Gillian Jacobs Makes Filming Netflix’s Ibiza Sound Like A Blast

Photo: Chelsea Lauren/WWD/REX/Shutterstock.
We all know Netflix has a near-infinite list of original movies, but, those films usually fall into three categories: awards season bait, The Adam Sandler Ones, or A Christmas Prince. While everyone loves a good trip to Aldovia, we can all agree the streaming giant can use some (decidedly empowering and female) perspectives. And, that is where Ibiza comes in. The R-rated comedy follows three best friends — played by Love’s Gillian Jacobs, 2 Dope Queens’ Phoebe Robinson, and Saturday Night Live alum Vanessa Bayer — who attempt to track down a dreamy DJ (Rocketman's Richard Madden) on the titular EDM-friendly Spanish island.
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Although it sounds like Ibiza could easily boil down to the story of one woman chasing down her prospective beat-dropping prince, Jacobs says that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“It’s really a movie about female friendship … The movie is about three [women] going on an adventure, and we had an adventure ourselves,” the actress explained to Refinery29 about life on the Netflix set. “I had such an incredible time working with Lauren Kahn, who wrote the film … and Phoebe and Vanessa.”
According to Jacobs, who’s now the face of re-branded Diet Coke and its happiness-focused “Because I Can” campaign, a lot of that “adventure” was traveling with her comedy favourite co-stars. “We shot in Serbia and Croatia, and I’ve never shot in either of those countries before,” she explained. “We got to be all up and down coastal Croatia, which is so unbelievably beautiful. I got to live in Belgrade for five weeks and get to know the city.”
The coasts of Eastern Europe are a far cry from the studio lots of Los Angeles, where Jacobs filmed her other Netflix property, Love, which wrapped for good last year after three seasons. The rom-com follows the rollercoaster romance of Jacobs’ Mickey Dobbs and her on-again, off-again boyfriend Gus Cruikshank (Paul Rust).
Reflecting on her Love journey, the star applauded the Judd Apatow show for its honesty. “This character pushed me in so many different ways and required such a degree of vulnerability from me. I’ve really been able to think about a lot of things in my own life, my family, my past.” she admitted. "I tried to use it as a springboard for my own life. It’s been kind of incredible to see the conversations I’ve wound up having with friends and loved ones inspired by Mickey and Gus.”
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With Love officially in the can and Ibiza available to stream on Netflix, Jacobs, who also co-stars in Melissa McCarthy’s blockbuster, Life Of The Party, is now looking towards a future coloured by changes like the Time's Up initiative. She's hoping her recent roles “encourage” tinsel town to keep shining a light on female friendships and complex ladies.
“I would love to continue to play three-dimensional characters who feel like fully realised human beings,” she added. “I really hope that’s in my future — that’s not the case for every actress. You can often find yourself playing supporting actress to the male lead.”
It’s unlikely we’ll ever see Jacobs in a Girlfriend Role, as she said reflecting upon her Diet Coke campaign, “It’s something I continuously need to remind myself: to take chances, to push past my fear, my self-doubt and allow myself to do the things that make me happy … I think about, ‘What do I want to do? Which projects do I want to be a part of?’”
We can all agree the answer to that question is giving us more complex women living their wonderful, messy lives, whether that's in L.A. or the neon-lit raves of Ibiza.
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