In The LEGO Movie, hitting theaters February 7, Elizabeth Banks lends her voice to the kick-butt character Wyldstyle, who guides the rule-bound Emmet (Chris Pratt) on an adventure that also involves a love triangle with Batman (Will Arnett). Yes—that happens.
We sat down with the actress and mom of two boys (Felix, 2, and Magnus, 1) at a round-table interview. Here's what she had to say about girl power, playing "bar" with her sister and—oh yeah—what happened when her older son slammed his little brother.
What did you love
about your role as Wyldstyle?
I was really excited to play an action heroine
and just somebody who kicks butt, takes charge and rescues a boy. I think she’s
a great role model for all the young girls that are going to see the movie.
You have a Barbie
Effie from The Hunger Games franchise, you have a LEGO Wyldstyle. What other toy would you like to be?
I wouldn’t mind a Hot Wheels car, because that would really
impress my sons. They really like Effie Barbie, and I actually got her a Ken
car that they can drive her around in, if they like. And Wyldstyle—(my sons) really
do call mommy "Lego," so that’s all cool.
If you had to choose one of the Lego worlds for you
and your family to live in, which would it be?
Cloud Cuckoo Land. It’s like a constant EDM [electronic dance
music] dance party. Everyone can be happy all the time, there’s a frickin’
Uni-Kitty. I could make a wish on her. Gold rains down from the sky. That one.
did you play with as a little girl?
My sister Sarah and I—it was a lot of pretend play
together. It was a lot of "store." We actually got into trouble once because we
played "bar" with kids from the neighborhood. We didn’t really know what a bar
was, but we knew you stood at it like there was drinks. We knew there was a soda
gun because we’d get a Shirley Temple, and we sort of knew there were drinks, and
there was a cash register. So it was like "store" and that you stood at this
counter and flirted with boys.
And we got into so much trouble for playing bar.
I can literally see it. We brought the neighbor kids into it, and then my mom got all the
calls, going, "We heard you were playing bar, and that’s not OK."
Sometimes it seems as if parents say "no" all the time. Do you?
Unless their safety’s involved, I think noes are not that
useful when they’re as little as my kids are. My older son literally ran up to
my baby son, and he literally was walking to
him and then he got faster and faster and then he jumped up and like two-legged
kicked my baby in the chest. He
bounced right back up. It was no big deal at all, but he was stunned.
I’m like, "Ahhh, Felix!" I could see in his body, I could tell he felt amazing. I mean
it would feel great to do that. I go to the post office and wait 25 minutes,
and I want to [dropkick someone]. It would feel amazing to solve that that way,
so it’s really interesting to see their base instincts come out. So I’m like, "You cannot do that. That’s not OK." You say all the things you’re supposed to
say. The little brother is just [sad], but then he totally was fine.
then one minute went by, and [Felix] looked at his brother, and he did it again. I
get it. I was like, "I kinda get it. It felt really good for you to do that,
but it’s not OK."
What's one thing about parenting that no one warned you about?
Let’s be honest, nobody tells you how difficult
it is … because then the human race would end.