Why They Left

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Hey everyone!

I don't post much, but I come on here every day to read all the posts.

Anyway, the reason I am writing is that I was watching Maria Bello on Craig Kilborne a couple of weeks ago. Well, he was asking her all these questions and then he got around to asking her why she left ER. Well, she said that she couldn't imagine playing the same character for more than one season and that it was a mutual descision and all that.

Well, that got me thinking to when Julianna was talking about why she was leaving, and one of the reasons she gave was because she couldn't think of any way to make her character more interesting for more than six seasons. Now, I can understand (partly) Julianna's point more than Maria's, but to me, that just sounds like an excuse. I mean, I know it's hard playing the same character (and I couold never imagine how hard it is to act in the frist place), but I was just thinking that it's partly the story line that makes a character interesting as well as the acting. I mean, I never got tired of Carol throughout the six years that she was on. In fact, I got to see many dimensions of her character depending on the story. First, after she attemted suicide and when she was going to marry Tag, and then when she was just dating people, and then later, when she got back together with Doug, and then when she didn't have Doug and she only had her children. Plus, the nursing part of her life: dealing with the different nurses and doctors that were on staff and stuff like that. There was a whole lot I enjoyed in the character and I think Julianna could have done a wonderful job playing her, without it getting boring.

I think I could have liked Anna the same way as I liked Carol, depending on the story lines that they gave her. And I think Maria Bello could have played her really well, and I would have liked her character a lot, and I would have accepted her as one of the cast. So, I really don't understand the excuse they give when they say they don't know how to make the character interesting any more. Because, to me, they could only get boring if the writing was very bad.

I'm sure that they probably had more reasons for leaving than just that, but I just think it is more of an excuse than a reason.

Anyway, I was just wondering what everyone else thought about that.

-- Cassie (samper0812@yahoo.com), August 22, 2000


I understand what you are saying but I have to respect the actor or actress's decision to leave a show. If they say they can't bring anything more creatively to a role I have to belive them. As far as the examples you give - Maria Bello had her sights on a movie career early on. I read an article about her and she said she gets easily bored and is a very restless person and that she needs new things constantly. So I can see why she left although I think she should have stayed at least one more season. As far as Julianna I think in her case it was a couple of things. ONe, her character was too tied in with Doug which made it both good and bad. When George Clooney left the writers had no place to go with Julianna's character. Two, she herself said she missed New York a lot (she's a native New Yorker) and she missed doing theater. (and her boyfriend is there) Plus I have read interviews where she said ER wasn't the same for her without George Clooney. I think she was closest to him among the cast and found too hard to continue her storyline with him there as Doug. Its too bad. I liked Carol alot. She was my favorite. I'll miss seeing Julianna on TV every Thursday but I know she will be successful no matter she does.

-- kathy (kaf@gis.net), August 22, 2000.

Oops - I see a typo in my message. I meant to say "she found it too hard to continue *without* him there as Doug". But also keep in mind that Julianna was never even supposed to be on "ER" as a castmember. She only had a guest starring role in the pilot and was originally killed off when she committed suicide. They only brought her back because the test audiences who were shown the pilot liked her alot and gave her high marks (they rate a pilot by characters, story, etc.) and were unhappy when they saw she was supposed to die. So John Wells and the other PTB offered her a contract role. We had her on for 6 years and that was a gift.

-- Kathy (kaf@gis.net), August 22, 2000.

I never even heard of Maria Bello until recently when TNT showed the 4th season last month. I didn't start watching until the 5th season. Some people leave for different reasons though. Maybe she had a reason but didn't want to tell us. I mean it's none of our business. I mean her character wasn't going anywhere really. And she's not the only person who's left in a short time. KM left after a year and a half. Yes she may have had a better reason than MB but she didn't mind telling us unlike MB did. As for Julianna's comment about George I agree with that. It seems like when GC left alot of things changed. I'm wondering if that's another reason KM and GR may have left this season. It seems like from all the rumors that GC was the only one nice to KM. So him leaving was a big blow to the cast. Well maybe with the exception of AE who made those comments but that's a different topic. Anyways the point is that MB wasn't nessecarly making an excuse. Maybe she just didn't want to tell us if there was a real reason or not. Why would someone bring that up two years later anyways?

