'She Was, Like, Begging To Be Killed Off': 27 Actors Who Went Right Up To Showrunners And Said 'Please Kill Me'

”I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful lines. I’d had enough of the mumbo jumbo."
I can't imagine it's fun to discover your character is being killed off your hit TV show or movie series, and you're out of a job. But sometimes actors are thrilled — in fact, sometimes actors have been asking the directors and writers for weeks, months, or even years to kill off their character. Here are 27 actors who asked — or even begged — for their character to be killed off.
Boyhood was filmed over 12 years, so it's no surprise that one actor wanted out partway through. Lorelei Linklater was just a kid when her father Richard Linklater began directing the film with her in it, and after hitting puberty, she wanted to stop acting in the film. Richard recalled, “One day she asked me: ‘Can you kill me off?’ Like an actor leaving a TV soap. ‘It’ll be a memorable episode and then I’ll be off the show.’ And I had to tell her: ‘No, that’s a little too dramatic for what I have in mind.’”
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Lorelai later said, “When you’re the person being documented, rather than being fascinating, it’s more just mortifying. And, I know it’s normal, but it just was hard to have the whole world see me in those awkward stages and, how do I say this, thinking that that’s me. A person that I don’t relate to whatsoever—people thinking is me.” She also said, "I just didn’t think the character really had very much personality towards the end" and called it "not a feminist movie," though she says, "I’m very happy to have been a part of it."
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Jeremy Renner was unhappy with the way his character Hawkeye was portrayed in The Avengers, saying it wasn't what he'd signed on to play, and pointing out how much of the film he spent as a mind-controlled servant to Loki. In fact, he was having such a bad time on the film that he would go around pretending his character was having a heart attack to suggest to producers that he could be killed off.
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Ahead of the fourth Fast and Furious film, Paul Walker revealed, "I wanted to go out this time. I thought we were done the second one and the third one kind of came around and this time it was Vin calling up going, hey, let's make one more. I think Vin wants to make a fifth, but yeah, I just keep coming back for one more. ... I actually told Justin [Lin] at one point that I wanted to die. He says it's not going to happen."
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Alec Guinness reportedly begged George Lucas to kill him off of Star Wars and has very openly criticized his character Obi Wan's dialogue. "I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful lines. I’d had enough of the mumbo jumbo," he said.
After the second film, Harrison Ford also felt his character, Han Solo, should be killed off. "I thought he ought to sacrifice himself for the other two characters [Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa]. I said, 'He’s got no mama, he’s got no papa, he’s got no future. He has no story responsibilities at this point so let’s allow him to commit self-sacrifice.’” He apparently told saga creator George Lucas this, who told him there was no future in dead Han Solo toys. When promoting the third film, Ford famously said, "Three is enough for me. I was glad to see that costume for the last time." He did reprise the role in The Force Awakens, but his character was finally killed.
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Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson claimed Monica Keena "begged" to be killed off the show. "I will tell you what I remember is that she didn’t want to be there. She did not want to be in Wilmington, N.C. She was a young actress, and I think she was in a relationship and she wanted to be killed off. She was, like, begging to be killed off. Unlike the other actors on the show, I think that she wasn’t as excited to be there."
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Johnny Depp got a little sick of playing his character Tom Hanson in his hit series 21 Jump Street, comparing his time on the show in later years to being "in a prison creatively," saying, "It started to get a little showboat-y, you know what I mean? It just started to become false. It started to become this action-packed can of soup, you know? You just market it and send it out.” He reportedly did "everything he could" to get fired, including trashing his trailer. He later only agreed to reprise his role in the 21 Jump Street film on the condition that his character be killed.
Milo Ventimiglia tried to get his character Jess killed off in Gilmore Girls in a violent fashion: "I was the one who actually tried to get [the character] Jess killed, and they didn't go for it. [I wanted to] get him hit by a bus, a knife in the side of the neck, something bad," he told E! News. "I don't know — guess I thought it would be kind of cool."
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Sean Connery famously got sick of playing James Bond and wanted him dead. He even once said, "I have always hated that damned James Bond — I'd like to kill him."
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And Daniel Craig also wanted Bond killed, even after finishing the first movie. “I had genuinely thought I would do one Bond movie, then it would be over. But by then we knew we had a hit on our hands. I realised the enormity of it, so I said to Barbara [Broccoli, the producer], ‘How many more? Three? Four?’ She said, ‘Four!’ I said, ‘OK. Then can I kill him off?’ She said, ‘Yes.’”
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His version of the character was eventually killed at the end of No Time To Die, which Craig said was done "for myself and ... for the franchise." He said the franchise should reset and "go find another story." But mostly, he said, "I don't want to go back. I suppose I should be so lucky if they were to ask me back, but the fact is I need to move on from it. The sacrifice that he makes in the movie was for love, and there's no greater sacrifice. So it seemed like a good thing to end on."
