‘Central Park’: replacing Kristen Bell was “only move”, says Josh Gad

"Nobody was more supportive of that than my friend and collaborator on many things Kristen Bell"

Central Park co-creator Josh Gad has said that replacing Kristen Bell in the show was “the only move”.

Bell had stepped down from voicing the role of Molly, a mixed-race character, last year. She was replaced in season two by Umbrella Academy star Emmy Raver-Lampman.

“The conversation was that it was the only move,” Gad told the PA news agency (per The Independent) referring to a conversation surrounding the casting of white actors to voice characters of colour on animated shows.

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Gad went on: “And nobody was more supportive of that than my friend and collaborator on many things Kristen Bell. Emmy was an absolute gift from the universe.

“The first time we heard her, we just knew the impossible was possible. Which was that we could not only continue to tell incredible stories with this character of Molly, but do it in a way that feels like you’re not hearing a completely different character.”

Central Park
‘Central Park’ is streaming online now. Credit: Apple TV+

On Raver-Lampman’s suitability for the role and the authenticity she could bring, Gad added: “It’s somebody who feels as lived in as season one but someone who is bringing experiences that only she could bring to the role.

“And it has made it so unbelievably lived in and so unbelievably, brilliantly realised. I think that Molly is actually my favourite character in season two now. And it helps that she has some incredible episodes that revolve around her.”

Central Park was renewed for season three earlier this year, months before the show’s second outing had premiered.

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Season two is now airing on Apple TV+.

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