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Almost 20 years since Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening’s last series premiered, he’s returning with Disenchantment, the Netflix original animated series about a rebellious (and alcoholic) princess, her elf, and her personal demon. Groening’s long-awaited follow-up quickly caught the attention of Simpsons diehard Abbi Jacobson.
“When I saw it was Matt, I was like, ‘Of course I’m going to audition, and then I’m not going to get it, and then I’ll forget about it, which is what happens usually,” the Broad City co-creator and star says with a laugh. “And then I couldn’t believe that I got it. It’s been a constant pinching-myself situation to get to work with him and the whole team.”
Jacobson describes her character, Princess Bean, as a “lush” who is “disenchanted with her situation.” That is, until Nat Faxon’s elf and Eric Andre’s demon enter her life. “Meeting Elfo and Luci sort of amplifies what she’s always been looking for: to get into adventures and trouble and to get out of her environment,” says Jacobson. “There’s a three amigos kind of vibe. I think of it as good and bad on her shoulders. Like the advice from Luci would always be to do the wrong thing and get into trouble, and the advice from Elfo would be to do the right thing and to have morals. So it’s this constant push and pull between the two sides. But they definitely have each other’s backs at the end of the day and it’s a really adorable friendship, even if Elfo and Bean have a little more emotion going on with the love story there.”
Disenchantment, which, despite the medieval setting, Jacobson insists is “really relevant and about a lot of what’s going on today,” isn’t your typical storybook tale, something that the actress is proud to represent. “I really like the fact that she’s an anti-stereotypical princess,” she shares. “It’s so not what a usual princess story is—not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it’s a really strong female character, which I’m obviously excited to play.”
Jacobson is also excited to have the opportunity to leave her work at the office for once. After years of having her hand in everything on Broad City, Disenchantment has been a “drastically different” experience, so much so that she hasn’t even gotten to see any episodes yet.
“It’s such a breath of fresh air for me,” admits Jacobson. “I get to come in, record, pitch joke ideas during recording and improvise if I want. Then I get to leave and trust that they make a dope show. Whereas on Broad City, Ilana [Glazer] and I are very much micro-managers. We have an incredible team of people, but, like you said, our hands are in everything. So, honestly, it’s nice to get to leave and be like, ‘Wow, this turned out great!’ Well, I guess if I ever get to see it.”
Jacobson will finally get her chance to watch when Disenchantment premieres Aug. 17 on Netflix.