Film Interview

Lego Ninjago Movie – Q&As


Sharing the heart, wit and irrepressible sense of fun that made THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE and THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE so unforgettable, The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie explores another cinematic world – the fantastic, faraway island of NINJAGO®.  The battle for NINJAGO® City calls to action Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends (Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane and Nya), who are all secret ninja warriors and guided by their own elemental powers of water, earth, lightning, ice and fire.  They fight using the art of Spinjitzu and their awesome machine mechs. Led by their teacher Master Wu, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad.  What really sets this film apart from previous LEGO® movies is the real-world environments (real water, foliage) and (spoiler alert) a real cat!

Q&A Lloyd

Dave Franco (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) / “Lloyd“
Names: Lloyd, the Green Ninja
Elemental Power: Green Energy
Mech: Green Ninja Mech Dragon


For those who don’t know the world of Ninjago, can you tell us your name?

Sure. I’m Lloyd.

And your last name?

I’d… rather just leave it at “Lloyd” if that’s cool with you. Last names aren’t very important. Yeah, “Lloyd” is good.

Is that because your last name is “Garmadon” and you’re related to the evil warlord, Lord Garmadon?

Well, yes, technically we’re related. But we are deeply, deeply estranged, and the only time we’ve spoken in the past 16 years is when he accidentally butt-dialed me. Also, we’re not closely related at all. I’m just his son.

We imagine being the son of Garmadon can be pretty tough. What kind of treatment do you get from the other kids at school?

Oh, it’s not so bad. Every day on the ride to school, I get a whole half of the bus all to myself. And I’m pretty popular. Everyone knows my name and is always talking about me. And, yeah, whenever Garmadon attacks, kids usually “boo” me and whatnot – but it always feels like they’re booing with me, not at me, you know?

Ouch. Sounds rough. So, do you have any friends who’ve got your back?

Totally. I’ve grown up with an awesome group of friends who have supported me since day one. There’s Kai who is always around to hug you until you pass out. Nya gives me rides on her sweet motorcycle and will fight anyone who messes with me. Cole is a super cool DJ who helps me block out the noise from all the haters. And Jay is always worried about me and tries to hide whatever insults somebody has written on my locker. Oh, and I can’t forget Zane, who is the best at offering warm, human companionship… even though he’s a robot.

That’s great. And what about the rest of your family?

I live with my mom, who always does everything she can to take care of me. She worries whenever Garmadon attacks and she can’t find me – but I always tell her I was just watching the Secret Ninjas from a safe distance with the other kids. And there’s also my uncle, Master Wu, who trains me and my friends in his dojo.

He trains you? You mean like trains you to be ninjas—?

(stammering) Oh, uh, not train-train… and definitely not at ninja-ing. He trains us in boring stuff like doing our homework, or practicing good manners, or finding our inner peace. Nothing ninja-related in any way. I just want to be one hundred percent clear about that.

Got it. But being a ninja does seem pretty cool. If you could be one of the Secret Ninjas, which one would you be?

Probably the Green one. I mean, I’ve never really thought about it before, but it would be cool to fly around in an awesome dragon mech, and be to be loved by the entire city, and the uniform matches my green hoodie… but, yeah, like I said — never really thought about it before.

Hmm. Now that you mention it, the Green Ninja is the only ninja who has a deeply personal investment in fighting Garmadon. And you and your friends are always taking bathroom breaks whenever he attacks. Are you sure you’re not the Green Ninja?

Uh…what? I mean, what’re you talking about? I mean, of course not, that’s ridiculous. I don’t know anything about being a ninja …and I never take bathroom breaks.

You’re totally the Green Ninja, aren’t you?

(sighs) Okay, just please don’t tell anyone. We are the Secret Ninja Force, you know?

Your secret’s safe with us. Last question. What’s your plan for the next time Garmadon attacks?

Funny you should ask because I’ve got a pretty good feeling that he may not attack again anytime soon—

ALARM rings out, people SCREAM, stuff EXPLODES

Actually, it sounds like he’s attacking right now.

Ummmmm… I gotta go …


Justin Theroux (“Megamind 2,” “The Leftovers”) / “Lord Garmadon”
Names: Lord Garmadon, the Worst Guy Ever
Mech: Garma Mecha Man

A lot of people think you’re pretty evil. But is there any chance you’re just misunderstood?

Yes. I’m very misunderstood. Because I’m not just evil – I’m super evil. Mega evil. So ridiculously evil that it will forever change your conception of what evil really is. But the most misunderstood thing about me? I’m also a great dad.

