In an exclusive chat with Brick Fanatics, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Olivia Munn and Zach Woods discuss their characters in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie
One of the pleasant surprises when The LEGO NINJAGO Movie announcement came was that the filmmakers were able to assemble such incredible voice talent to bring the characters to life. Comic actors at the top of their game bring the minifigure ninja to life, giving each of the characters an individual personality and doing justice to the stream of gags that they deliver throughout the movie.
Fred Armisen (Cole), Kumail Nanjiani (Jay), Zach Woods (Zane) and Olivia Munn (Koko) kindly took the time to talk about their characters ahead of the release of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.
What is unique about each of your characters in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie?
FA: That one of Cole’s passions is music. I like that it’s a big part of his personality.
KN: What I love about Jay is that he has no control over his emotions. Fear and love pour out of him in equal measure.
ZW: He’s a sweater vest-clad robot who yearns to be a human teen. He’s also a ninja and a master of ice. There’s a lot going on with Zane.
OM: Koko has her own secret past that helps her relate to her son Lloyd even more when she finds out he’s secretly been living his life as a ninja.
What did you bring to your characters?
KN: It’s fun to be able to play your emotions, completely unhindered. Usually, I try and control my emotions. It’s fun to just let go.
ZW: My natural stiffness was perfect for the role of a robot.
OM: I tried to bring a lot of positivity to the character so that no matter what Lloyd was going through his mother would be a bright light in his life.
FA: I leaned into not being too intense, whenever the character was supposed to be impatient or sarcastic. The lines said enough, so I tried to sound somewhat like the way I would normally say something.
If you had ninja skills in real life, what would you use them to do?
FA: Getting to the airport, any airport, is always a long ordeal. I would ask for the kind of skill that would temporarily bring an airport to the middle of whatever city I was in.
KN: I would use them to play sports.
ZW: I’d use my stealth skills to disappear during small talk.
OM: I would probably fight crime, right?
How do you feel about having a little LEGO version of yourself?
OM: It’s one of the coolest things ever. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have a Lego character. The eight year old in me is freaking out.
ZW: Delighted, of course!
FA: It really is one of the coolest things ever. I always wondered what that would be like. They presented me with Cole at a recording session, and it was absolutely a special moment. I’m really thankful to them.
KN: It’s a dream come true, I never thought it would happen! Yet, here we are.
Do you have a favourite LEGO memory or experience?
OM: I grew up in a family of five kids so each kid would go off and build their own structure and then we’d merge them together to become one massive LEGO creation. It was cool because it always pushed me to try to come up with something that could rival my siblings because they were always coming up with creative things.
FA: I can remember putting those first pieces together, it was a couple of those six-pegged ones. I think they were white. I also remember spending a lot of time trying to undo a flat piece from one of those. LEGO is the only thing from my childhood that has remained timeless in design.
KN: I used to have a massive bag of LEGO, a huge sack. Over summer vacation, I’d tip the whole bag over in my room and spend all day making stuff. Car houses. Castles that flew. I never made the same thing twice.
ZW: It was so fun meeting all the kids at Comic Con who went completely bananas for NINJAGO, I want to live up to their excitement.
The LEGO NINJAGO Movie is out now in the USA and released on October 13 in the UK. Sets based on the movie are available from shop.LEGO.com.