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Sophie Turner told Just Jared that she wanted her character Sansa to die on Game of Thrones after getting revenge. "I want her to avenge her family’s death and everything. But then I kind of want her to die at the end because I want a big death scene. I want her to die and I want Littlefinger to end up on the throne. I don’t really care about anyone else." As for the type of death, Turner suggested, "Something that will last a good episode, like poisoning, you can really drag that one out. Just a long slow death."
Also on Game of Thrones, Julian Glover asked to be killed off after he felt "dismissed as a character" and felt he wasn't having fun. He called Pycelle's death scene, in which he was stabbed to death by Varys's Little Birds, "a damn good scene" and "exactly the sort of way I wanted to go out."
Troian Bellisario told W that she tried to get her character Spencer killed off of Pretty Little Liars because she felt that characters on the show became more interesting after they died. She also felt it would hammer home the true level of danger if one of the Liars died. However, her character, Spencer, survived until the end.
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Channing Tatum didn't even want to do the first G.I. Joe, and turned it down seven times, but eventually ended up being contractually obligated to star in it. So for the second film, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, he asked that his character be killed in the first 10 minutes.
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Jamie Lee Curtis similarly only returned to the Halloween franchise on the condition that her character die. After Curtis discovered Halloween: Resurrection would reveal her character Laurie hadn't killed famous villain Michael Myers but instead an innocent paramedic, she agreed to do the film, but insisted, "You have to pay me a lot of money ... and you have to kill me in the first ten minutes of the movie because I’ve now killed an innocent man and I can’t live with that.” Her character was killed off in the film, but she ended up returning to the series in 2017.
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Mischa Barton didn't necessarily *beg* to be killed off The OC, but she explicitly chose that as her character's ending. When she decided to leave the show, she was given two options for her character Marissa: to sail off into the sunset or to be killed off. She chose the latter, calling Marissa's death in a car accident a "great ending" and "memorable."
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Aidan Turner chose to leave Being Human to star in The Hobbit — and he also explicitly wanted his character Mitchell to be killed. Creator Toby Whithouse told Entertainment Weekly, "It was really Aidan who pushed for Mitchell to be killed, because he thought that was the appropriate ending for the character." His character, Mitchell, a vampire, was staked in a mercy killing by his friend George.
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Dean Norris called Breaking Bad's creator, Vince Gilligan, and suggested that his character, Hank, die in the first half of the last season. This was because he had a pilot he wanted to film — however, Gilligan denied his request, and Hank didn't die until Episode 14 of the season when he was shot even though Walt begged for his life.
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In a conversation with showrunners, Kevin Alejandro suggested that it might be interesting if his character on Lucifer, Dan, died, as the audience was just starting to like and understand the character: "I think it might be impactful if you took that [relationship] away and ended him, and see how that affected the world around him." His character was murdered by a hitman in Season 5.
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Emma Caulfield asked for her Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Anya to be killed off in case the show didn't end after Season 7, calling it "poetic" that Anya would die "sacrificing herself for people she could never understand." Anya died in the series finale.
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Josh Bowman had actually started asking for his character Daniel to be killed off of Revenge in Season 3, telling TV Guide his character had flip-flopped the most and it was hard for him to play. Daniel ended up being killed in Season 4 while saving Emily.
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Ashley Madekwe left Revenge after her option was not picked up because of "storyline reasons" — after the news was revealed, she tweeted that she wanted her character to die in a "blaze of glory" while wearing couture. However, her character didn't die on the show and was instead banished to her hometown.
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Sigourney Weaver wanted to be killed off in the third film in the Aliens saga, because she "heard that Fox was gonna do Alien vs Predator. Which really depressed me because I was very proud of the movies.” She also told the Chicago Tribune, "There's only so much bad luck that a person can have. For her to continue to wake up and confront the alien and resolve the situation, then go back to sleep and wake up to yet another situation — to me, it's a burden on the whole science-fiction premise of the alien."
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Jeffrey DeMunn asked to be killed off The Walking Dead in the wake of showrunner Frank Darabont leaving the show after season 1. "Dale's death was my decision. I was furious about how Frank was pushed out of the show. I spent a week not being able to take a full breath. And then I realized, 'Oh, I can quit.' So I called them and said, 'It's a zombie show. Kill me. I don't want to do this anymore.' It was an immense relief to me."
Tom Payne also suggested his character Jesus be killed in The Walking Dead. Why? He thought that not enough characters were being killed in the fight with the Saviors, and even offered up himself to get killed — which the writers agreed with.
And in the show's spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, Frank Dillane also asked for his character Nick to be killed off. He had actually wanted to leave since Season 3 so he could star in other projects. His character, Nick, died after being shot in Season 4.
And finally, as The Vampire Diaries was coming to an end, both Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder (who played leads Stefan and Damon) thought their characters should die. "We wanted the brothers to go out with a bang together. And we were fighting over who would die," Wesley revealed. Somerhalder said he thought it would be "poetic for these two brothers to go away and then to let these humans sort of resettle back into their town." However, only Wesley got his wish, and Somerhalder's character survived (albeit as a human).
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