The Brothers Brick was invited to visit the LEGO Masters set in December ahead of the taping of the finale and had the chance to interview actor Will Arnett about his new hosting job. Last week, we had another opportunity to chat with Will to see how things have changed since the show started airing, and we specifically asked him questions suggested by you, our readers!
In the follow-up interview conducted jointly by The Brothers Brick, Brickset, BZPower and True North Bricks, Will talks about how nervous he was to destroy LEGO with a baseball bat, what challenge he thinks he would do well on, and what show he has been on would make the best LEGO set.
Among your circle of friends, what has been the reaction to you hosting a reality TV show?
Will: 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.
How much input do you have on the comedy as you host? Is it scripted or is it spontaneous?
Will: 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.
In terms of destroying the LEGO builds, do you do your own stunt work for the show or did they have a professional baseball player come in and hit those creations?
Will: I’m going to take that as a compliment on my baseball swing! (laughs) If I’m being totally honest, I felt like the pressure was on–I was nervous because I could really mess up on television! I could have a bad swing or just miss and not hit it. I really just concentrated hard, as dumb as that sounds, I really concentrated hard because I knew that part of the teams’ success and what they were judged on was how their builds looked when getting destroyed. I was most nervous specifically with the baseball bat, knowing that if I didn’t hit it properly, 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 got one practice swing at the beginning of the episode. Did you get any other practice shots with other creations beforehand?
Will: No, it was just that one and then the four that we destroyed on the show as part of the competition – that was it.
What’s been your favorite thing about being on LEGO masters so far?
Will: It’s twofold. Initially, it was fun to just 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 into work every day and do something fun that I could share with my kids in my workplace was super rewarding. My kids were there on set so much while we were making the show. Watching them enjoying 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 they are watching it or seeing people on social media saying they watch it as a family is amazing. I love hearing “my son watches it,” or “my three-year-old watched it and he loved it,” or “my ten-year-old watches it and loves it,” or “my 18-year-old and I watched it together,” or even “I’m 40 and I still love playing with LEGO” and it’s just great for me, connecting with people in that way and seeing their reaction–that is just awesome.
What do you do during the downtime on the show while the contestants are building?
Will: 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! Most of the time that they’re building, I’m there and 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 of the episode.
We’ll give them a challenge and then I like to go and talk to them about it and what they’re thinking. 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. I’ll get told, ‘Oh, these guys ran into a problem,’ or something is happening and I’ll want to make sure to engage as much as possible 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?
Will: 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.
Which episode’s theme made you think, “Oh, I totally could build this?”
Will: The build that I would have wanted to partake in the most would have been in the upcoming 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 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.
In one of the episode trailers, there’s a moment where you sing with one of the contestants, Boone Langston (one of The Bearded Builders). How did that come about, and can we expect to see more singing?
Will: That was a really fun moment. I think the first time that Boone sang a song, it started when someone mentioned he had a nice voice. I definitely egged him on and jokingly asked, “Do you have a have a song about that?” not really thinking that he would start singing. All of a sudden, he made up a song on the spot. It was so great and spontaneous and fun. It became a recurring 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.
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?
Will: 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 give to potential contestants if there is a Season 2 of LEGO Masters?
Will: I hope 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.” You need to keep yourself open to the process, so that once you get there and you’re given a challenge, you can step outside of yourself a little bit. Then you can be available to do something totally new, something that you might not think that you’re good at. The teams that were able to that this season were really successful.
Which of your previous movie or TV shows or personas would you most like to see as a LEGO set?
Will: I’d probably say Arrested Development. Also, BoJack Horseman 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)
So far in your career, you’ve acted on TV and film, done voice acting, and now you’re hosting a show. Which one of these is your favorite and why?
Will: That’s a really tough question, though I actually get asked that quite a lot because I have done a bunch of different things. I always say the same thing, that it is very difficult to say I like one more than the other. Of course, I love making a movie because you’re there for a short, concentrated time and there’s a great energy to that. I also like working on a TV series or a comedy where you have a little bit more time to explore a character over a couple seasons. You get to let it breathe a little bit, and you get to know people more. I like voice acting, whether it’s an animated film or a show or some voiceovers, because you have quite a long time for the project. You can have a few years to 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. 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 host the way that hosts are supposed to it. We’re having a fun show, and everybody knows it’s not my normal job. I’m just there to have fun, take in the whole thing and enjoy it.
Do you use ever the LEGO Batman voice on your kids?
Will: Of course! (laughs) 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.
LEGO Masters Host Will Arnett with The Brothers Brick News Editor Dave Schefcik.
Images courtesy of FOX, Warner Brothers, Will Arnett and The Brothers Brick.
LEGO Masters airs in the US on Wednesdays after The Masked Singer starting February 5th on FOX. Stay tuned to The Brothers Brick for more interviews from the set, and check out these other LEGO Masters articles:
- Hosting LEGO Masters: Interview with actor and entertainer Will Arnett
- Judging LEGO Masters: Interview with LEGO designers Jamie Berard and Amy Corbett
- Making LEGO Masters: Interview with executive producer Anthony Dominici
- Building LEGO Masters: Interview with Brick Artist Nathan Sawaya
- Visiting LEGO Masters: Behind the scenes tour with Challenge Master Brent Benedetti
- Everything you want to know about LEGO Masters judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard
- Leaving LEGO Masters: An interview with the first contestants to leave