Really? So you must spend a lot of quality time with your son, Lloyd?

I’m sorry, who?

Your son. Lloyd Garmadon.

Ohhh, you mean La-Loyd. That’s how you pronounce it. “Laaa-Loyd.” L-L-O-Y-D. I know ‘cause I named him.

You must be very close. What’s your favorite thing to do with your son?

There are so many things. I love blowing up buildings, operating giant shark mechs, smashing stuff, listening to screams of terror from innocent citizens—

Sorry, what exactly are you talking about?

My favorite thing about conquering NINJAGO. Isn’t that what you asked me?

No. The question was ‘What’s your favorite thing to do with your son?’

Oh, no idea. I haven’t seen him in 16 years. I’ve been pretty preoccupied with conquering NINJAGO.

But you’ve never actually conquered it. The Secret Ninja Force always stops you. Especially the Green Ninja—

Okay, you know what? Enough with the “gotcha” questions! I’m not here to talk about the Green Ninja! I thought I was here to talk about my awesome mechs, or what it’s like to have four arms, or my sweet volcano lair, which I should go ahead and fire you out of…

Okay, take it easy. There’s no need to fire anyone out of a volcano. Let’s talk about what’s so important to you about NINJAGO. Is there a specific reason why you’re so determined to conquer it?

Well, I’ve already conquered all the other ‘Go cities. KungFu-Go, TaeKwon-Go, Chicago. It just makes sense to have the complete set.

So it has nothing to do with your son, Lloyd?


Sorry… ‘La-Loyd.’

Pfft! No way! La-Loyd can’t even walk! He’s bald, has no teeth. Did I mention he can’t even walk??

I think you’re describing your son as a baby. He’s 16 years old now. He’s a high school student, full head of blond hair, big fan of the Green Ninja—

I told you, no more Green Ninja talk! That’s it, I’m gonna go ahead and fire you out of this volcano. Consider yourself fired.


Man, I wish La-Loyd was here to see this. I’m such a great dad.


Jackie Chan (“Kung Fu Panda,” The Karate Kid”) / “Master Wu”



Many people are surprised to discover that Garmadon is your brother. What was it like growing up with an evil warlord?

Very challenging. He was always stealing my toys, picking fights with me, and firing our mother out of a volcano. A real problem child.

Luckily, you’ve trained the Secret Ninja Force to protect NINJAGO from Garmadon. Did you teach them how to build their awesome mechs?

No. I do not approve of those crazy machines. A true ninja only needs a clear mind, an open heart and a giant flying boat to fight evil.

We’ve heard you’ve got some real skills with that flute. Can you play us a tune?

One cannot simply ask for a tune. When you have fully embraced the ninja way, the right tune will present itself to you. Also, I’m not a human jukebox, you know?

Out of everyone you could have recruited for the Secret Ninja Force, you picked a bunch of teenagers. Why?

These students were born with incredible elemental powers and it is their destiny to defeat Garmadon and ensure the safety of Ninjago. But, yes, teenagers are tough. It would have been a lot easier if this was the destiny of trained warriors or mercenaries.

Your age is a topic of much speculation. Any comment on the rumors that you’re 167 years old?

Petty gossip is not the ninja way. But the beard ages me.

Despite having such a stressful job, you always seem so calm and centered. Any tips for how to find your inner peace?

It is very simple: Meditate regularly, become one with the elements, and avoid eating spicy foods before bed.

In addition to being a Ninja Master, you’re also an accomplished author. Can you tell us a little about your book, Ninjanuity?

Yes. It was a NINJAGO Times Bestseller; it will teach you how to unlock your elemental power; and it’s 550,000 pages long.

550,000 pages? Sounds like a pretty slow read.

Yes, but it really picks up after the first 100,000 pages.


Olivia Munn (“X-Men: Apocalypse”) / “Koko”
Names: Koko, Mom, the former Mrs. Garmadon


You do so much to take care of your son in every way. Any tips for being a great mom?

Well, it’s easy to be a great mom when you have such a great kid. And Lloyd is the best. He’s sweet; he’s sensitive; and he has such a positive attitude about being the son of an evil warlord who attacks his hometown with reckless abandon.

That brings up an interesting question: How did you and Garmadon get together? Did you really fall in love with a warlord?

It’s complicated. But I was really into bad boys back then.

What’s the hardest part about raising a teenager these days?

