LOS ANGELES — Main Line native Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) is trying to answer questions about her voice role in the new The LEGO Ninjago Movie (opening Sept. 22), but is repeatedly being interrupted by the robotic chef at the Pizza Mania outside, who repeats the same lines, in Italian, every few minutes.
“Between this and the press conference (which was open to, and disrupted repeatedly by, young kids as well as press), this day feels like an episode of my show,” Jacobson said laughing. “We have screeching kids at a press conference followed by a robotic chef with Tourette’s!”
Jacobson is best known for the show Broad City, which focuses on her character’s life in New York City. City has gone from an award-winning web series to a Comedy Central slot the past few years.
Roles in film have been sparse, with a small role in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising last year.
So, when she was offered the role of Nya, the strong, gray Ninja of Water, in a spinoff of the incredibly popular The Lego Movie, she jumped at the chance.
“I’ve worked hard,” Jacobson said. “I’ve worked to earn an opportunity and to be ready for it when it comes.”
As for her character of Nya, she said there are pluses and minuses.
“Well, she’s the only female heroic ninja,” said Jacobson. “At the same time, being the only female in the group makes her that much more distinctive.”
Jacobson said making the movie was a blast, an experience where she got to work with old friends like Fred Armisen — but with Ninjago being an animated film in which the actors do voice work, she did not meet the film’s entire cast until the movie’s press tour.
“I only met Olivia Munn at San Diego Comic-Con — and I just met Jackie Chan for the first time today,” she said excitedly. “So, it’s different from a live-action film, but it’s still amazing!”
Jacobson said she hopes that after the exposure of Ninjago, that more offers come her way. She said she would look forward to working with Melissa McCarthy (“Who wouldn’t?) and Frances McDormand (“A project with her would be very interesting to me”) and many others.
Jacobson said that she definitely intends to focus on making people laugh — even if it’s starring in a superhero movie for Marvel Studios or DC Entertainment.
“There haven’t been a lot of superhero movies with female leads and there have been even fewer — if any — that were truly funny. I heard Ant-Man was but I haven’t seen that yet,” she said. “So, that would be my goal, my dream — to be a super-heroine who’s not afraid to be feminine and also not afraid to make people laugh.”