(L-r) LEGO® minifigures Wyldstyle (voiced by ELIZABETH BANKS), Emmet (CHRIS PRATT) and Vitruvius (MORGAN FREEMAN)

Lego Movie: Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, & Will Arnett

The Lego Movie: Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, & Will Arnett

Written by Kelli Gillespie

If you grew up thinking Lego was awesome, it turns out you are not alone. Surveys have revealed it’s the most popular toy ever manufactured – even more than Barbie or GI Joe. Now for the first time these colorful building blocks will be telling a story on the silver screen. Risen sat down with the cast of The Lego Movie at Legoland to learn about their Lego memories, connecting with the theme of ordinary becoming extraordinary, and a much needed dad’s support group.

Interviewed for Risen Magazine at Legoland in Carlsbad, California

Risen Magazine: So many people crave significance or want to feel like they are made for more. When have you felt like someone saw something special in you?
Chris Pratt: I was lucky. I was 19 and working as a waiter in Maui and I waited on this director, who is also an actress, Rae Dawn Chong. I recognized her from the movies and I said, “You’re a movie star. What are you doing here?” And she said she was casting for a movie and having a reading for a film she was directing. And she said, “You should audition. There is something about you. I like you.” I had always believed if I just had an opportunity, if I could get into rooms with people, I could come to Hollywood and get work. That was my moment that somebody else gave me the opportunity to do something extraordinary.

Risen Magazine: Who were the people that encouraged you to step into greatness and made you feel like you can do whatever you choose to do?
Morgan Freeman: There were two: my mom and a teacher. My mother was always just a big fan and she always would say, “One of these days, I’m going to take you to Hollywood.” And I had an English teacher who just convinced me that I could do anything and that I was a gift. She didn’t tell me I had a gift; she told me I was a gift. I’m telling you, I’ve walked through life remembering that all the time.

Risen Magazine: Most kid’s memories involve Lego at some point. What about you, what has your relationship been with these plastic building blocks?
Will Arnett: Lego was a big part of my childhood and I went through three stages really because I have a brother who is much younger, and as a teenager I kind of introduced him to Lego. By that time even cooler sets were out than when I was a kid. So I was able to sort of hide behind the fact that I was “helping my little brother” and as a teenager continue to build. Now having my sons, I’m able to build again and it’s really fun. I have like a support group amongst some of the other dads I know where we text each other. The meanest thing we can do is sometimes we’ll send each other a really difficult set to the other guy as a gift to their kid. My buddy sent me a really tough one. I looked at him, and he just smiled. And I said, “Thanks Bud.” [Dry sarcastic tone] And the kids are so excited, all the while I’m looking at him thinking, “I can’t believe you just did this to me!

Risen Magazine: Everyone has individual skills, but it does take a team to be really effective. When have you seen this most played out in your life?
Elizabeth Banks: I don’t think any of us get through life on our own, do we? We are kind of pack animals. We really all need each other. It’s a great collaboration this crazy thing we call civility. You see that every day. I think it’s important to remember that we are all connected. Lego blocks are literally connected. And I think it’s so funny that we are all in it together so the golden rule applies at all times.

Risen Magazine: Your character puts on this front as WyldStyle, something we all probably do to some point if we are honest. So when do you, Elizabeth Banks, feel most comfortable?
Elizabeth Banks: Sunday morning in bed with the kids all climbing on top of me thinking about making pancakes. That’s it. I love them just crawling all over me.

Interview originally published in Risen Magazine, Spring 2014

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