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Why April O'Neil From TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Sounds So Familiar

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" is here, and with it comes a huge shift for Paramount, going all-in on the franchise with a sequel and TV series on the way. 

"Mutant Mayhem" takes things back to the beginning, rebooting "TMNT" with more of an emphasis on the "teenage" in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." The result is a turtle-y entertaining animated adventure that brings many of the franchise's beloved characters to the big screen, with an equally-impressive cast filled with familiar voices. Outside of the Turtles, there's a big name attached to practically every character, like Jackie Chan or Maya Rudolph. However, April O'Neil is a clear standout, and her voice may sound particularly familiar if you're a fan of a certain Chicago-based chef show. 

Ayo Edebiri is one of the hottest names in Hollywood right now, and she lends her incredible talents to April O'Neil in "Mutant Mayhem," voicing the Turtles' longtime news-reporting ally. "Mutant Mayhem" is just the latest in her ever-growing list of projects, as Edebiri continues adding live-action and voice-acting roles to her resume. She's already secured a spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and award-season recognition, showing there's little she can't do in Hollywood.

Edebiri took over Missy on Big Mouth

"Big Mouth" has become a staple on Netflix, with the animated coming-of-age sitcom depicting the raunchy side of puberty. However, fans may not know that Ayo Edebiri has voiced Missy for the last two seasons.

Initially, Edebiri joined the Netflix series as a writer for Season 4, transitioning to voice actor after Jenny Slate stepped away. Slate played Missy from Seasons 1 to 4, giving up the role so a Black actress could play the character, giving it a more authentic representation. Edebiri secured the part, taking over voicing Missy at the end of Season 4. "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," Edebiri told Variety regarding taking over the role from Slate.

Missy's "Big Mouth" journey mimics the production's behind-the-scenes efforts to bring more representation to the show. Her Season 4 story focuses on her racial identity, shedding many white tendencies to be a more authentic version of herself. When she eventually accepts herself for who she is in Season 4, Episode 9 — "Horrority House," Missy returns with Edebiri's voice, further cementing her character development. Edebiri has now voiced Missy for Seasons 5 and 6, with Netflix confirming Season 7 and a final Season 8 are on the way.

She became a household name with The Bear

Arguably Ayo Edebiri's biggest claim to fame, and where you probably recognize her from, is FX's critically acclaimed series, "The Bear."

The actress plays Sydney Adamu, who starts working at the restaurant as Carmy's (Jeremy Allen White) sous chef in Season 1, butting heads with Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) along the way. In Season 2, Sydney and Carmy work as partners, creating a signature menu in preparation for The Bear's grand opening.

Thankfully, Edebiri loves working on her most well-known project. "It felt really cathartic filming it this season. It's one of the most pleasant working experiences I've ever had," she told Variety, recognizing the ironic peace playing Syd brings her, despite the character being in arguably the most stressful situation imaginable in the service industry. However, Syd's unhappiness is part of what drew her to the role, as she quotes her "Bear" co-star Moss-Bachrach in another interview with The New Yorker, saying, "It's boring to play characters who are happy."

Despite writing and producing shows like "What We Do in the Shadows" and "Big Mouth," Edebiri's career reached new heights after stepping in front of the camera for "The Bear." She told The New Yorker she was content with the relative anonymity that writing and voice-acting gave her but knew "The Bear" was special after reading the script. Now, she's a major star in Hollywood and even earned an Emmy nomination for her performance as Syd.

She starred in Netflix's Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

While some of Ayo Edebiri's projects will have a hard time achieving the massive levels of fame as "The Bear," starring in an original movie for the largest worldwide streaming service, Netflix, brought her talents to a wide range of audiences.

"Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between" is a romance film focusing on two characters — Aidan (Jordan Fisher) and Clare (Talia Ryder) — who date during their last year of high school, promising to break up before summer's end to avoid heartbreak. Edebiri plays Stella, Clare's longtime friend. They reconnected during their last year of high school, with Stella convincing Clare to attend the Halloween party where she meets Aiden. During their massive final date, Clare invites Stella to join, hoping it will dissuade Aiden from professing his love for her.

"Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between" is based on a novel by Jennifer E. Smith, with "To All the Boys" producer Matt Kaplan bringing the story to Netflix. Unfortunately, it wasn't the hit like Kaplan's previous work, scoring a 29% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with a nearly equal rotten rating from audiences.

She also voiced Harriet Tubman on Clone High

Ayo Edebiri can also add voicing a historical figure to her resume, as she brought Harriet Tubman to life on Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's "Clone High" revival.

"Clone High" is an animated series focusing on a school filled with clones of historical icons. Created by the United States to harness the figures' strength for the military, the series follows clones of Abe Lincoln (Will Forte), Joan of Arc (Nicole Sullivan), JFK (Miller), and Cleopatra (Mitra Jouhari) as they navigate high school and all of its valuable life lessons. Edebiri replaced Debra Wilson as Harriet Tubman when Lord and Miller revived the series for a second season on Max, 20 years after Season 1 ended.

In the "Clone High" reboot, Harriet Tubman is a second-generation clone who's best friends with Frida Kahlo (Vicci Martinez) and Joan of Arc. She and Frida run the Inclusivity Committee, welcoming the first-generation clones back to school and updating them with 2023 events. After a fling with JFK, she settles down with Confucious (Kelvin Yu), becoming an official high-school couple toward the end of Season 2.

"Clone High" Season 2 focuses on two generations of "teenagers" interacting, with Tubman, among others, helping the older clones adjust to modern teenage life. With the reboot, Lord and Miller covered more important topics surrounding adolescents, mimicking the maturation of teenagers since Season 1 debuted in 2002. "Today's young people are smarter and have a better understanding of mental health," Lord said in an interview with Discussing Film. "They're politically more intelligent. They're essentially more evolved and not just horny."

She swung into Across the Spider-Verse

Although Marvel Studios was the first to capitalize on Ayo Edebiri's new stardom, securing a mystery role in "Thunderbolts," Sony gave her a superhero movie debut in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse."

Edebiri may be hard to spot in "Across the Spider-Verse," but she appears early in the film, voicing Glory Grant. As a member of The Mary Janes, Glory rocks out on the guitar with her other band members from Earth-65B, including lead singer MJ Watson, pianist Betty Brant, and drummer Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld). "Across the Spider-Verse" shows Gwen storming out of practice and leaving the band after Peter Parker's death.

"Across the Spider-Verse" takes some creative liberties with Glory Grant's character. In the comics, Glory lives in the same apartment complex as Peter, quickly developing a friendship from being neighbors. In need of a job, Peter convinces her to apply for the secretary position at the Daily Bugle, working for J. Jonah Jameson as his longest-serving secretary.

It isn't every day that you see an actor review a film they played a part in. However, Edebiri shared her thoughts of "Across the Spider-Verse" on her personal Letterboxd, simply writing, "Holy s***?? Lmao," showing that the movie blew even her away.