Coming out this week from Warner Bros. Pictures is “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,” which reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city.
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. The battle to defeat them and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.
Reprising their fan-favorite characters from The LEGO Movie are Chris Pratt as Emmet, Elizabeth Banks as Lucy (aka Wyldstyle), Will Arnett as LEGO Batman, Nick Offerman as Metal Beard, and Alison Brie as Unikitty. They are joined by Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, and Arturo Castro as, respectively, new characters Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, Sweet Mayhem and Ice Cream Cone.
Best known for her breakout in the surprise hit Girls Trip, Haddish is also making noise on the small screen opposite Tracy Morgan on TBS’ The Last O.G., She recently starred with Kevin Hart in Universal Pictures’ Night School, and opposite Tika Sumpter’s Nobody’s Fool. Upcoming projects include Limited Partners with Rose Byrne, The Secret Life of Pets 2 with Hart again, and the mobster film The Kitchen with Melissa McCarthy.
Haddish was also Grammy nominated for best spoken-word album for the audiobook version of her memoir, The Last Black Unicorn.
Blackfilm.com recently caught up with Haddish as she spoke about Lego 2 and her Grammy nomination.
What came first, this film or The Secret Life of Pets 2 in terms of voice work?
Tiffany Haddish: This one came first. They called up and asked if I would be interested in being a queen. I was like, “Queen of what?,” and they said what ever I want to be. “For real? What’s the character’s name?,” I asked and they said “Watevra Wa’Nabi.” That’s me because I want to be Watevra Wa’Nabi.
How would you describe the character?
Tiffany Haddish: I was describe her as someone who is loving and caring and misunderstood.
Was this your first time going in a booth and doing voice work?
Tiffany Haddish: No. This is not my first time doing this. i actually won an NAACP Image Award for Best Voiceover Actress for a cartoon series about two years ago.
Had you seen The Secret Life of Pets before you got this role or did you have to catch up?
Tiffany Haddish: I saw it before on a plane a while back. I was already a fan of the franchise.
What’s been your experience with Lego? Did you have a set growing up?
Tiffany Haddish: I had a set. I used to make families out of them and my brother would always come and bust it up. He was a home wrecker.
Since this film involves a large ensemble, was there a time when everyone got together during the table read?
Tiffany Haddish: No. I didn’t meet anyone until we started doing press for the film, which is crazy. I’m not accustomed to that. I’m used to meeting people, but when you do animated work and do you your work from the booth, you don’t meet the cast until the press day or premiere.
When you met the rest of the cast, who were you most excited to meet?
Tiffany Haddish: I was really excited to meet Will Arnett. I would hear his voice when I was recording my stuff and said, “This guy has to be the coolest.” I’ve watched his work over the years, so I was excited to meet him.
What goes to saying yes to the roles you take?
Tiffany Haddish: The roles I say yes to are usually roles I feel are most like me and resonate. If I feel that people can learn something from the characters I play, then I want to do it.
When you were doing this film, did the filmmakers allow you to be you or was everything on the script?
Tiffany Haddish: Everything was on the script but I would always add in a little something here and there. It’s funny because when I saw the movie and saw my scenes, I said to myself, “That was my idea. That little thing I said made the cut.”Pretty awesome
How often are you given the opportunity to punch up a script?
Tiffany Haddish: Well, I always intend to punch it up if some directors let you and some directors would say to stick to the script and at that point you just need to pour more of yourself into it.
With as many projects that you are doing, at what point do you get to relax?
Tiffany Haddish: Well, when I close my eyeballs. As soon as I go to sleep. As far as total relaxation and vacation? I don’t know but I’m thinking a lot about it. It will come soon.
Can you talk about your Grammy nomination?
Tiffany Haddish: Yes. I’m so excited about that. Who do I bribe so that I can win. I’ve got these Groupons that I want to give out.
How exciting was it when you heard that you were a Grammy nominee?
Tiffany Haddish: I was super excited. I was like, “Is that for my song at the end my audiobook?” “No, it’s for the audiobook,” is what someone told me. I didn’t know you can get a Grammy nomination for an audiobook. That’s cool. Just to be a nominee is super cool, but to think that when I was 16 I could barely read and then I write a book and it makes the NY Times Bestsellers List and then I do the audio and that’s on the list longer than the actual book. Then the audiobook gets nominated for a Grammy, and I’m just like, “Wow!” My drama teacher was right. If you know how to read, a lot can happen.
What can we expect from your character in Season 2 of The Last O.G.?
Tiffany Haddish: In Season 2 of The Last O.G., you’re going to see more of Shay. She’s definitely going to blow your mind. People will also be shock with my range. I’m not always the funny one and you will see that.