Abbi Jacobson and Olivia Munn reveal why their strong female characters in “The Lego Ninjago Movie” are so important right now

In The Lego Ninjago Movie, Abbi Jacobson and Olivia Munn both voice badass female characters (!!!).

Munn plays Koko, who is the mother to Lloyd (Dave Franco) and ex-wife to Lloyd’s evil warlord father, Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Not to mention, (SPOILER!) she was a fierce warrior named Lady Iron Dragon back in the day. Jacobson, meanwhile, plays Nya, a huge fan of Lady Iron Dragon and one of Lloyd’s fellow ninjas who joins him in his journey to stop his father from conquering Ninjago.

It’s the strength of these characters that, in large part, attracted the actresses to their respective Lego roles.

"She's the one girl in the gang of guys and I really relate to that," Jacobson tells HelloGiggles. "I was such a tomboy growing up and I had an older brother and I was always sort of, not following anyone around, but I was always sort of following my brother around and wanting to be like him, to play with him on his level."

The Broad City star and co-creator adds, “I just love how scrappy she is. She’s really confident. She rides a motorcycle. She’s got a leather jacket. She’s just fiercely independent and I’m just really proud to play this character. I think she’s really, dare I say, a necessary character for girls to see right now.”


We couldn’t agree more, and the same goes for Koko.

Though, as Munn points out, for different but equally awesome reasons.

"I love that Koko, as a mother, is the eternal optimist and wants to love her son through all of his hardships and just be a really great positive force in his life," Munn explains to HelloGiggles. "She has this whole other past, and I love that. It really, to me, shows how many roads she could have taken. But out of all the roads that she could have gone down, because of how capable and amazing she is, she chose to be a mother."

The actress (The Newsroom, X-Men: Apocalypse) went on to say that Koko’s choice just goes to show the importance of motherhood. “On paper, it seemed like she had a really big, crazy life, and [she could’ve] been a hero to many, but she chose to be a hero to one. I just love that so much about her. That out of all the things she could choose in the world, she chose to be a mother.”

Munn hopes that, between Koko and Nya, the film proves inspiring to young girls. “To have two really strong female characters in a movie, who seem one way on the surface, but have such talent and depth…I think it’s really so great for little kids, little girls, to see it,” she says. “Any time that you have diversity in film, it’s great because it helps minorities. It helps them see themselves. And it helps the masses to see minorities in different ways.”


With such a badass backstory, Munn says she’d absolutely be game for a Lady Iron Dragon prequel. And that does seem within the realm of possibility, considering how the Lego movies are basically turning into a cinematic universe. She’s also interested in taking on strong, powerful female characters across the board — through the Lego films and otherwise.

"I did martial arts growing up, and I keep getting back into that, [like] when I was filming X-Men," Munn explains. "It's been a big passion of mine. I've continued doing tae kwon do since then. That's what I did growing up. And I would really love to find something that has a lot of action."

She adds that she’d love to take on some very real action like that of the John Wick films, and she might just have a project up ahead that would allow her to do so (alas, she didn’t spill the details). But you can see her kicking ass in The Predator and Six next year.

Before then, see Nya and Koko being total badasses in The Lego Ninjago Movie (in theaters now!). And here’s hoping for more powerful roles from Munn and Jacobson ahead.