Natasha Leggero goes ‘Broke’ in new CBS sitcom

‘Broke’ – Leggero, Perrette star as oil-and-water sisters in CBS sitcom

“Broke” premieres Thursday on CBS.

Anyone who has followed Natasha Leggero’s career knows she likes to mine class differences for laughs, be it in her stand-up comedy or film and TV roles. Which makes her latest project right up her alley.

In the multi-camera comedy “Broke,” premiering Thursday, April 2, on CBS, Leggero (“Another Period,” “The Do-Over”) co-stars with Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”) as Elizabeth and Jackie, working-class sisters who took divergent paths in life. While Elizabeth apparently married well with Javier (Jaime Camil, “Jane the Virgin”), stunningly handsome and heir to a Mexican family fortune, Jackie is a struggling single mom and divorcee with a young son and a ramshackle house in the Los Angeles suburb of Reseda.

But it turns out Elizabeth’s life isn’t so great, either. Spendthrifts and wastrels, they’ve gone through all of Javier’s trust-fund money and Daddy has cut them off. With nary a dime to their name, they turn up on Jackie’s doorstep seeking refuge – and Jackie isn’t all that crazy about taking the people she resentfully refers to as “Aunt Hoity and Uncle Toity,” as well as their manservant Luis (Izzy Diaz, “Telenovela”), in. But she does so – grudgingly.

Natasha Leggero stars in “Broke,” premiering Thursday on CBS.

The role gave Leggero the chance to play to her own strength to paint Elizabeth as a nouveau-riche princess with a full catalog of affectations, who is embarrassed by her working-class background and horrified by her new surroundings.

“I’ve always been obsessed with class,” Leggero explains. “And even if you’re not a certain class, why can’t you just act like you’re that class? And that’s a lot of what I have done in my stand-up and so playing this part is really fun for me because it feels like an exact fit.”

And those affectations also extend to Elizabeth’s refined faux accent.

“I think people who travel a lot can sort of start talking in this Trans-Atlantic accent,” Leggero says with a laugh. “And you know, it’s just something that I think people who come from nothing try to affect a little bit to try to keep up with the other people who just all went to (elite schools).”

The role brought Leggero into the orbit of Perrette in her first TV role since her 15-season run on “NCIS” ended in 2018. She has high praise for her co-star for her ability to establish connections with everyone in the cast and crew and for the “instant chemistry” that has fostered.

“We did talk on the phone before we met,” Leggero says. “She wanted to talk to everybody on the phone before we started shooting because that’s just kind of who she is, she’s just very down-to-earth. And so we talked for like an hour and she has a sister she’s really close to, so I’m sure that helps her, having that close sister relationship.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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