“They’re less ‘sidekicks’ and more ‘people who idolize Batman and are always telling me how awesome I am,’” Batman says of Barbara Gordon and Robin.
With the release of The LEGO Batman Movie drawing ever near (February 10), the heroes and villains of the big-screen adventure were keen to sit down with us and talk through their current goings-on in Gotham City. We caught up with Batman, Barbara Gordon, Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth, The Joker and Harley Quinn to chat about the big changes brewing in the city, while also finding out what day-to-day life is like in the sprawling metropolis.
LEGO® BATMAN Q&A
QUESTION: So, you’re the number one Super Hero in Gotham City?
BATMAN: I am. And the number one billionaire, and number one celebrity, and number one most eligible bachelor, and number one ab model, and number one humble-bragger.
QUESTION: That’s very impressive. And who would you say is your number one bad guy?
BATMAN: Nobody. I fight lots of criminals, but no one who stands out to me in any way. Especially not someone who wears garish clown makeup, a cheap purple suit, and is totally obsessed with me.
QUESTION: It sounds like you’re describing The Joker.
BATMAN: The what now? I’m not familiar with anyone by that name.
QUESTION: What about your sidekicks? Describe your working relationships with Barbara Gordon and Robin.
BATMAN: They’re less ‘sidekicks’ and more ‘people who idolize Batman and are always telling me how awesome I am.’ And I respect that about them. They’re two of the best in the biz.
QUESTION: But don’t you ever need help being a Super Hero and defending Gotham City?
BATMAN: Absolutely. Someone’s got to be there to have my protein smoothie and Lobster Thermidor ready when I get home from a hard night defending Gotham City against crime and chaos. That’s usually Alfred. And I need someone to do my laundry and dust all my super cool vehicles and tech. Again, that’s Alfred’s territory. But other than that, no. Batman works alone. That’s my motto! TM.
QUESTION: We love your new Batmobile. Any chance you can take us for a ride?
BATMAN: Sure! Except there’s only one seat. And it’s specially designed to fit my exact dimensions and body contours. And I don’t want anyone messing with my radio presets. And Alfred just washed it. So, actually, no.
QUESTION: You’ve been fighting crime for 78 years now, right? How do you stay so fit and young-looking?
BATMAN: First of all, thanks for noticing. *wink* And, second, I take care of myself. It’s a simple daily routine of thousands upon thousands of push-ups, a physically grueling core workout – that’s how I maintain this shredded 9-pack, thank you. Plus, I always make sure to get at least 15 minutes of sleep every afternoon.
QUESTION: We’ve heard Gotham is getting a new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon. How do you plan on working together with her?
BATMAN: I’m sorry, what was that? Wooorrr-kkkingg to-gethhhh-er…? I’m not familiar with that phrase. You’ll have to explain it to me.
QUESTION: It means being a part of a team. Relying on other people to help you accomplish a common goal.
BATMAN: Ohhhhhhh, I get it now. Sure-sure-sure. Yeah …. no, I won’t be doing that, with anyone, at any point, ever. Did you forget what my motto is?
QUESTION: ‘Batman works alone’?
BATMAN: TM. Copyright Batman.
BARBARA GORDON Q&A
QUESTION: First off, congratulations on your new job as the police commissioner of Gotham City.
BARBARA GORDON: Thank you! It’s a dream come true and I can’t wait to get to work.
QUESTION: How did you prepare for such an important job as heading Gotham’s police force?
BARBARA GORDON: Well, I watched my father hold this job for many years. And I graduated top of my class at Harvard for Police. And I cleaned up the streets in Gotham’s sister-city, Bludhaven.
QUESTION: Wow, that’s quite a resume. And how do you intend to take down Gotham’s Rogues Gallery of Super-Villains?
BARBARA GORDON: Practicing proper ethics, relying on my teammates, and always respecting the law. Plus, I studied ‘Taking down Super-Villains’ at Harvard for Police.
QUESTION: You seem to be mentioning Harvard for Police a lot.
BARBARA GORDON: Am I? Only because it’s coming up naturally in the course of conversation. I’m not one of those people who went to Harvard for Police and always try to bring up how they graduated top of their class at Harvard for Police.
QUESTION: Got it. You also mentioned your father, longtime Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon. What would you say is the biggest lesson he taught you about the job?
BARBARA GORDON: There’ve been so many. He taught me how to flip the switch to the Bat-signal. And how to plug in the Bat-signal. And how to stand beside the Bat-signal and wait for Batman to show up. So… yeah. All great lessons.
