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Chris Parnell's Rick And Morty Contract Gives Him The Confidence To Get Creative

There are obvious differences between on-screen actors and voice performers when it comes to their character preparation. On-screen cast members use props, costumes, and even other actors to help their scenes along, including changing the way they play the part throughout the actual filming. For voice actors, all they have is a script and the hope that they lock in on the character's proper tone and emotions. In fact, often they don't even get to perform the scene opposite their actual co-stars. 

So, any advantage that these voice professionals can get to enhance their performance will always be much welcomed. For Chris Parnell of "Rick and Morty," clearing up a common mystery of whether the series will continue or be canceled has given him a creative advantage when it comes to developing his character, Jerry. For those who haven't yet given the series a shot, Parnell plays Morty's (formerly Justin Roiland) father, Jerry Smith, who was initially portrayed as a hilariously weak and pathetic guy. 

As the seasons have gone by, Jerry has grown and evolved like the rest of the show, with the character now being much more outspoken and slightly less pathetic. For Parnell, these changes in his character weren't just sprung on him once a new season of "Rick and Morty" had been picked up by the network. In fact, the growing creative confidence in his character evolution was made much easier for Parnell due to a rare, yet important detail of his latest signed contract.

For Parnell, job security means more creativity

Whether it's animation or live-action, the majority of Hollywood productions come along with a changing expiration date. Meaning, most cast and crew members know that they will be filming an entire season without the knowledge of whether or not the show will be going any further. That makes it difficult for any actor to map out their character's ongoing development. However, the cast of "Rick and Morty" was lucky enough to be offered a work contract that extends the future of the series for at least 70 more episodes.  

Parnell now enjoys being able to tackle the details of his character in a very unique way. "Creatively, when you know that you're going to be doing more episodes ... it gives you more confidence in it and it gives you a sense of being able to commit fully to breaking new stories and things like that," he told Screen Rant. "You're not sitting around wondering, 'Oh, are we gonna do more, I wanna keep going,'" continued Parnell, "but are they gonna keep paying us?" With that question answered, the cast is now free to concentrate on making each season better than the last.

At least one of Parnell's co-stars shares this happiness for additional time of creativity, including knowing the job isn't ending any time soon. Spencer Grammer, who plays Jerry's daughter Summer, spoke about it in the same interview. "Usually, you don't have that, usually it's season by season, you don't find out that you're gonna be doing 70 more episodes of something, so it was exciting," she said. That sense of security just adds another layer of comfort that comes with the freedom given to these performers for this Adult Swim hit series.