Well, if there’s one thing Lloyd does that really irks me, it’s that whenever Garmadon attacks, he always goes missing for long periods of time. I get so worried, but it usually turns out that he was just watching the Secret Ninja Force save the city – from a safe distance, with the other kids. Phew!

How do you help Lloyd deal with kids at school who pick on him because of his dad?

I like to start every morning with an inspirational pep talk. I figure the more times I remind Lloyd that he’s the sweetest, kindest, most lovable little guy in the whole world, the more it will finally sink in!

If you could ask the mothers of the Secret Ninja Force one question, what would it be?

Did any of your kids lose a ninja mask? Because I think I found it under Lloyd’s bed.


Abbi Jacobson (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) / “Nya”
Names: Nya, the Water Ninja
Elemental Power: Water
Mech: Water Strider

You’re the Water Ninja. What is it that drew you to the element of water?

Well, water is a life source for our entire world. It nourishes us, cleanses us, purifies us.

Kai is your twin brother. Is there any sibling rivalry between the two of you?

No way. We’ve never been competitive like that. Mostly because I’m stronger, tougher, cooler, smarter, funnier, and have a way sweeter mech than he does. What’s the point of being competitive when I’m obviously better at everything, you know?

We’ve heard some crazy rumors that you ride a motorcycle through the halls of your high school – that can’t possibly be true, right?

No way. That’s ridiculous. I ride a souped-up, super-charged, limited edition turbo-chopper with a sick custom paint job. ‘Motorcycle’ is such an old-school word.

Tell us about your mech. When saving the city, do you prefer to skim over the water or dive underneath it?

It depends. Wherever there are innocent people to be saved or bad guy butts to be kicked is where I want to be. Other than that, I’m good either way.

It sounds like Lloyd relies on you to stick up for him at school. You really have his back, don’t you?

Oh yeah. I don’t let anyone bully my friends. And Lloyd can always use another friend to stand up to the tough guys on the football team, or basketball team, or the student council, or the cheer squad, or the debate team, or the glee club, or the PTA…

We heard you’re a big fan of the famous ninja Lady Iron Dragon. What would you say to her if you ever got the chance to meet her?

I’d ask her how she balances the duty of being an awesome fighter with all the homework. It can be a lot to handle!

You’re a real role model to lots of girls out there. What do you say to all the young fans who look up to you?

I say follow your dreams because you can be anything you want to be in this world. And you don’t have to be just one thing. You can be a ninja AND ride a sweet bike AND be better than your brother at everything.


Michael Peña (“Ant-Man,” “The Martian”) / “Kai”
Names: Kai, The Fire Ninja
Elemental Power: Fire
Mech: Fire Mech

So, you’re the Fire Ninja. Does that mean you’re kind of a hothead?

What did you call me, bro??… Psych! Just kidding. I’m not a hothead at all. I’m just warm-hearted! There’s a difference. Come here, gimme a hug. I didn’t mean to scare you.

Oooookaaaay, this hug’s a little too tight. It’s getting tough to breathe.

We gotta hug ’til we both pass out. That’s the only way to do it.

We spoke to your sister, Nya, a little earlier. It sounds like things can get pretty competitive between the two of you.

Competitive? Nah, we’re not into any of that …Wait. Why’d you talk to her first? I’m the older one! Not cool, bro!

Imagine you didn’t have access to your mech anymore. Is there any other way you could make fire?

Oh yeah. Master Wu taught me how to rub two sticks together and make fire using patience. Here, watch. I’ll do it for you now…Patience… Patience… Patien … Ugh! Well, as you can see, it’s a work in progress.

Yikes. If you don’t mind us saying, that was a little hotheaded.

I know, my bad. Come her and gimme another hug.


Fred Armisen (“The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “SNL”) / “Cole”
Names: Cole, the Earth Ninja
Elemental Power: Earth
Mech: Quake Mech


So in addition to being a high school student and a ninja, we hear you’re also an amateur DJ.

Amateur? No, my spinning skills are very professional. Check this out.

Oh, nice. So what’s it like being—

Hold on, I’m not done yet.

Cool. Just let us know when you’re ready for the next question…

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done… and…BASS DROP!!

Okay, we’re just gonna keep going with the interview. So, you’re the Earth Ninja. Why do you think Master Wu chose that element for you?

Probably because I’m the most grounded one in the group. The one who has a spiritual connection to the world around me. Who is always listening to everything all around us.

Wow, that was really powerful. Did Master Wu teach you that?

