Central Park on AppleTV+ has found its new Molly Tillerman, as The Umbrella Academy star Emmy Raver-Lampman has officially been cast in the lead role. In the first season of the acclaimed animated series, Kristen Bell voiced the role of Molly -- a biracial teenager with a creative flare who loves sketching comic books about herself as a superhero character. Facing criticism over Caucasian actors portraying non-white roles, producers announced that Molly would be recast while Bell will be given a new character to voice.
Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, Nora Smith, Halstead Sullivan, and Sanjay Shah of the Central Park creative team announced the casting in an official statement. "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 reads.
Emmy Raver-Lampman is acclaimed for her live performances on stage for big shows including Hamilton, Wicked, and Hair. She has also appeared in shows like Jane the Virgin and A Million Little Things, and has even done voice work for American Dad and Robot Chicken. Perhaps Raver-Lampman is best known for playing the fan favorite superhero character Allison Hargreeves on the Netflix Original series The Umbrella Academy, a celebrity nicknamed "The Rumor" who has the ability to control minds. Season 2 of the popular series is scheduled to premiere on Netflix on July 31.
Last month, Bell was one of many non-white voice actors to announce the recastings of their non-white characters. Big Mouth star Jenny Slate took to social media to reveal that she was no longer voicing the biracial character Molly on the hit Netflix Original. Soon after, The Simpsons producers announced that white voice actors would no longer voice non-white characters. Veteran voice actor Mike Henry followed suit by announcing that he was retiring as the voice of Cleveland Brown after playing the character in Seth MacFarlane's animated comedies like Family Guy and The Cleveland Show for over two decades.
Along with Bell, Central Park co-stars Josh Gad as Birdie, a busker who serves as the series narrator. Also starring as Molly's family members are Tituss Burgess as Cole, Molly's brother; Kathryn Hahn as Paige, her mother; and Leslie Odom Jr. as Owen, the Tillerman patriarch. Daveed Diggs and Stanley Tucci are also featured in lead roles, and the show's first season has also included special guest voice roles from stars like Ed Asner, Fred Armisen, and Stephanie Beatriz.
Central Park is created by Josh Gad, Loren Bouchard, and Nora Smith. Originally developed for Fox, the AppleTV+ series debuted its first season in May, debuting its finale just days ago on the streaming service. No word on when to expect the second season, but Raver-Lampman will begin voicing Molly Tillerman starting with the premiere of season 2. This news comes to us from TVLine.