Rachel Bloom Talks Skylar Astin Addition to 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

7:30 AM 9/19/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg

Plus, she gushes about guest stars Tan France, Patton Oswalt and Nia Vardalos.

The titular crazy ex-girlfriend behind The CW's series of the same name is heading into her crazy last season, and the creative team is raking in guest stars to add to their fourth and final run.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, starring comedian Rachel Bloom, has already welcomed a number of guests on previous seasons, from Dr. Phil to Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect).

But this time, co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna put out the call for famous fans of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to come forward “and we will try to find a part for you!” She tweeted out the message Aug. 16, following guest appearances by Nia Vardalos and Patton Oswalt.

Tan France of Queer Eye fame answered McKenna’s call this time. On Aug. 25, the fashion icon filmed an episode for the show, posting a picture of his trailer with his character’s name, Fett.

France wrote, “I did something I would have never dreamt possible. I filmed a scripted scene!” and added that “I couldn’t feel more honored and grateful.” His episode airs in November, after the season premiere Oct. 12.

Another big new face to appear on the musical comedy is Pitch Perfect’s Skylar Astin, who will replace Santino Fontana as Greg (a move that Bloom says gives her a "creative boner").

Below, Bloom breaks down the guest stars and the recasting for The Hollywood Reporter.

  • Skylar Astin

    Michael Tran/FilmMagic

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will see Astin, who starred in Graves alongside Nick Nolte, replace Santino Fontana as the character Greg Serrano, whom Bloom’s character Rebecca meets in the first season, when she moves to West Covina, Calif., to chase down her childhood crush Josh Chan. Greg has not appeared on the show since the second season, and it was announced in August that Astin would join the Crazy roster to revive the part.

    “It's a creative decision and we just started talking about in the room [on Sept. 4] about the re-entrance of Greg and it makes me so creatively excited. I think it's so ambitious,” she tells THR.

    “We have a lot of reasons for it. It feels experimental and new and exciting and [is] also a comment on how people in TV can recast people,” Bloom says. “It gives me a creative boner to think about all of the exciting writing things we're going to do.”

    On the decision to have a new actor step in, Bloom says Greg is different for a reason. “He's changed and Rebecca's changed, so it's a comment on perception. And like our life phases. They change.”

  • Tan France

    Steve Granitz/WireImage

    When Queer Eye star Tan France filmed his first scripted scene his mind was blown.

    Bloom says, “it was so great to happen." Though both Bloom and her writing partner were not on set (“she was dropping her son off at college and it was the beginning of my writing hiatus”), Bloom tells THR the reality star was "lovely — I just saw some of his footage and he was amazing.”

    Who will he play? “You'll see. He plays someone unexpected, as do most of our special guests.” According to the trailer, his character's name is Fett.

    Of her desire to feature guest stars in the fourth season, Bloom adds, “We always want guest stars [but] it was just kind of now or never — with everything.”

  • Patton Oswalt

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Oswalt popped up in the 2017 episode “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?” as a security guard who takes Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin) on a date to an aquarium. He’s been tweeting his support for the show since 2015, calling it a "hilarious mess."

    Returning this season for another episode, Oswalt will perform in a musical number alongside Bloom. She can’t share the context, but gushed, “He is delightful. Let's just say that.” They filmed the scene all night, wrapping at 5 a.m., so we’ll have to see what kind of dark song they came up with. 

  • Nia Vardalos

    Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

    Longtime fan Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) joined in this season, playing Wendy Legrand, “who is coming into Whitefeather,” the office of the show’s fictional West Covina law firm, in episode three. Bloom says Vardalos “was just down to play and improvise. Nia and Patton are both so nice.”

    After filming, Vardalos tweeted her admiration for Bloom and McKenna: "Working with you and the tremendous cast, writers and crew is making me bust outta this push-up bra. THANK YOU!!!!"

    Bloom says it’s unbelievable that fellow comedians responded and want to be on her show. “I've been such a fan of theirs for years,” she says of Oswalt and Vardalos. “You know what's cooler? Having people who are famous, who you've looked up to for a long time, and having them be so cool. And the thing that unites them all is that they're either comedians or they are there to serve the comedy and the writing.”

    The star adds that “it levels the playing field and it makes everyone humble.… I think the mark of like a really great person who is famous is when you very quickly forget they're like a big deal,” she says, calling comedy an “equalizer.”