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Talking The LEGO Batman Movie with the Cast

February 07, 2017

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By: Lynn Barker

After recording the voice of Batman in The LEGO Movie, actor Will Arnett decided to try it again for The LEGO Batman Movie spin-off film. The results are fun/hilarious. He is aided in humor by Michael Cera (Superbad, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Juno) voicing wide-eyed Dick Grayson/Robin and funny Zach Galifianakis (the Hangover movies) tearing up Gotham city as The Joker.

The gang is crowded into the BatmobileThe gang is crowded into the BatmobileCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Do they think the PG film is great for all ages? How much fun did they have recording the voices? Check it out!

Will Arnett – Batman/Bruce Wayne

Q: Talk about expanding your Batman character for this film.

  • Will: It’s very fun to take an iconic character like Batman and play with the rules that have always been there for him. Keep it consistent in terms of him being good at what he does and having that bravado and machismo but, at the same time, make him a little more flawed and a little bit goofier. That’s the kind of license that we took and it made sense within the LEGO world to be able to do that and we’ve tried to expand on that in this movie and really get down to what makes Batman tick.

Batman (Will Arnett) in the Bat CaveBatman (Will Arnett) in the Bat CaveCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Batman refuses at first to admit he has a relationship with Joker (or anybody). How did you work with that?

  • Will: We thought maybe, after all this time, that these two characters’ existence is really dependent on each other. Joker is only a bad guy in as much as Batman allows him to be one as vice-versa. So, in their relationship they do depend on each other and what would happen if they both took a step back and understood that to be the case?

Batman gets a hero's welcomeBatman gets a hero's welcomeCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How was actually working in the recording studio with Zach Galifianakis voicing Joker?

  • Will: It was an experimental and collaborative process. We got to try a lot of things. It’s very rare when you are working that you do stuff that really makes you laugh on a profound level especially when you are sitting in a recording booth but we had countless times where we had really big laughs. We were making each other laugh and surprising each other and that element of surprise came across in the film. A lot of that stuff that we created in the moment made it into the movie.

Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) attends a city ceremonyBruce Wayne (Will Arnett) attends a city ceremonyCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How about Michael Cera as Robin?

  • Will: Mike Cera playing Robin is super fun. Michael and I worked together years ago on (the TV show) “Arrested Development”. I was so excited to hear that they wanted him to do it and I wrote him an e-mail saying “I know that they want you. Please do this!” I was excited that he said yes. He’s just been amazing. Michael brings this sense of wonderment to Dick Grayson who shows up in Batman’s life and Batman kind of has to take care of him and, from that, is born the character of Robin, We get to see the genesis of that and it’s really, really cool,

Batman (Will) gets annoyed by Robin's (Michael) costumeBatman (Will) gets annoyed by Robin's (Michael) costumeCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: What do you hope the audience feels about the film?

  • Will: I want people to come to this movie and laugh and connect with Batman in some sort of real way and connect to the story but, ultimately, I want them to have a good time.

Dick Grayson approaches Bruce WayneDick Grayson approaches Bruce WayneCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Michael Cera as Dick Grayson/Robin

Q: Were you a fan of The LEGO Movie?

  • Michael: I loved the last one which is why I was really excited to be invited to work on this one because I went and saw that in my neighborhood in a theater that was mostly full of kids and adults and I think I was the only single adult person there (laughs) I had such a great time. I expected to like it but not as much as I did. I really loved it. I thought they had such a great tone and pace to it which is not that common in animation now and be that funny too. That’s kind of rare.

Robin (Dick Grayson) is thrilled at discovering the Bat CaveRobin (Dick Grayson) is thrilled at discovering the Bat CaveCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How did you get into making a comedy about Batman?

  • Michael: Well it’s a great character to do a comedy about because there are so many versions of him. So many people have done it but nobody has approached it from a comedic standpoint. We ask a lot of very good questions about this character. Why is he so lonely? What is really driving him and what’s it like when he’s on his own and being private? What does that look like? What’s underneath that exterior? Will is just a perfect guy to cast for that. Not only because of his voice which is unbelievable but just his comic sensibility.

Batman is proud of Robin at the Fortress of SolitudeBatman is proud of Robin at the Fortress of SolitudeCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How does Dick Grayson accidentally get mixed up with Batman?

  • Michael: I think he accidentally weasels his way into the fold. He forces himself on Bruce Wayne as an adoption case I think just through a misunderstanding basically and Bruce Wayne doesn’t quite know what he’s saying yes to, what he’s signing up for just through confusion. Then he accidentally stumbles on the Batcave and stumbles on the secret that Bruce Wayne is Batman and then he’s kind of in. Batman either has to kill him or make him his sidekick.

Robin (voice of Michael Cera)Robin (voice of Michael Cera)Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Who do you think this movie is for?

  • Michael: I’m really looking forward to watching it and seeing it with my little niece. That’s kind of fun that it’s a movie that children and adults can enjoy. People strive for that a lot, a thing that parents can bring their kids to and enjoy but not too many things succeed at that as this does I think. That’s pretty fun, a movie that almost anybody can enjoy.

Zach Galifianakis - The Joker

Q: How would you describe the Joker as a villain?

  • Zach: The Joker is a great villain because he’s unpredictable and wild and somewhat clever and somewhat witty but sometimes he’s not. He’s a great villain and the Jack Nicholson version of him was very inspiring obviously.

Robin (Michael Cera) with Joker (Zach Galifianakis)Robin (Michael Cera) with Joker (Zach Galifianakis)Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Did you work in the recording studio with other actors? Chris or Michael and the directors?

  • Zach: I think the first day there was Chris and then a bunch of people in the recording stage. It was very freeform and I went home and I told my wife “These guys are good to work with. There is no ego. They’re nice. Although I’d just met some of them it was like a bunch of friends had gotten together and were coming up with this character. They’ve been very gracious in letting me do my thing.

Q: What do you find different about voice acting?

  • Zach: With the voice thing you have to exaggerate enough where it’s not a real voice really. Not how people really talk but because it is animation it is a little bit more heightened I think. I get to overact even more (he laughs).

Joker on his rampageJoker on his rampageCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How was recording in the room with Will?

  • Zach: The first or second recording Will and I got together and that was very helpful. I’ve known Will for a long time. Strangely, our relationship is a little bit like Batman and Joker but it’s helpful when you can have that back and forth and also helpful that I’ve known Will for many years so we have that built-in rapport.

The actual Joker LEGO mini-figureThe actual Joker LEGO mini-figureCourtesy of Warner Bros.
 

Q: Did you have to work on the characters or just jump right into it?

  • Zach: We jumped right into it. These are characters that have history so you already have that. They come with a history already so you don’t need too much. Will and I kind of improv'd the dynamic on the day; the jealousy stuff, the interpersonal relationship between the two of them. That was born, I think, that day between the two of us just playing with each other.

Joker, Batman and Robin Movie PostersJoker, Batman and Robin Movie PostersCourtesy of Warner Bros.

The LEGO Batman Movie is in theaters now!

 

Have Your Say

Are you familiar with these actors from other movies? Do you think voice acting would be fun? Leave comments below.