‘Mortified’ Frankie Muniz Walked Off ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ Set for Two Episodes

‘Mortified’ Frankie Muniz Walked Off ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ Set for Two Episodes

Malcolm in the Middle producers have been pulling a fast one on us all along. While Frankie Muniz technically appears in every episode of the long-running sitcom, the actor-turned-NASCAR driver recently told fellow participants on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! that there was a period in which he walked off the show. “There were two episodes I’m not in,” he says, according to a Deadline report. “I walked off the set.”

What the heck happened?  Muniz ditched due to on-set tension and the behavior of “certain people,” he said. “Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling or rude or disrespectful. Like they walked on pins and needles.” 

Who was controlling, rude and disrespectful? A fellow actor? A showrunner? A director? Muniz doesn’t spill those particular beans, but he admits he “was so mortified by seeing people afraid to stand up for themselves. I was like: ‘Say something.’ I didn’t care if they told me I was never going back, because it was worth it to me. It helped that the show was based around me.”

Wait a minute, Malcolm superfans might be saying — Muniz was in every episode. The Independent did some sleuth work, noting that the actor only appears in flashback in the literally named episode “Clip Show #2.” The other Muniz-less episode is a mystery, though The Independent speculates that “it’s possible that pre-shot footage featuring Muniz was incorporated into the episodes where Muniz was absent from the shoot.” 

Was that rude Hollywood behavior the reason that Muniz ditched his Hollywood career? It couldn’t have helped. While promoting I’m a Celebrityhe told news.com.au that “I never felt like I fully fit in the Hollywood world, even though I was in the world. I was nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes, and I was going to all this stuff, and I was there, and I was like, how am I here? I hated L.A., so I kind of stayed in my own little world, my own little bubble. And moving to Arizona, I did it on a whim, and I realized immediately that I started looking up. I started enjoying looking at trees and birds in the sky. Going to the grocery store was a fun thing. You don’t get that in LA. It’s a miserable experience.”

Maybe in retrospect, the Hollywood life wasn't that miserable. After all, Muniz just traveled halfway around the world to compete in a celebrity reality show. Sometimes a guy just can’t get show business out of his blood. 


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