Report: Girls Actor Christopher Abbott Abruptly Departs Series Ahead of Season 3

Girls Season 3 Christopher Abbott Leaving as CharlieOne of Girls main boys will be MIA in Season 3.

Christopher Abbott, who has played Marnie’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Charlie during the first two seasons of the HBO comedy, has abruptly left the show.

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According to the New York Post, which broke the news, Abbott had been butting heads with leading lady/series creator Lena Dunham.

“[Chris] is grateful for the experience of collaborating with Lena, Judd [Apatow], and the entire Girls cast and crew, but right now he’s working on numerous other projects and has decided not to return to the show,” the actor’s rep told the Post.

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Thoughts? Will you miss Charlie? Hit the comments!

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65 Comments
  1. he was annoying, so im glad

    • Lili says:

      I disagree. A “Boys” spin-off would be great. Make it happen, HBO!

      • Meghan says:

        I’m really going to miss his character, I don’t normally get involved with tv shows I randomly started watching from episode 3 Season 1 because my friend had it in her HBOGO watch list and was too lazy to get up and change it, but I’m glad I kept watching. I was in a long term relationship too so it was amazing to actually see that on tv for a change.

        Viewer-wise they should’ve kept his character. Theres too many shows that display casual relationships with casual sex and feelings and not enough long-term ones. I think it has some substantial base with that concept :( Christopher Abbott, I always looked forward to watching episodes featuring him so I’m really upset…idk if I’ll continue watching the show -shrug-

  2. Katie says:

    I had a feeling he was going to leave.
    His performance during season two was pretty bland.
    This seems like the best decision for the show!

  3. Lara says:

    Aw, I liked him!

  4. He was too conventionally handsome for Girls. The guys on that show have much more distinctive, some might say unattractive-from-some-or-many-angles kind of vibe. Oh, well…

  5. Laura says:

    Girls took a weird turn in the last half of season 2, and he was the only part I enjoyed. Too bad he had to leave, his disfunctionally normal relationship with Marnie will be missed … just no more Booth Jonathon.

  6. Elly says:

    I really am over Lena Dunham. The first season was great, this season has been ick. I feel like maybe she got an inflated ego after the initial rave reviews and skated this season.

    • Guy says:

      Season 2 definitely was… weird. But it seems like he’s the one with the ego problem. “Collaborated”? He’s an actor. Just perform your lines. Seems misguided to leave an Emmy-nominated/Golden Globe-winning show. Though, I don’t think Lena has ever written anything thus far on the show for him to be noticeable, which is a shame.

      • Weird = BORING. The show will not be winning any Emmys. I think even I won a Golden Globe a few years ago. Girls got the Globe because it was at the end of it’s “edgie female show” buzz. Taking your shirt off every episode and writing men as deflated balloons does not make a show edgie. Good writing and character development do, two things Girls does not have.

        • Lala says:

          Female love interests are often written much more poorly than the men on this show. The love interest roles are often not as developed as the leads, the love interest are there to further the protagonist story. This show happens to have female protagonist while most shows have men at the center.

      • Lyndsey says:

        Good actors don’t just “perform their lines.” They live in those roles. I’ve heard literally hundreds of writers talk about how characters are a “collaboration” between them and the actors. Many times they take characters in completely unexpected directions solely because of how the actor plays it. And if you make a habit of reading entertainment sites then I am quite sure this isn’t the first time you’ve read about an actor leaving a show (or other production) because he or she wasn’t happy about the direction a character was going and the show/writers insisted on doing it anyway.

        • Lala says:

          The problem with having the actors collaborate with the writers is that many times the actors will want their characters to have more screen time or to be more likable or get all the juicy storylines. The writers have to make sure the whole show works not just that one actor gets his or her way. If the actor finds the role boring to play and isn’t under contract they should move on but they shouldn’t be dictating the storylines for the show, especially if that actor is a supporting character and not essential to the show.

