|“||Good luck with that.||”|
Marlena Gru (also known as Gru's Mom) is Felonius Gru and Dru Gru's mother, Lucy Wilde's mother-in-law, Robert Gru's ex-wife, and the adoptive paternal grandmother of Margo, Edith and Agnes. She is a minor character in Despicable Me and has made two silent cameos in Despicable Me 2 and Minions. She is voiced by Julie Andrews.
Marlena has a prominent chin and a tall beehive-like hairstyle. Despite her size, she is very strong and skilled in karate, and is capable of kicking a punching bag with so much force that it knocked her karate instructor across a room. She has a long nose that is typically seen throughout the Gru bloodline.
Shortly after the birth of her twin sons Dru and Felonius, Marlena divorced her husband Robert and became Gru's guardian while Robert became Dru's guardian. However, Marlena rarely even paid attention to Gru, much to the latter's chagrin.
When Gru phoned her as he was driving to the Bank of Evil, he told her that he was planning something very big and that when she heard about it, she would be very proud, to which she cynically responded, "Well, good luck with that." Later, as Gru was building his rocket (and having a fun time with the girls), she came to his house and showed the girls several embarrassing pictures of Gru's childhood, much to his annoyance.
She later attended the girls' ballet dance, where she finally told her son that she was proud of him and that he "turned out to be a great parent, just like her. Maybe even better." At first, Gru was still a little cold towards her because of her previous neglect, but smiled when she stated that he was even better than her. When the music changed to You Should be Dancing, she, along with everyone else, rushed onstage to dance and ended up dancing together with Dr. Nefario.
Despicable Me 2
She also makes a non-speaking cameo appearance near the end of the second film where she is seen attending the wedding of her son. During the wedding first Gru's family and friends (except the Minions) take a photo, then the minions come into the photo.
She also appears in the film Minions; she and her son attended Villain-Con and looked at Dr. Nefario's new invention, the Freeze Ray. In the film's credits, it's shown that she has a portrait that resembles Mona Lisa but it's later vandalized by Minions and her son, which makes her considerably upset.
Despicable Me 3
Marlena is seen practicing diving with other young trainers named Vincenzo and Paolo in a fancy pool. When Gru comes to her, asking his mother about his twin Dru, Marlena is first surprised and then admits that he does have an extended family, and she tells him the story, noting that she had "second pick", Gru. She is never seen for the rest of the film.
Marlena Gru is rather neglectful of her son and has a tendency to be rather nasty and disagreeable to him. She ignored him in his childhood, though she did seem mildly impressed by the rocket he built. She is unimpressed by most of Gru's accomplishments, but eventually grew proud of him when he showed her what a great parent he was. She is also very ignorant of her own lack of skill at parenting, thinking that she was a great parent, though she did admit to Gru that he might be slightly better than her, which somewhat touched him. Despite her neglect towards her own son, Marlena took a liking to his adopted daughters and showed them pictures of Gru as a child.
- Margo: "He looks like a girl!"
Marlena: "Yes, he does. An ugly girl."
- "Eh." - Young Marlena Gru, responding to Gru's drawing, macaroni model, and prototype of a rocket indifferently
- Young Gru: "Mom! One day I am going to land on the moon!"
Marlena: "I'm afraid you are too late, son. NASA isn't sending the monkeys anymore."
- Marlena: "Its important to be active in golden years."
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- After Gru's parents divorced, Marlena kept her only son Felonius every year until Fritz showed up that his twin brother Dru needs his help.