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‘We Had to’: ‘The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’ Creators Reveal How Keke Palmer ‘Gangstered’ Her Way Into a Role

One thing both fans and peers of Keke Palmer know about the actress is that she is committed to staying booked and busy.

At this point, fans know the actress always has a job lined up well before she is done promoting whatever her current project may be. For instance, last year, while on the promotional tour for Jordan Peele’s sci-fi/suspense flick “Nope,” Palmer was busy gearing up for the official launch of KeyTV, her digital network.

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer and her “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” character Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins Photo: Keke/Instagram, Theproudfamily/Instagram

However, it seems as though not only does Palmer have a hustler’s mentality as it pertains to building her wealth, but she is obviously a go-getter. So much so that “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” creators Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar said the actress insisted she be part of the series revival.    

“Keke called me up when she read the announcement and said, ‘No way are you doing this show without me,'” Farquhar told Insider. “So we had to.” The reboot of the popular 2000s show premiered in February 2022. Original voice actors such as Tommy Davidson, Kyla Pratt, and Jo Marie Payton also returned respectively as Oscar Proud, Penny Proud, and Suga Mama.

Palmer’s character, Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, is a new addition. The 14-year-old is a no-holds-barred activist and the daughter of mixed-race parents. As a new neighbor, Maya brings an added layer of skepticism to the storylines as she finds her footing within Penny’s clique.

“She gangstered her way in,” said Smith about Palmer. However, the actress is not alone. Unsurprisingly, several big names have sought to attach themselves to the cartoon series that puts a Black family in Baldwin Hills, California, in front of millions of viewers. Smith added, “I forget about the origins of our new cast and how they just insisted that they were in the show. They just willed their way into the show.”

“I grew up on the show and one of my favorite things has always been the theme song,” Palmer said during a virtual event hosted by the NAACP’s Arts, Culture & Entertainment Festival last summer.

In December, Palmer served up a hefty dose of nostalgia when she reunited Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell for a skit on “Saturday Night Live.” While hosting the sketch show, she also revealed that she was expecting her first child.

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