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), August 22, 2000.

Well Cammie, I haven't seen too much of Maria Bello since she left the show and I certainly haven't seen any interviews with her. I'm glad someone mentioned this because I've always wondered why she left. Especially in the middle of what seemed to be a good story. (Have you seen the season 4 final eps on TNT yet?) It seemed like one minute she was there, and the next she was gone. I didn't get any closure and was left feeling unsatisfied. Thank heavens that wasn't the case with Carol and Susan.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), August 22, 2000.

S. Trelles- yes, I saw all of them from season 4. It was mentioned very breifly by Carter in DFK but all he said was she had gone to Philadelphia with Max and Carter didn't sound very happy about it. Maybe TPTB were mad that she decided to leave so they basically acted as if she had never been there in the first place. I din't know that for sure though.

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), August 22, 2000.

Well they had to write her out somehow. I was disappointed. I'd sort of gotten used to the idea of her and Carter. When folks get paired up, I usually rebel at first-yelling "soap! soap!" But then I calm down and *usually* enjoy it. Of course, D&C were the exception.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), August 22, 2000.

There was an interesting article in Newsweek a couple of years ago about young actors and actress in which Maria Bello and Alexandra Wentworth were whining about their inability to get good parts. Wentworth in particular came off sounding like a prissy stuck-up bitch, complaining she was "too pretty" to get any decent roles. (Something about how she "can't play Julia Roberts's sidekick because [she's] prettier than Julia Roberts." I don't think Roberts is that pretty, but it's still an incredibly self-absorbed thing to say.) Having seen both Bello and Wentworth in various projects, I think I can say that it's not because they're too pretty or too young, it's because they can't act.

The widely-stated reason for Bello's departure was that she wanted to work on her film career; with the exception of Payback (which actually was a good movie), that career has been dismal at best -- so I'm not surprised she's publically taking the Michelle Forbes approach. (Forbes has a "policy" of never playing the same character more than n years in a row, which is why both Ensign Ro and Dr. Julianna Cox came and went in about three seasons.)

Bello's most recent film, Coyote Ugly, has been called "Showgirls without the nudity," and I'm pretty sure that's something you don't want on your list of accomplishments. One critic said that Bello must be kicking herself for having ever left ER at this point in her career, and I can't really bring myself to disagree with him.

-- Mike Sugimoto (phloem@fumbling.com), August 22, 2000.

Ensign Ro was on ER? When?

-- Felicity (felicity08@juno.com), August 24, 2000.

The aliens have landed! ;-)

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), August 25, 2000.

Ugh!! You dope. I hope you were joking!! Ensign Ro was never on ER. But for the record, Ro had to go in three seasons because of the law that says none of the later Star Trek series can have more than 7 years on the air. Ro was introduced in the 5th season of TNG. (She was featured heavily in the next to last episode, so I'm just gonna say she had a recurring role for 3 years, even though she gone a lot).

-- Aaron Page (asp7485@aol.com), September 29, 2000.

Oh yeah, Mike, Maria C-A-N act! I adored Anna Del Amico. If you just barely crossed the line with her she'd get really pissed but if you were nice she'd be a good pal. I really thought she was interesting and wish she hadn't left so soon!!

-- Aaron Page (asp7485@aol.com), September 29, 2000.

I was referring to Michelle Forbes' "policy" of not sticking with a character or show for too long (which is why Ensign Ro on Star Trek and Julianna Cox on Homicide both left after short stints relative to the lifespan of the series).

-- Mike Sugimoto (phloem@fumbling.com), September 30, 2000.

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