Will Arnett builds a new career out of LEGO

Will Arnett builds a new career out of LEGO

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Will Arnett

Host Will Arnett in "LEGO Masters", which premieres Wednesday on Fox.

LOS ANGELES – Actor Will Arnett says his house is “a house built by LEGO,” thanks to his work in several LEGO movies.

Now, he’s taking that connection to television where he’s hosting “LEGO Masters,” a competition show that starts Wednesday.

Over the course of several weeks, 20 contestants compete to create structures that impress the building blocks’ creators and express their creative and engineering skills.

“This is not a gotcha show,” Arnett says. “We’re taking people who are really good at something and seeing them get even better. This is a show about people who really know what they’re doing.”

Lego Masters

Host Will Arnett and contestants Flynn and Richard in "LEGO Masters."

At the end of one of the episodes, Arnett gets to take a baseball bat to one of the creations to show it’s not glued to stand up to the rigors of television.

“We have over 3 million LEGO pieces on the set,” the award-winning actor says. “When you look at these bins of all these shapes and sizes and colors, your imagination takes off. When you look at a big box of LEGO, it’s like looking at a box of opportunity.”

Two LEGO executives, Jamie Berard and Amy Corbett, serve as judges. “Jamie designs all the LEGO architecture sets; Amy’s the lead designer on (sets like) LEGO ‘Friends.’ Not only do they design LEGO sets, they can have a piece built if they think it’s needed.”

Although Arnett pretends to have the same skill set as the judges, many of his “works” were created by Nathan Sawaya, the sculptor who created the LEGO Oscar at a recent awards show. At home, he’s much more grassroots about his abilities and often defers to his two sons.

Sculptors created a “really great LEGO Batman” and a portrait of Bojack Horseman for him. “I have a guest bedroom that’s just filled with LEGO,” he says. “My kids are still into it. Our playroom is dominated by the new ‘Rise of Skywalker’ sets. My 9-year-old got the Death Star for Christmas and I just committed to building it with him – which is foolish.”

Even on the set of “LEGO Masters,” Arnett says, “you step on them a lot.”

While Arnett, one of the stars of “Arrested Development,” never hosted a show before, he caught on quickly.

“He brought so much positivity and himself to this,” says Executive Producer Anthony Dominici. “The vibe he created was truly special.”

“I was more of a cheerleader,” Arnett says. “My job in life is to have as much fun as possible. I want everyone around me to have fun.”

Artistic sculptors were encouraged to nurture their engineering skills. Engineers were urged to be more creative.

“We gave them a challenge every week and we watched them grow,” Arnett says.

In one instance, the difference between winning and losing hinged on one piece of LEGO. “It ended up costing a team very dearly,” Arnett says. “They’re not just building things. They’re building stories.”

“LEGO Masters” premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Fox.



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