Lights, Camera, Lego!

Actor Chris Pratt discusses his role in animated adventure-comedy The Lego Movie

Feb 07, 2014 | By Kelli Plasket
COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES

Emmet (center, voiced by Chris Pratt) joines forces with Unikitty (Alison Brie), spaceman Benny (Charlie Day), Batman (Will Arnett), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Bands) in The Lego Movie.

What could you do with 15 million Lego bricks? According to the filmmakers, that's what it would take to recreate scenes from The Lego Movie, which hits theaters February 7. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller—who previously made hits like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—used virtual bricks to animate the 3-D flick, but they wanted every frame to be reproducible with real-life LEGO bricks.   

Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt voices Emmet, a construction worker who just wants to fit in and who lives his life by detailed instructions. That is, until he stumbles on "the piece of resistance," a strange object that is needed to stop President Business's evil plan to destroy the Lego universe. Soon, he's teaming up with master builders WyldStyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) to test the limits of his creativity and imagination.  "Emmet's whole life is planned out, down to the minute, with very details instructions on how to live," Pratt told TFK. "Through the course of the movie, he is forced to think 'outside of the box' and rely on his imagination." Pratt responded by email to TFK's questions.

Chris Pratt poses with his character, Emmet, from The Lego Movie at a screening of the film in New York City.
MARION CURTIS—AP
Chris Pratt poses with his character, Emmet, from The Lego Movie at a screening of the film in New York City.

TFK:

How does it feel to voice the lead Lego character in the first-ever theatrical Lego movie?

PRATT:

It was a real thrill to be part of this process, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the movie.

TFK:

How does the job of saving the Lego universe end up falling to Emmet?

PRATT:

He finds "the piece of resistance," a special item that exists in the Lego world. There is a prophecy that says one day “the Special" will find the piece. The Special is him, and he is the most unlikely Special ever. I don't want to give too much away, though.

TFK:

Emmet teams up with Batman, among others. What Lego characters would you want on your team if you were trying to save the universe.

PRATT:

You can't go wrong teaming up with super heroes! I would love to team up with Batman or any of the Avengers. Or even the Lone Ranger.

TFK:

Other than Emmet, what's your favorite Lego character in the movie, and why?

PRATT:

My favorite character is either "Metal Beard" or "Unikitty" because they are both so funny and voiced by my good friends, [actors] Nick Offerman and Alison Brie.

TFK:

How did you feel about Legos as a kid? What was your favorite set or piece?

PRATT:

I loved Legos. For me, they were an opportunity to use my imagination. I built all kinds of things, like guns, houses, and cars.

Emmet lives his life by instructions.
COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Emmet lives his life by instructions.

TFK:

How skilled are you at Lego building?

PRATT:

I'm the best Lego builder in the world.

TFK:

This is your first animated film. What did you think of the experience compared to making a live action movie? Did you work alone in the studio?

PRATT:

Something that is great about being in an animated movie is that you don't have to worry if you get really sweaty—which I did. I was screaming and jumping about as I recorded my voice. Normally, in a live-action movie, [if] I get sweaty, someone has the unfortunate job of coming up to me and mopping up my sweat—which, as you can imagine, is kind of uncomfortable for both of us. So that's probably my favorite thing. Also, you can wear your pajamas to work if you want.

TFK:

Was the movie made using stop motion?

PRATT:

I don't think it was done in stop motion. [Directors] Chris and Phil are purists and want it to look that way. And they want the Legos to be limited to the way they could actually move in real life (if Legos came to life and existed in real life), but it's the lighting, composition, and beautifully crafted sets that make this different from a stop-motion Lego movie.

TFK:

What are you most excited about seeing in the final film?

PRATT:

I'm most excited to see how it all comes together. I am a huge fan of the directors. I love Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street. They are very funny and have a very unique voice. I'm looking forward to eating some popcorn, sitting back, and getting lost in the story.