QUESTION: It sounds like the new Commissioner Gordon has some different ideas on how to work with Batman…
BARBARA GORDON: I do! I want to lead the first Gotham police force that works with Batman. Batman and Batgirl! Side-by-side, like a true team. He might even learn a thing or two. Doesn’t that sound great?
QUESTION: Sure does. And how does Batman feel about that idea?
BARBARA GORDON: He hates it. Every time I bring it up, he just drops a smoke bomb and does a quick fade.
QUESTION: That’s got to be frustrating.
BARBARA GORDON: It is. I’m not giving up, though. Because, as I always say, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work,’ ‘Two heads are better than one,’ and ‘Solo vigilantism is highly illegal.’
DICK GRAYSON Q&A
QUESTION: We heard you’ve recently been adopted. That’s great news. Can you tell us a little about your new dad?
DICK GRAYSON: He’s Bruce Wayne! The billionaire, business tycoon and Gotham’s most eligible bachelor, now and forever. He’s the Greatest Orphan of All Time!
QUESTION: Wow, that’s exciting. Must be a dream come true for you.
DICK GRAYSON: It is. But can I tell you a secret? [Whispers] My other dad is BATMAN!
QUESTION: Batman? That’s amazing. So you get to live in the Batcave?
DICK GRAYSON: I have sleepovers there every night! And I get to play with all of Batman’s awesome vehicles and high-tech gadgets, and his giant super-computer.
QUESTION: Really? Batman lets you play with all of his stuff?
DICK GRAYSON: Well, technically I’m not allowed to touch, stand next to, observe, think about, or breathe near any of it. But it’s still super fun!
QUESTION: So, when you and Batman aren’t having typical father/son time, do you ever go out on top secret Super Hero missions together?
DICK GRAYSON: All the time! I’m always the one who Batman asks to do all the really risky, dangerous stuff – that shows how much he believes in me! It’s such an honor to be his crime-fighting sidekick!
QUESTION: Fighting bad guys can be pretty dangerous, though. Do you have any special fighting techniques that you use when battling criminals?
DICK GRAYSON: I know Gym-kata! It’s a gymnastics-based martial art. I also know gymnastics! It’s a gymnastics-based Olympic sport.
QUESTION: And do you have a secret Super Hero code-name?
DICK GRAYSON: I sure do! It’s Robin. As in the sweet-singing, red-bellied defender of the sky!
QUESTION: How about your costume? Tell us all about it.
DICK GRAYSON: I love it! It fits like a glove; the colors are bright and eternally hopeful – just like me! – and it has plenty of flexibility for throwing kicks or doing super-cool jumps.
QUESTION: Is that because you’re not actually wearing pants?
DICK GRAYSON: Yup! The pants were a little too tight, so they had to go. Rrrrriiiip!!! All I need are my teeny-greenies and I’m ready for action.
QUESTION: And Batman’s okay with that?
DICK GRAYSON: Oh sure. I mean, he’s occasionally mumbling under his breath, or shaking his head in my direction, or commenting on how he can only look me directly in the eyes – but, other than that, he loves it!
ALFRED PENNYWORTH Q&A
QUESTION: So you’ve been Batman’s loyal butler and confidante for pretty much his entire life?
ALFRED: That’s right. I’ve raised, cooked, cleaned, and cared for him as if he were my own son.
QUESTION: So you must know his secret identity then. Care to spill the beans?
ALFRED: I’m afraid I can’t discuss that right now. Master Bru— I mean, Batman’s cape needs washing.
QUESTION: Okay, we get it. At least tell us one thing about Batman that nobody else knows.
ALFRED: Occasionally, he enjoys a nice, emotional romantic comedy. He loves them. Serendipity, Must Love Dogs, Jerry Maguire. The weepier the better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrubbed Bat-tears off his cowl.
QUESTION: Wow, we never saw that coming. So, if there was one thing you could change about Batman, what would it be?
ALFRED: I’d love for him to stop spending so much time alone. And risking life and limb on the dangerous streets of Gotham. And playing so much of that angry heavy metal music at all hours of the night. I’m also urging him to spend more time with his adopted son or risk losing his computer privileges, which I learned all about in the parenting book Setting Limits for Your Out of Control Child.
QUESTION: You seem like a pretty tough guy yourself. Do you ever think about putting on a costume and fighting crime with Batman?
ALFRED: Well, I’ve done my fair share of fighting in uniform. I was a tail gunner for the Royal Air Force and saw plenty of action – [gentlemanly British accent] Pew-pew. Pew-pew. Pew. But these days, I prefer to fight battles with my wits instead of my fists. Which I also learned all about in the parenting book Setting Limits for Your Out of Control Child.
QUESTION: You seem to be getting a lot of use out of that book.
