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Emmy Raver-Lampman to replace Kristen Bell as Molly in 'Central Park'

Emmy Raver-Lampman is taking over the role of Molly in Season 2 of Central Park. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Emmy Raver-Lampman is taking over the role of Molly in Season 2 of "Central Park." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 25 (UPI) -- Umbrella Academy actress and Hamilton alum Emmy Raver-Lampman is replacing Frozen icon Kristen Bell as the voice of biracial Molly on the animated Apple TV+ series, Central Park.

Molly is the daughter of park manager Owen, who is Black, and reporter Paige, who is White.

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Bell, who is White, stepped down as Molly last month.

"Playing the character of Molly on Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed and Black American experience," Bell said at the time.

"It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right. I am happy to relinquish this role to someone who can give a much more accurate portrayal and I will commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion."

In a statement released Friday, the show's creative team of Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, Nora Smith, Halsted Sullivan and Sanjay Shah said it had completed an extensive casting process and found its new Molly.

"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," the statement said.

"From the moment we heard her Molly, we knew she was the right choice," the creators added. "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."

In Season 2, Raver-Lampman's voice will be heard opposite her former Hamilton cast-mates, Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Owen, and Daveed Diggs, who plays Helen, villain Bitsy's hench-woman.

Stanley Tucci plays Bitsy, Tituss Burgess plays Molly's brother Cole, Kathryn Hahn plays Paige and Gad plays Owen's friend Birdie, who narrates the comedy about the family who lives in New York City's most famous park.

Bell and Gad previously collaborated on the Frozen franchise. Bell played Princess Anna and Gad played the snowman Olaf.

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