only now, repeated “attacks” from his younger sister Bianca’s Duplo “invaders” have reduced the landscape to the devastation known as Apocalypseburg.
Although Emmet (Pratt) remains optimistic and cheerful, other citizens like his best friend Lucy (Banks) have been worn down by the attacks. When Lucy and other friends of his are kidnapped by the forces of Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Haddish) of the Systar System, Emmet sets off across space in pursuit, aided by the mysterious adventurer Rex Dangervest (also Pratt).
“I got to create a new character, so that was challenging,” says Pratt in our interview below. “But getting right back into Emmet wasn’t really that hard, because not only did I get to do that years ago, but I’ve been continuing to use that voice when I talk to kids who love The Lego Movie or when I play Lego with my own son…it’s like riding a bike, you get right back into that voice.”
As for the other characters in the film, like Arnett’s self-absorbed Batman, the ongoing assault of the Duplo invaders has taken even a toll on the Caped Crusader. “The Bat-dude is kind of not in the greatest of places,” says Arnett. “I mean, most of the people in the Lego world aren’t living their best life when we find them. But throughout the course of the movie, he gets affected by her character (pointing to Haddish) and we see a side of Batman come out that we haven’t seen before.”
Haddish introduces an entirely new character to the Lego universe and says that as soon as she heard the pitch, she was on board. “When I first heard that her name was Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, I was like ‘Watevra Wa’Nabi?’ and they were like, ‘Yeah, she can turn into whatever she wants to be.’ I was like, ‘Oh, I want to do this.’ ‘Cause to me, that’s a really great message to all human beings — as long as you are yourself, you can be whatever you want to be around that.”
Like the original 2014 film The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part offers up a wildly fun and endlessly imaginative meta-universe while also grounding its story in real themes that resonate with kids and adults alike.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is in theaters now.
Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, RollingStone.com and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye