The Will Arnett Interview (LEGO® Masters)
Want to know what it is like to host LEGO® Masters? Perhaps you have wondered if Will Arnett got any practice swings in episode two? Or maybe you have questioned if people really stay on set for a whole challenge? Well, wonder no more. Recently, True North Bricks got to take part in another phenomenal LEGO® Masters Interview. Once again, the opportunity was shared with fellow Recognized LEGO® Fan Media outlets The Brothers Brick, BZPower, and Brickset. This time, we were able to chat with the host of LEGO® Masters himself. Therefore, without further ado, enjoy the Will Arnett interview!
At this point in your career you’ve done a bunch of acting on TV and film, voice acting, and now you’re hosting a show. Which one of these is your favorite?
That’s a really tough question. It is a question that I actually get asked quite a lot because I have done a bunch of different things. I always say the same thing, which is it’s very difficult to say I like one more than the other. Of course, I love making a movie because you’re just there for a short time. You’re all there in this one concentrated time, trying to make this thing, and there’s a great energy to that.
I like working on a series or a comedy where you have a little bit more time, a couple seasons or whatever. You get to let it breathe a little bit, you get to know people, so that’s got its own thing.
Voice acting, whether it’s an animated film or a show, I like that process because you have quite a long time. You have a few years and you can go back and really start to hone whatever it is you’re working on for a long period of time and review it and build it quite slowly and methodically. You know, that’s turned out to be a process I really enjoy.
Now, with hosting, it’s fun because I get to come in and watch these people who are really good at building with LEGO and be a cheerleader, encourage them and just have fun. Really, the pressure’s not on me at all. I’m just a fan. Also, because I’ve never done it before, it’s okay if I mess up and I don’t do the hosting the way that hosts are supposed to do the hosting. We’re having fun, and everybody knows it’s not my normal job necessarily. So, I’m just there to have fun and really take in the whole thing and enjoy it.
Which of your previous movie or TV shows or personas would you most like to see as a LEGO set?
I’d probably say Arrested Development. Also, BoJack Horseman. It would be kind of interesting to see BoJack’s house and Todd, Mr. Peanutbutter, Princess Carolyn and all the other characters. Blades of Glory would be really cool too to see the arena and the ice skating. That would be kind of funny. Can I say three of them as opposed to just one? (laughs)
What’s been your favorite thing about being on LEGO masters?
It’s kind of twofold. Initially, it was fun to be a part of it. Of course, again, my connection to LEGO runs deep. So, to get out there and be part of something and connect with other people who are really passionate about LEGO was really cool. And, to be able to go to work every day and do something fun that I could share with my kids in my workplace was super, super rewarding. My kids were there so much while we were making the show. Watching them being able to enjoy being there was unbelievable.
Now that the show’s come out, it’s been really fun and rewarding watching people enjoy it. Having people come up and say “hey, we love watching it” or people on social media saying “we are watching it as a family”. You know, “my son watches it”, “my three year watched it and he loved it”, “my ten year old watched it and loved it”, “my 18 year old and I watched it together”, or “I’m 40 and I love playing with LEGO still”. It’s just great for me, connecting with people in that way and seeing their reaction, that is just awesome.
Among your circle of friends, what has been the reaction to you hosting a reality TV show?
It’s obviously a very different and new gear for me. All my friends and the people I am really close with are well aware of my passion for LEGO and how big of a role it’s played in my life over the last ten years with all the movies and other stuff. I think a few of them were confused when they first heard, but now when they watch, all of them are like, “Wow, this is pretty rad!” Jason Bateman brought his daughter down to the set while we were taping just to walk around–they’re really into LEGO at their house–and he was like, “This is so cool!” So, everyone’s really digging it, and the reaction to the show has been great.
Do you do your own stunt work for the show or did they have a professional baseball player come in and hit those creations for you?
First of all, I’m going to take that as a compliment on my baseball swing. I have to say, if I’m being totally honest, I felt like the pressure was on. I was nervous because I could really mess up on television. Maybe you have a bad swing or just miss. Well, I really just concentrated hard, as dumb as that sounds. I really concentrated hard because I knew that the teams – that part of their success and what they were judged on – was how their builds were getting destroyed. Specifically with the baseball bat, knowing that if I didn’t hit it properly, that I could really hurt their chances of winning and potentially put them at the bottom. So, I really wanted to do well by the teams.
You did one practice swing at the beginning of the episode. Did you get any other practice shots with other creations beforehand?
No, it was just the one and then the four that we destroyed on the show as part of the competition. That was it.
We’ve seen your skill at destroying the builds, but which episode’s theme made you think “Oh, I totally could build this”?
The build that I would have wanted to partake in the most would have been the movie builds episode. It seemed the most appealing to me. We had Phil Lord and Chris Miller (filmmakers, including The LEGO Movie) helping the teams and giving them inspiration. That seemed to be an episode that I thought that I could try build a moment, build a scene, and create a story. At first glance, that appeals to me. By the way, it should be noted I’m not saying I would necessarily be that good or as good as what our contestants do on the show, but it is something that I feel like I could do.
There’s a lot of downtime for you during the builds. Did you get to take breaks and go relax for a bit?
Well, of course, everybody takes breaks. Even the contestants have to take breaks. We don’t just leave them sealed in the room for 12 hours to build. There are breaks built in. Most of the time that they’re on the floor building, I’m either checking in or walking around. I might step out for a bit or whatever. But, I’m certainly not going home and then just coming in at the end. Sometimes what will happen is we’ll give them a challenge and we start to talk. I like to go and talk to them about what the challenge is and what they’re thinking. But, then you’ve got to give them some time on their own. I don’t want to distract them or get in their way. There might be a little bit of downtime for a minute or two, but you have to stay close because something might happen. And they’re like, “Oh, these guys ran into a problem,” or “this happened”, or whatever and we want to make sure to engage as much as you can for the show.
In the second episode of LEGO Masters we saw you trying to help Kara and Jessie as they rotated their creation. Is there any policy for what you can and can’t do to help the teams?
For the most part, I don’t want to influence the show because it is a competition. So, I wanted to be really careful about helping. But there are moments like when something falls apart where, as a human being you’re like, “Oh my God, let me help you!” We had a moment where the contestants had to move the builds on the rolling tables to be judged and a team hit a LEGO brick and had a bit of a disastrous moment right as the time was counting down. After that, I would go around the floor just before the time was up sweeping up LEGO for everybody because I didn’t want that to happen again. It’s too heartbreaking.
In one of the trailers, there’s a memorable moment of you singing with Boone Langston (one of The Bearded Builders). How did that come about, and can we expect to see more of that?
It was a really fun moment. The first time that Boone sang a song, it started when someone mentioned he had a nice voice. I definitely egged him on and asked “do you have a song about that?”, not really thinking that he would start singing. All of a sudden he just made up a song on the spot. It was so great and spontaneous and fun. It became the theme throughout the series. Sometimes, there’d be moments where all of a sudden Boone would sing a song, sometimes I’d sing with him, sometimes I’d just rock out listening to him. He’s just such a fun, creative guy. I really enjoyed that interaction, so there are more of those moments coming.
How much input do you have on the comedy as you host? Is it scripted or is it spontaneous?
I have a lot of input on the comedy. Of course, there are moments that are scripted following what we need to get done for the business of the show, like saying exact descriptions of the challenges and what they need to do. We have a great writer who works with me, and we talk about the areas that we want to get into. He’s there with me a lot of the time and we brainstorm writing jokes or bits. But the conversations that I have with the Brick Masters and the builders are real conversations. Those conversations are not scripted.
Have you kept in contact with anyone from the show like the contestants or guests? Or maybe thought of visiting Denmark to visit Amy and Jamie?
First of all, I would love to go to Denmark. I know it’s going to happen sometime, so I’m looking forward to making that happen. I’d love to go over and bring my kids and really go immerse ourselves in the world of LEGO back in the homeland. But with regards to the contestants, not really. We’ve done a few things together on social media which is nice and an advantage of the world we live in that as the show airs we can banter back and forth a bit, talking about the show. But that has really been it.
What advice would you have for potential contestants for next season?
Hopefully we make more of these. I would encourage contestants to be open. At the start, nobody really knew what this show was going to be. Contestants come in, and they have a preconceived notion of what they can do. They think that “we’re the kind of builders who do this” or “we’re the kind of builders to do that.”. If you can keep yourself open to the process, so that once you get there and you’re given a challenge, you can kind of step outside yourself a little bit. Then you can be available to doing something totally new, something that you might not think that you’re good at. The teams that were able to do that this season were really successful.
One final question, do you use your Batman voice on your kids, and under what circumstances?
Yeah, of course. I mean, I guess what you’re really asking is do I weaponize the LEGO Batman voice, and the simple answer is <<in LEGO Batman voice>> I’d be a fool not to. So, there you have it.
Tune in later this week for more!
Getting to chat with Will Arnett, even for a short time, was a lot of fun. I hope you got a kick out of the interview as well. Stay tuned later in the week for more coverage of LEGO® Masters on True North Bricks. To catch up on what has already happened, click here to visit my LEGO® Masters page. LEGO Masters returns with an all new episode on Wednesday night at 9:00 pm ET on FOX.
Until next time,
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