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Big Mouth decided to switch Missy's voice from Jenny Slate to Ayo Edebiri during Season 4 as it tackled the character's racial identity

  • Co-creator Nick Kroll emphasizes that it was Slate's idea to exit her role as the biracial Missy Foreman-Greenwald. But it slowly dawned on him and his fellow producers that having Slate in the role was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, especially as the show delved into Missy's racial identity. “My mom’s white, my dad’s Black, I’m voiced by a white actress who’s 37 years old," Slate as Missy says in a Season 4 episode written before her exit. "Originally, they had planned to save the voice change for season five because of the production challenges, but, in the end, they decided to rerecord the penultimate episode of season four, 'Horrority House,'" explains Vulture's Jourdain Searles. "Because Missy’s arc is so tied to race, the episodes leading up to it almost become a meta-narrative on why the show couldn’t continue with Slate in the role. In 'A Very Special 9/11 Episode,' for example, it’s Slate’s voice that first begins to practice code-switching. Whether Edebiri arrives too late in the season narratively, Kroll says, is up for debate among viewers. But he emphasizes that they chose to bring her in at a place that felt organic to the story they were telling. 'The switch happens when Missy has come to terms with who she is,' Kroll says. Missy has gotten rid of her overalls, she’s gotten braids, and she’s trying to figure out what parts of her old self to keep." The difference between Slate and Edebiri's voices are subtle as Missy. Searles says Edebiri "keeps Missy’s original vocal cadence while adding an air of casual maturity. Missy feels different, but not completely. There’s something poetic about her voice being introduced this way, as she releases all her baggage to make room for a more realized self."

    TOPICS: Ayo Edebiri , Netflix, Big Mouth, Jenny Slate, Nick Kroll