Christopher Abbott abruptly left HBO’s “Girls” last April, just weeks after the Season 2 finale, where viewers saw his character, Charlie, and Charlie’s on-and-off girlfriend Marnie (Allison Williams), rekindling their relationship and talking marriage.
Lena Dunham, the show’s creator and star, opened up to Access Hollywood about how she and her writers scrambled to adjust their storylines in Christopher’s absence and said the curveball ended up being good for the series.
“We could’ve made it complicated and we made it simple,” Lena told Access of how they handled Charlie’s disappearance, at the Winter Television Critics Association event in Pasadena. “We could’ve gone, ‘Oh God, we need to cover our tracks with some outlandish story [like] Charlie got a big part in ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ but we just really wanted to go, what happened in your 20s? People break up spontaneously. And when you break up, sometimes people disappear.
“It’s so amazing sometimes when people are such a big part of your life and then they’re gone,” she added.
After mulling over several options for Charlie’s sudden disappearance, the “Girls” creative crew decided keeping it simple was the best plan, as people often split suddenly – even when their relationship appears to be on good footing.
“We were like, we actually don’t need to look that far to find a way to do this organically,” Lena said. “The last thing we wanted to do was make it into some sort of meta wink about Chris leaving the show.”
Despite Christopher’s shocking departure, Lena praised her former co-star’s work.
“He’s a great actor,” she said of Chris. “He brought so much to that character.”
And the 27-year-old star said Marnie’s consequent return to single life has been positive for the character and for the show’s direction.
“I actually think it’s been really, really good for Marnie’s journey. It was great because we’re seeing this entire other side of Marnie, without Charlie and it gave her all of this room to grow,” she said. “I think it was a perfect third season development, even if it wasn’t exactly what you would want when creating a show.”
“Girls” returns with its third season premiere on Sunday, January 12 at 10 PM on HBO.