          His character wasn’t so fleshed out independent of Marnie that he should have a better idea of who the character was than the shows creator. This isn’t a case of an actor who has played a role for 100 episodes and then the character is now doing things that go against previously established character traits. He’s only appeared in 12 episodes and his characters primary trait was that he was a doormat for Marnie. It’s fine for him to want to be in projects in which he’s a lead but it doesn’t make Dunham a bad guy for letting him go rather than changing the show she created to suit him. The show is her baby not his.

      • Elly says:

        On paper, yes, it seems stupid to leave an Golden Globe/Emmy awarded show. However, I can could completely understand wanting to leave if my boss (who probably started out as a really nice, polite girl) started becoming less open to suggestions/interpretations because she was now a golden globe winner.

        She won that globe for work done on season 1, which he obviously had a much larger part of. Just from the way this past season was, it just seemed like it was Lena Dunham going for more shock value rather than actual substance. I mean Charlie’s character was really the only one who actually grew as a person and matured. The ironic part is Lena managed to make Charlie mature all while taking his screen time and using it to continuously remind us she doesn’t have a perfect body and she’s okay with it. WE GET IT, LENA!

    • The Beach says:

      Season 2 epitomized the term “Sophomore Slump”

  7. Miranda says:

    I liked him too. I’ve always thought the male characters on Girls were the most interesting.

  8. LP says:

    So the happy happy coupling of Marnie and Charlie at the end of S2 is suddenly dead.

    • Nat says:

      Yeah, I’m sort of wondering how they’re narratively going to deal with that. Maybe a “Sorry it didn’t work out with Charlie, Marnie” after fastforwarding a few months for the new season?

  9. WTactualF says:

    He’s just as sick of Lena Dunham as I am.

    • Ettie says:

      Amen.

    • Bob says:

      I’m sick of her just from having to skip by all the article links on her and the show on every freakin’ news outlet possible. It’s about as over-hyped as ‘Sex and the City’ was several years ago.

      • Girls should never be mentioned in the same sentance, paragraph, or article as Sex and the City. I suggest you watch SATC repeats on cable (they are everywhere). That show has more than stood the test of time, it is as current now as it was then, it has not shown its age at all. SATC had great writing, character development, and the shocking elements (nudity, stong women, language) worked in the story, not to ‘shock’ or have Leah D. named the current it girl. I would rather watch the disgusting, stupid, selfish characters on any Real Housewives show than on the massively overhyped Girls.

    • Dave says:

      LIKE ^^^^

  10. Nina says:

    But…… Marnie wants to have his little brown babies. :(

    • Josh says:

      Which was really, really a sad moment for the character considering her journey of self-discovery ended with her just wanting to please her man. My guess is that Charlie and Marnie weren’t going to end up together in season 3 anyway and Marnie was going to find empowerment or whatever, and Chris Abbot just didn’t want to stick around for that haha

      • meem says:

        Haven’t you noticed? For all the talk about this show, it is, at its core, about a bunch of girls looking for guys to please. Snore.

        • Don’t forget, all the men they deal with (and I am sure every guy on the Planet, in the Girls world) are complete idiots. Because that is real life, right? Gosh, Girls is so ahead of its time…..YAWN. It should be called “Poor Girls” because they have to deal with us pesky, stupid men.

          • Lala says:

            All the people on this show do stupid things sometimes or in the case of Hannah all the time. It’s a show about imperfect young people figuring out their lives. The men are not shown to be stupider than the women and the women aren’t portrayed as victims. You appear to be offended by the idea of a show that shows things from a woman’s perspective rather than a mans. I’m guessing you don’t watch the show.

      • HaveAbaby says:

        Huh? Why is a woman wanting to have babies with a guy her ‘just wanting to please her man’? Can’t women be pleased to have children too? Sounded to me like that was her dream, not his. Maybe her empowerment will be the ultimate female experience – creating life.

  11. Rrrrrr says:

    Yes! He was the worst character on the show, so freaking annoying. I’m glad he’s gone.

  12. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    He brought nothing to the role. I’m sure recasting isn’t going to be the end of the world.

  13. LaurenMC says:

    That sucks. He and Marnie were just reunited! How are they going to explain that away at the start of the next season? I’m honestly tired of actors randomly leaving shows and screwing up story lines. He could have told her before they shot the season finale so his character could have been properly disposed of instead of whatever half assed explanation they are going to give now.

  14. Jon says:

    If anyone should leave, it should be Lena Dunham.

  15. Gailer says:

    I think that’s the end of Charlie. I cannot see this show recasting any role.

  16. This is THE most overratted show on TV. I am glad Season 2 was slammed by everyone except maybe Leah’s mother, and even more glad the raitings are sliding. Christopher Abbott is a luck man, why would you want to be on a show where EVERY man that blinks is written as a complete idiot? Oh that’s right, it makes the show “real and edgie.” Yawn……

  17. megan says:

    Ugh. I hated S2. It was more about shock value than anything else. S1 was perfection. I never liked Charlie but I was starting to enjoy him in the finale. Figures!

  18. Jo says:

    Only reason I watched… I loved Charlie! S2 was bad anyway…. Hopefully he will be in something watchable

  19. Jo says:

    also.. I totally agree with Jon haha

  20. Dave says:

    gutted by this news … he’s an honest talent and provided a realistic and grounding force to the clusterf*** tornado that is Lena Dunham’s writing and direction. to be honest, though, i doubt i could work with her either … he’ll move on to bigger & better.

  21. Lala says:

    I think it makes sense for his character to move on from Marnie. She only wanted him when he was with a new girl or became successful. It’s healthier for him to move on from a woman who thinks she’s a little to good for him. It’s also good for Marnie’s future story lines to come to terms with the fact that she thinks she better than everyone around her and she isn’t. If she stayed with Charlie she would be so smug.

  22. cj says:

    Thank God Marnie is free of him. He did the writers a favor. His story was done in season one so surprised they brought him back for season two which I admit I didn’t watch. Got tired of marnies awkward sex scenes where they kept tries to cover her up.

  23. Chachi says:

    I watched one episode and thought it was crass, ignorant and poorly written.

    It wasn’t even a full episode, more like 8 minutes.

    It’s overrated and written by a woman whose self-depracating so called humor makes even the least depressed chub bub want to slit her wrist.

    I refuse to watch a show where the worth of the women on it is chalked up to having a boyfriend or living with a boyfriend or scouring for a boyfriend.

    Whereas young women are naive and looking for our way in the world, we aren’t that stupid.

    The show isn’t very realistic.

    I’m not familiar with Christopher Abbott’s other work as an actor, but it was a very smart decision to jump ship at the stage of the show.

    After this next season, I think it will be cancelled.

    • Ben says:

      No offense, but even if you’re right in your analysis of this show, you have no idea what you’re talking about. You’ve literally not even watched ten minutes of the entire series.

      • Chachi says:

        I’ve heard various things from people about the show and I’ve read articles on it.

        Plus I kind of garnered that the show was trash when I watched the first episode and saw the lead character attempt to have a conversation with her boyfriend and his main goal was getting a condom open.

        It was a “shut your mouth and open your legs wide” moment.

        That doesn’t exactly scream smart television and it sends a bad message to kids who watch it.

        Women are supposed to be smart and independent and resourceful and capable of running our own lives in an orderly and constructive fashion.

        This show paints 20 something women as brainless dolts whose main goal is to be accepted and to be on the arm of guy.

        That’s not very realistic and makes me long for the days of decent programming.

        • Jodi says:

          You’ve watched 8 minutes, but have read a lot of articles, therefore your opinion of “Girls” is not, actually, your own. This show is not for CHILDREN, so why are you expecting it to have any kind of message, good or bad, for CHILDREN??

          And ALL women are NOT smart, independent, resourceful, capable of running their own lives in an orderly and constructive fashion; and SOME women ARE 20-something brainless dolts whose main goal is to be accepted and to be on the arm of a guy. It’s TRUE! Maybe not in your world.

          A television show with women who have their perfect acts together and nary a bubble-head in sight would NOT be realistic. THAT would make good children’s programming because most children’s programming is unrealistic, anyway.

  24. Kat says:

    I’m sad because he’s the hot one. And I think he’s quite a good actor too. Anyone else catch him on Enlightened this past season? He was great. I just think he got sick of not being given much to do on the show. So it’s understandable. But still sad.

  25. dlr929 says:

    Hopefully, it’s only a huge coincidence that Charlie was the only male on the show who actually made something of himself and became a success.
    If not, what does that say for eqality?

  26. Faster says:

    I was never a big fan of Charlie but feel a little cheated now after his and Marnie’s story line at the end of the season. Not that I ever thought they’d end up together, but I thought their growth would be important for her character. Just please don’t put her back with Booth Jonathan.

  27. Kim says:

    I like this guy. I kinda’ was pissed with this last season of “Girls.” Did it feel like Lena Dunham hated her costars? Like she gave them awful story lines. Marnie loses her job, gets stuck in that weird prison of weird t.v. with violent images/the “I’m going to have… with a freaky artist and become totally unlikable” story line. Thomas-John/Chris O’Dowd’s character was totally right for calling out Jessa (and the crap Jessa did with her dogs?!?!). Shoshana was so boring I would leave and go potty whenever she was on screen. And the guys? Not much better. And that scene with Adam?! What the hades? I didn’t need to see that. This guy should move on. Get away from the crapfest (and I liked Lena Dunham until I had to watch her chest in like every episode this season. I didn’t need to see “the girls” to get the fact that the show is called “Girls.”).

  28. Jason says:

    Man this show is horrible, season 1 wasnt bad, but season 2 was atrocious. And I agree with Nate, the way this show writes male characters is pretty awful. Though the sad thing is that none of the characters on the show, male or female, are really strong or even likeable (personally, I despise Jessa with the burning hatred of a thousand suns). Men such as Don Draper and women such as Emily Thorn these characters are not.

  29. Anni says:

    Thank goodness. I LOVE this show, but hated the story line that put them back together, so if this is what it takes to make that go away…yay!

  30. Patrick Wilson says:

    maybe lena wrote a sex scene for charlie and hannah

  31. Allison says:

    I am sad. I really thought it was heart warming when Marnie professed her love to him at the end.

  32. Carte R4 says:

    I value the article.Really looking forward to read more.

  33. Me says:

    I really did not see a difference between season one and two but perhaps this is because I watched them back to back? I am surprised I didn’t notice. It took me most of the first season to get comfortable with all the sex scenes (no idea why as I’m no prude!).
    I loved this show. Can’t wait for the next season!!

  34. nola says:

    I loved the show. I think this is Lena Dunhams project anyways. It would just suck to be a writer and then have to change your work because someone quits. I can’t wait until the next season either! He was a good looking guy but I don’t think he was needed as an actor, he was just needed as a character, basically I personally could take or leave the guy i just like the show.

  35. Christina says:

    I love Charlie! I thought him and Marnie were adorable together. I hope he might decide to come back in later episodes :(

  36. Jessie says:

    I love him! That’s terrible, hope he comes back. In the meantime I’ll figure out what else he’s gonna be in and watch that. ;)

  37. i had heard and read that season 2 was “weird” – i kept waiting for it to be “weird” – and then it was over. it was so great! i thought that was some brave self-effacing stuff that Dunham put out there. a favorite part was when her character’s self-involvedness put off the hot doctor. Charlie and Marnie’s reasoning for going back and forth seemed a little silly, and not in an intended way, so I guess I’m glad to see that part of the story taking a turn. Just glad Adam isn’t going anywhere!

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