Bronies, Ball says, “are really interested in the characters that I voice more than me.” Credit: Hodgee Films
You may not recognize Ashleigh Ball if you saw her walking down the street, but to some, she’s a bona fide superstar.
Ball is the voice of Applejack, Rainbow Dash and other characters on the TV series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Her biggest fans? Little girls … and grown men.
“Bronies” are mostly men (but women are invited too!) who are fans of the show. They get their day in the sun in “A Brony Tale,” a documentary premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival.
We asked Ball — also the lead singer of a group called Hey Ocean — about life in the spotlight and crazy fan encounters.
When you first heard of Bronies, were you in total disbelief? I remember I was voicing the show one day and one of the directors mentioned a Brony, an adult male who liked our show. I couldn’t believe it. Soon enough I was getting emails from Bronies and then I got invited to BronyCon in New York. That is when I asked my filmmaker friend Brent Hodge to come along for the ride.
As a voice actress, did you feel “exposed” putting yourself on camera as the face of the "Pony" series? Maybe at the beginning I felt a bit uncomfortable, mostly because I’m used to being behind a microphone. But Brent is a close friend of mine and he’s really good at capturing authentic moments and not making anything seemed forced. It’s really more about telling the story of the bronies and exposing this phenomenon through my perspective.
Why do you think this group is mostly men? I think the Brony men get a lot of the attention because that’s the shock value. They aren’t supposed to like a kids show, so it’s easier for press to target them. If a girl likes “My Little Pony,” it’s not that shocking.
You are so respectful to each Brony you meet. But has there ever been an encounter that really creeped you out? At the start of the fandom there were definitely times when I was more surprised or nervous, but it’s since become quite normal. They love the show and love my characters and show me respect. I feel the same for them.
If you go
‘A Brony Tale’ Sat., April 26 9:30 p.m. Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 260 W. 23rd St. 212-691-5519