Central Park swaps Kristen Bell for Umbrella Academy star in biracial role
Emmy Raver-Lampman will now voice Molly Tillerman after Bell bowed out of the part.
We heard a rumor that Umbrella Academy star Emmy Raver-Lampman will now voice the part. And because Raver-Lampman's character on the Netflix series has the power to influence the people around her with four simple words, "I heard a rumor," we know it's true.
Just in case you need more proof, here's a statement from the creative team of Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, Nora Smith, Halsted Sullivan, and Sanjay Shah: "After an extensive casting process that brought a number of incredible contenders to the forefront of our Molly search, we could not be more thrilled, honored, and certain that we have found the perfect marriage of character to voice in the amazing Emmy Raver-Lampman,"
"From the moment we heard her Molly, we knew she was the right choice," the statement continues. "Her comedic chops, endearing spirit and other-worldly singing prowess have us jumping with joy at the possibilities of this already wonderful character moving forward. Our gratitude for and thanks to Kristen Bell and the fantastic work she did in season 1 can never be overstated. And as we look for new ways to utilize Kristen’s brilliant vocal talents moving forward, we are forever grateful for her support, her camaraderie, and most importantly her beautiful performance as Molly Tillerman in season 1. We consider ourselves lucky to have both of these women as part of our 'Central Park Family' with so many more stories ready to be told."
Bell, who voiced Molly in season 1 of Central Park, stepped down from the role in June as a response to the growing spotlight on racial inequality and injustice in America. Jenny Slate had also departed her voice part as biracial Missy on Netflix's Big Mouth.
Bell has expressed her support for Raven-Lampman in a heartfelt statement on Instagram.
“I am brimming with excitement to welcome Emmy Raver-Lampman to the Central Park cast as Molly," Bell wrote. "Emmy’s infectious charm and sheer aptitude will breathe a new and effervescent life into the character. One that Molly definitely deserves. I have been a fan of Emmys work for a while, and am lucky to now call her a friend. Can’t wait to see you in the park, Emmy”
Bell will remain on the show in a different capacity, but she and the producers saw casting a Black or mixed-race actress for Molly as "an opportunity to get representation right," they said in a previous statement.
Raver-Lampman was a member of the original ensemble cast of Broadway's Hamilton, and she returned to the production later to star as Angelica in the show's first national tour. She was also a member of the touring production of Hair and Wicked. Raver-Lampman also voiced roles in the animated American Dad and Robot Chicken shows.