ALFRED: I’ve read it 45 times. At some point, it has to finally start working.
QUESTION: What’s your secret to making the perfect Lobster Thermidor?
ALFRED: The recipe is an old family secret.
QUESTION: Oh, come on. Can’t you just tell us one of your secrets?
ALFRED: I’m afraid not. Master Bru— I mean, Batman’s cape needs ironing.
THE JOKER Q&A
QUESTION: So, you’re one of Batman’s most hated enemies?
THE JOKER: I’m sorry? ‘One of’?
QUESTION: Yes. You’re one of the many, many Super-Villains Batman fights in Gotham City. Are we missing something here?
THE JOKER: Yes! Look, Batman may ‘fight around’ with a bunch of Gotham’s B-through-Z list villains, but what we have is special! I’m not just ‘some bad guy.’ I’m his greatest enemy!
QUESTION: So Batman refers to you as such? He calls you his ‘greatest enemy’?
THE JOKER: Well, I mean… not out loud. Or to my face. Or whenever I ask him to define our relationship by uttering those specific words directly to me. But he feels it deep down in his heart. And that’s what matters most.
QUESTION: You’ve been trying to take over Gotham City for decades now. Why keep at it for all these years?
THE JOKER: That’s like asking, ‘Why does a clown make people laugh?’ – which I’m also uniquely qualified to answer since I’m both a clown and a respected humorist. But the truth is, I keep trying to take over Gotham because it’s what I love. And if it happens to get Batman’s attention once in a while and we spend a little more time together and he realizes how important I am in his life, then that’s all just an added plus.
QUESTION: And what about your criminal associates? Do you have special connections with any of them?
THE JOKER: Harley Quinn is my best girl-buddy. And Riddler comes in handy whenever I’m doing the Sunday crossword. Bane’s pretty good at opening a pickle jar for me.
QUESTION: We’ve heard you can be pretty mean to them sometimes.
THE JOKER: You mean like when I ditched them all, or called them ‘losers,’ or blamed them for every criminal shortcoming I’ve ever had? It’s called motivational speaking. They love that!
QUESTION: Let’s go out on a positive note. Can you tell us a joke?
THE JOKER: Sure. What’s the difference between a piano and a fish? You can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish! … What’s wrong? You’re not laughing…
QUESTION: Sorry, we were supposed to? Is that the end of the joke?
THE JOKER: This interview is over!
HARLEY QUINN Q&A
QUESTION: Can you describe your relationship with the Joker?
HARLEY QUINN: He’s my boo-boo, my sugar plum, my main squeeze, my Puddin’, my – did I already say “sugar plum”? I did, right?
QUESTION: And how about all the other rogue villains? Do you all get along?
HARLEY QUINN: Oh sure! I mean, Two-Face can be kind of a grump sometimes – depends on what side of the bed he woke up on. And Mr. Freeze is always turning down the thermostat in the hideout. And it’s really hard to ever understand what Bane is saying with that mask on. But other than that, they’re all great!
QUESTION: Tell us about how you and The Joker first met.
HARLEY QUINN: Oh, it’s such a cute story. We met in Arkham Asylum – I was a psychiatrist, he was a prisoner – and it was obsession at first sight!
QUESTION: And how do you work together on a typical day?
HARLEY QUINN: Well, I’m always here to help Mr. J come up with new master plans. And I love to orchestrate elaborate tricks to play on dumb-dumbs like Batman. But most of all, I help Joker when he’s feeling mad or down in the dumps. I give him advice on how to always be the best bad guy he can be. I guess you could say I’ve got a PhD in villainy! And also clinical psychology. I have an actual PhD in that – it’s hanging on the wall in the hideout.
QUESTION: So you must be pretty cunning and smart. Is it safe to call yourself the brains of the operation?
HARLEY QUINN: Well, I’d never call myself that … but you just did! So, thank you!
QUESTION: One thing we’ve noticed though is that Joker seems to spend much of his time concentrating on Batman. Do you ever get jealous of their relationship?
HARLEY QUINN: Sometimes. But whenever I start to feel a little angry inside, I just whip out my mallet and – SMASH! SMASH! SMASH!
QUESTION: Uh, you’re kind of smashing everything in sight right now.
HARLEY QUINN: I know. SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! Don’t worry, I’m almost done. SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! SMASH!
QUESTION: Speaking of smashing, you’re a big hit with lots of kids in the LEGO universe. What words of wisdom do you have for your new fans?
HARLEY QUINN: Simple. When life gives you lemons, smash lemonade – everything smashes for a reason – and if you put your mind to it, you can smash anything!