After 22 years in the acting industry, celebrated film & television star Kerry Washington has graced our screens as a variety of diverse characters. Now, it looks like her next role will see her heading over to Springfield.
The Scandal star is set to join FOX’s long-running animated series The Simpsons as a permanent replacement to voice the teacher of fan-favorite character Bart Simpson. Diehard fans of the show are aware that the original character, Mrs. Krabappel, was retired back in 2013 following the real-life death of voice actor Marcia Wallace. Washington will join the cast in the role of Rayshelle Peyton, which Entertainment Weekly describes as a “very thoughtful, highly capable, and rather unfiltered fourth-grade teacher.” Her animated debut is slated for the upcoming April 24 episode airing this Sunday.
Here’s more on Kerry Washington’s road to The Simpsons by way of co-executive producer Carolyn Omine below, via EW:
“Omine had been pondering some kind of role for Washington since seeing the actress host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2013. ‘I had always known she was a super-talented actress who had great range, but just never knew she was funny,’ she says. ‘She had a lot of characters and just really great comic timing, and I was like, ‘We should really think of using her.”
Opportunity arose in 2020. When Simpsons star Hank Azaria announced that he was no longer voicing characters of color, and animated shows including ‘Family Guy,’ ‘Central Park,’ and ‘Big Mouth’ followed suit, Washington tweeted, ‘Dear animators looking for black voices… I’m avail.’ ‘That just got it into my head,’ Omine says. ‘I began thinking, ‘Maybe she could be the new teacher. We’ve had this spot.’ I talked with [executive producer] Matt Selman, and we decided to write it with her in mind.'”
Kerry’s debut episode, titled “My Octopus and a Teacher,” show Ms. Peyton and Bart going through a mutual learning experience as teacher and student. This will more than likely be her sole appearance for this season on The Simpsons due to a busy schedule, but writers are already working her into Season 34 to eventually have the same recurring vibe of Mrs. Krabappel.
Watch a preview clip below, and be sure to catch Kerry Washington’s big move to Springfield on The Simpsons this Sunday at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX:
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