Big Mouth’s Nathan Fillion–loving biracial geek Missy will now be voiced by writer-podcast host-comedian-actor Ayo Edebiri. The announcement comes two months after Jenny Slate stepped down from the role, apologizing for voicing a half-Black character as a white woman. To any skeptical fans, Edebiri confirmed her nerd authenticity to Variety. “I was definitely a very uncomfortable child, so I think the show speaks to that and a lot of those feelings, which still resonate with me as an adult,” she said. “I’m back home in my childhood bedroom right now and on my bookshelf in between A Series of Unfortunate Events is Bill Clinton’s autobiography and Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and a translation of The Iliad in Latin. I was a true dork. So I don’t think I have to go too far to connect with Missy.”
Slate will continue to voice Missy until the penultimate episode of the fourth season. Edebiri, who was already set to join the Big Mouth season five writers’ room, booked the role after a series of auditions and has already recorded dialogue for season four, per Variety. Co-creator Andrew Goldberg told Variety that Slate was originally going to voice Missy for the entirety of the season — they even sent it off to Netflix — but they didn’t want “Ayo to have to start her journey with this part by matching what Jenny did already.” So co-creator Jennifer Flackett found a “a really organic and cool place” in the second-to-last episode to make the switch. “It’s about Missy’s continued evolution as a person — that she has all of these different parts of who she is,” co-creator Nick Kroll adds. “There’s the sidelines Missy and the more sexually adventurous Missy, mirror Missy, and then also this Missy that she’s been discovering [in Season 4] through hanging out with her cousins and really taking a look at her Black identity.” He continued: “This change of actor is a heightened version of that, but a good example of how our characters are always evolving.” Follow along Missy’s glow-up when season four of Big Mouth drops on Netflix this fall.