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‘Big Mouth’ creators talk about Missy’s redesign – USC Comedy Festival – Deadline

Netflix comedy last summer Big mouth has proven to be a change leader in the animation world, following his decision to recast a key voice role, for the sake of more authentic representation. In June, actress Jenny Slate announced that she would drop voicing the half-black, half-Jewish character known as Missy, and two months later it was revealed that Ayo Edebiri would take over.

On Saturday, EP co-creators Mark Levin, Andrew Goldberg and Jennifer Flackett, and co-EP Kelly Galuska appeared for a virtual panel, as part of the USC Comedy Festival, discussing their time with the show and the Missy’s overhaul has come.

“It’s very complex, actually, because over the course of several seasons Missy, as a Métis character, has grown up,” Levin said, [a lot of that] was motivated by the black writers on our team. “

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Throughout the production of the first four seasons of the series, Slate “always had questions and some hesitation,” he added, “about whether to portray a character who … comes to the scene. world as Black and identifies that way. “

At the end of Season 4 production, he continued, which ended around the time of George Floyd’s murder, “we all agreed that now was the time to make the switch.”

Ultimately, Edebiri would reprise the role of Slate’s voice in “Horrority House,” the penultimate episode of Season 4. “We had already been deeply exploring Missy’s journey, her own awakening. to his black identity, then also his struggle with oneself. . In the ninth episode, she’s in a funeral home and sees all the different versions of herself, and they break up. She assembles a mosaic, and this mosaic of Missy comes to life, and now is the time [where] we compromise, ”Levin explained. “It was a combination of events that led to a moment that we were already exploring, but with the decision to change the cast, we found it was the perfect time to make that transfer.”

From Goldberg’s point of view, the transfer was an “interesting process” because before joining Big mouthvoice cast, Edebiri was already a writer on the series. “We auditioned a ton of actors to play Missy. In the end, Ayo felt great and maybe had a head start because she was in the writers room and been a part of all these conversations about how Missy was going to evolve, ”he said. he declares. “But I think that also has a lot to do with who she is, as a person and as a writer, because I think she identified with Missy growing up, and there’s something about it.” of Missy that you can’t fake.

In the future, the Big mouth The team will continue to make an effort to embrace an authentic portrayal, both on screen and behind the scenes. “We know we have to have a lot of different points of view at the table,” Levin said.

In conversation with USC Professor JD Connor, the Big mouth the creatives also touched on Season 5, which is set to debut this year. Although few concrete details have been offered, Levin noted that the coming season will “explore a little more children who advocate and become political.”

At the same time, Flackett noted that the show will never be very topical in its comedy. “It takes us a long time to do a season, so topical humor is really, really tough,” she said. “You can do something about political identity, like ‘I’m a Republican, I’m a Democrat, I’m whatever’, but I don’t think we could do anything. [more specific]. Because we want the world to feel somewhat timeless, anyway.

Created by Flackett, Goldberg, Levin and Nick Kroll, Big mouth follows a group of teenagers who find their lives turned upside down by the wonders and horrors of puberty. Prior to the debut of season 5, the musical has already been renewed for a sixth season. Throughout its run, the series has garnered four Emmy nominations, and last year star Maya Rudolph won one, in the Outstanding Character Voiceover Performance category.

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