Kristen Bell returns to Central Park as new character Abby following recast
Say hello to Abby.
Kristen Bell will return to season 3 of Central Park as the new character following her recast as Molly, Owen (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Paige's (Kathryn Hahn) biracial daughter. With Emmy Raver-Lampman having assumed the role of the half-Black character, Bell will portray Paige's younger sister Abby once the animated comedy musical series returns Sept. 9 on Apple TV+.
In the third season, entrepreneur Bitsy (Stanley Tucci) will continue her relentless pursuit to purchase New York's bustling Central Park with the intent to turn the space into condos and retail space. Owen begins a promotional campaign to make more people fall in love with the space in an effort to thwart the plans. Elsewhere, Paige is busier than ever after she lands her first book deal.
The series created, written, and and executive produced by Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, and Nora Smith also stars a voice cast that includes Gad, Tituss Burgess, and Daveed Diggs. Guest stars in the upcoming season 3 include Sam Richardson, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Schwartz, Zoë Chao, Ron Funches, Jack McBrayer, Amber Ruffin, Yvette Nicole Brown, Craig Robinson, Tim Meadows, and David Alan Grier.
In 2020, after Jenny Slate announced that her biracial Big Mouth character would be recast with a Black actress, the Central Park team shared news of a similar plan regarding Molly. "After reflection, Kristen, along with the entire creative team, recognizes that the casting of the character of Molly is an opportunity to get representation right — to cast a Black or mixed race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all of the nuance and experiences of the character as we've drawn her," Bouchard and Co. said in a statement.
"We profoundly regret that we might have contributed to anyone's feeling of exclusion or erasure," the statement continued. "Black people and people of color have worked and will continue to work on Central Park but we can do better." Odom praised the team's decision while speaking to EW ahead of the season 2 premiere last year.
"It was a chance to, in real time, do what you can to be on the right side of history," he said. "The world is going to change right under your feet. And as the world changes, if you want to evolve with it, if you want to grow, sometimes it requires new decisions to be made and letting certain things go and reimagining who you are and who you could be."
"I applauded the decision," Odom continued. "I thought it was one of those decisions of when you know better, do better. I welcomed my new baby girl. And I applauded the brilliant Kristen Bell. And we kept it rolling."
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