Recasting TV characters is always tricky, but if any show can do it well, that show's probably going to be Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Earlier this month, it was announced that Skylar Astin is taking over the role of Greg in Season 4, and now Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's original Greg has reacted to the recast news. And his take on the role being played by a new actor might surprise you.
The role of Greg was originally played by Broadway star Santino Fontana, who quickly charmed fans. His Greg was a snarky, kindhearted guy with a drinking problem. In some ways, he and Rebecca appeared to be the perfect match, but neither of them were in the right place to start a healthy relationship when he said goodbye at the end of Season 2. Now Greg is returning for the final season, but he's going to look like an entirely different person — and that's something the show will be acknowledging and leaning into according to Entertainment Weekly's recent interview with the series co-creator and star Rachel Bloom.
As for Fontana, he seems happy to help the new guy out. In a new interview with Vulture he revealed,
"I love Skylar! He's a buddy of mine. We've been texting, we've got a whole back-and-forth going. We're brothers from the same mother. That's what I'm calling it. Brothers from the same mother."
It seems that Bloom and her fellow series co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna reached out to Fontana to let him know that Astin would be taking over the role. McKenna told EW, "We let Santino know because we have the highest respect for him." (As for Fontana, he's pretty busy these days — the actor will soon be taking on the lead role in a musical version of Tootsie soon, according to Vulture.)
Meanwhile, Season 4 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is going to use Greg's unusual return to explore the idea of perception. Bloom explained to EW that Greg's return will play with "the ideas and themes of perception, how he sees her, and how other people see each other."
While it's unclear how exactly Greg has changed since he left West Covina, fans have watched Rebecca hit rock bottom as she confronts her mental illness. The Rebecca that Greg knew before he left and the more grounded Rebecca that's working on taking care of herself are two very different people. Seeing how these two react to one another now is sure to be interesting.
McKenna told EW,
"Rachel and I had always been exploring bringing back that character and sort trying to figure out a way to do it in a way that suited our show and also because we felt like we had taken the resolution we wanted for Greg and kind of jammed it into those first 4 episodes of the second season. We felt like we had completed his arc a bit. Now bringing the character of Greg back, he is part of our storytelling. It's a plot point in the story that the character is reimagined, so it's going to be played by a different actor, which is Skylar."
Whatever the show has in store for the new Greg, it's good to know that the original is sharing some insights into what makes the character tick with Astin. Even though he won't be returning to West Covina, Fontana's Greg will always be an important part of the series, and with his input, Astin is sure to bring Greg's story to a proper conclusion.