Uhhh, I’m not sure. I usually tune out whenever he’s talking.

If you had to choose between being a DJ or a ninja for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Man, that’s tough. I mean, it’s so rewarding to wake up every day and inspire people, and to be an icon to a city and do something that has the power to truly change the world… but being a ninja is pretty cool, too. Tough choice.


Kumail Nanjiani (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”) / “Jay“
Names: Jay, the Lightning Ninja
Elemental Power: Lightning
Mech: Lightning Jet

There are a lot of different personalities on the Secret Ninja Force, but you’re the one most often described as—

Cunning? Fearless? Boyishly handsome on the outside but an old soul on the inside?

We were going to say “terrified of everything.” Any comment on that?

Oh, come on. That’s ridiculous. I’m the Lightning Ninja! I’m not afraid of anyth…AAAAHHH! What’s that on my shirt??? It’s a spider! Get it off! Please, get it off!!!

Actually, that’s your lapel mic. So, we can record the interview. It’s completely harmless.

Are you sure? You know what? I’m just gonna take it off anyways. Just to be safe.

Speaking of being the Lightning Ninja, are there ‘sparks’ flying between you and anyone special lately?

Well, I don’t want to start any rumors, but I’m definitely sensing a pretty strong vibe between me and Nya lately. I mean, you know what they say about electricity and water…

That it can kill you?

No, I meant… Well, actually… The point I was trying to make was… Okay, it wasn’t the best metaphor. I can see that now. Umm…by the way, did Nya say anything about me in her interview?


Thought so.


Zach Woods (“Silicon Valley”) / “Zane”
Names: Zane, the Ice Ninja
Elemental Power: Ice
Controls: Ice Tank


What’s it like being the only member of the Secret Ninja Force who is actually a robot?

Incorrect. I am one hundred percent a human teenager. My life is a combination of angsty frustration and raging hormones. Hashtag: Teen life.

Oh, sorry about that. Well, your parents must be proud of everything you’re doing to help NINJAGO then.

My mother is an old dial-up modem and my father is Joseph Engelbricker, the father of modern robotics.

This is confusing. Are you sure you’re not a robot?

Darn. You got me. If I had the capability to experience human emotion, I would be overwhelmed by remorse for deceiving you.

Don’t worry about it. And speaking of emotion, you must see a lot of it from your friend Lloyd, since he has to struggle with being the son of Garmadon every single day.

Oh, yes. I envy Lloyd’s ability to feel a wide range of emotions: sadness, irritation, annoyance, rage, grief, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, and deep shame, just to name a few. Lloyd is so lucky!

So, when you’re not busy saving NINJAGO, what do robots do for fun?

Many things. We update our operating systems, enjoy some relaxation in sleep mode, and ponder the inevitable dawn of the singularity. And video games.

Ninjago – By The Numbers

  • 1 New animated adventure – The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie – that explores the fantastic, faraway island of NINJAGO, with a new ensemble of characters and its own signature style.
  • 6.9 Meters – the height of NINJAGO Tower, which is the tallest building in NINJAGO City, a dazzling metropolis bustling with activity and color.
  • 19 Percent of the film’s objects with the world “ninja” in their names.
  • 34 Animals and insects.
  • 57 Colors comprise the film’s palette – the total number of existing LEGO colors.
  • 80 Unique minifigure faces.
  • 100 Unique rocks built for the movie.
  • 150 Unique minifigure wardrobe designs.
  • 196 Minifigs designed for motion.
  • 254 Unique NINJAGO plant species.
  • 315 Characters in the movie.
  • 1034 Shots featuring NINJAGO City.
  • 3463 Unique bricks, added to the existing digital LEGO brick library created since the first movie.
  • 6800 Years it would take to render NINJAGO on a single CPU.
  • 10,565 Minifigure characters and vehicles in the film’s largest crowd scene.
  • 12,000 Possible facial combinations for the characters in the movie.
  • 40,637 Bricks comprising the NINJAGO logo.
  • 6,493,248 Hairs on the fully digital, larger-than-life cat and accidental villain that threatens NINJAGO City.
  • 12,680,043 Bricks making up NINJAGO City.
  • 100,000,000+ Grains of sand appearing on NINJAGO’s beach.
  • 9.22.2017 Date The LEGO NINJAGO Movie lands around the globe when the film is released in 3D and 2D theaters worldwide, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Read the SAMDB review of the Lego Ninjago Movie.


By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

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