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SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part**. If you haven’t seen the film yet, continue at your own risk!**
In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, the role played by Stephanie Beatriz’s General Mayhem is very much tied into the film’s big twist. While audiences spend most of the movie believing her to be an antagonist agent, the reality is that she is a harbinger of peace, essentially representing young Bianca (Brooklynn Prince) reaching out to her older brother Finn (Jadon Sand) in hopes they can play together in the real world. It’s a big reveal in the new release, and one that very strongly influenced Beatriz’s performance:
General Mayhem is absolutely linked to Bianca. I think General is an expression of who Bianca thinks that she has to be, mixed with who she wants to be. And I think that as a [former] preteen girl, I think a lot of us feel that way. I think it goes from most people in general, like who does the world tell me I'm supposed to be? How do I fit in? But also how do I express myself in the way that I know is possible for me? So she does see herself as this really strong person, but the outward expression of it is maybe trying to fit into boxes that she actually isn't totally comfortable in.
I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Stephanie Beatriz late last month during the Los Angeles press day for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, and one subject that I raised was the important connection between General Mayhem and Bianca. In her response, the actress noted that what was going through the mind of the pre-teen girl was something that very much influenced her approach to her character – someone who is torn between two outward visions of herself.
We first meet General Mayhem early in the movie as an alien invader from the Systar System who arrives in Apocalypseburg with the intent of kidnapping a few heroes – and while this looks totally malicious at first, we eventually get a fuller picture of what’s going on. In reality, General Mayhem is an attempt by Bianca to reach out to her brother so that they can play together – with the girl hoping to appeal to her more mature sibling by using a mini-doll who looks like a badass space ninja and has a gruff voice.
When General Mayhem’s helmet is removed by Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), however, we start to understand what’s really going on with her. Featuring a pink smiling face and a pair of blue pigtails, she clearly isn’t the intergalactic pirate we thought she was, and even her voice goes up an octave or two. In an instant we start to get a more complete idea of who she is and what she represents, and understanding all of that was clearly very vital in Stephanie Beatriz’s performance – even on beyond what it literally means for the story in The LEGO Movie 2.
You can watch Stephanie Beatriz discuss the link between General Mayhem and Bianca in The LEGO Movie sequel by clicking play on the video below: