Although Tina Majorino was not present for Veronica Mars‘ just-released fourth season on Hulu, her super-hacker alter ego, Mac, was at least accounted for. Early into the eight-episode revival, Kristen Bell’s titular sleuth remarks somewhat off-handedly that her bestie had gone AWOL in Istanbul. It’s never explained why she’s there, so we’re putting the question to series creator Rob Thomas.
“It was really just to let the audience know that she was off the grid,” the EP explains of the relatively arbitrary location, which was partly chosen because he recently “had a pleasant vacation” there. “I didn’t want the audience to think Mac was just four blocks away and we’re just not seeing her.”
For the record, Thomas maintains that he wanted Majorino to be a part of Season 4. And the two actually discussed the possibility. “When we spoke, she asked me what her storyline would be, and I bluntly said, ‘Well, you won’t have your own storyline,'” Thomas recalls. “I told her that the series-regular characters are taking a backseat to the [over-arching] mystery. I don’t know if that’s why she opted out or if she had other obligations.”
It was the former.
In an exclusive statement to TVLine, Majorino confirms that she bowed out of Season 4 when it became clear that Mac was not going to be “an integral part” of the episodes.
“I have a very deep love for the character of Mac and my goal from the beginning has always been to give her and her trajectory the respect she deserves,” Majorino explains. “Mr. Thomas told me up front that his vision for Veronica Mars was going in a different direction and that Mac was not an integral part of this new path. I respect that greatly. When Mr. Thomas first wrote this part for me, I was an 18-year-old young lady who got to grow up playing a character I adored. She got to grow with me as did those who were watching. When he came to me with the offer for this new revival, I was excited at the prospect, just as excited as I was when the film was given the go-ahead by our wonderful fans. But the schedule reflected to me the diminished value of Mac in this new world of Veronica Mars.
“There was no room for my beloved hacker queen and, as conversations continued, that only became more clear,” the actress adds. “So, I made the decision not to participate. I was so pleased with where we saw her end up in the movie that I didn’t want to demean that by making an appearance that would not satisfy me, Mac, or the viewers. I am so grateful to have been a part of this show and the subsequent film and I hope it will bring everyone involved as much success as the original. I hope that the fans understand my logic and I hope that they understand that there are worlds beyond Veronica Mars that we will all explore together in the future.”
Thomas, meanwhile, is quick to note that there “are no hard feelings,” adding “If there is an opportunity to work with Tina again I would jump at that.”