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“Bob’s Burgers” creator Loren Bouchard addressed his decision, at the Television Critics Assn. winter press tour on Sunday, to cast men as female animated characters and Kristen Bell as a biracial lead in his new Apple TV Plus animated musical comedy, “Central Park,” calling the latter a “casting conundrum.”
“Central Park” centers on a family that lives in New York City’s most famous park, telling the story of a park manager and journalist who are raising their kids there “while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos.”
Bouchard - Bell - Female - Character - Woman
Bouchard said that he cast Bell as a lead female character — a biracial young woman with a black father and white mother — because he couldn’t see any other actor occupying the role.
“Kristen needed to be Molly; we couldn’t not make her Molly,” said Bouchard on stage. “But then we couldn’t make Molly white and we couldn’t make Kristen mixed race so we just had to go forward. And then we arrived there and said, ‘Well.. we gotta just keep doing the best we can to balance, to turn around and give somebody the opportunity who wasn’t getting it… A commitment to diversity isn’t some odd job, it’s a commitment to making stuff better.”
Bouchard - Variety - Course - Voice - Actor
Bouchard later told Variety that he “of course” considered casting a biracial voice actor as the biracial character that Bell ultimately plays.
“We cast first — in this case, it was building a bunch of characters around him,” said Bouchard, pointing at “Central Park” actor and executive producer Josh Gad, who was also participating in the media scrum on stage after the panel. “We just said, ‘Who are your friends? Who do you want to work with? Who’s going to come to work? Who’s going...
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