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Frankie Muniz Reveals Why He "Walked Off" the "Malcolm in the Middle" Set and Missed 2 Episodes

Muniz's act of courage backfired when his character was written out of the script.

Before he was agent Cody Banks, Frankie Muniz was known as Malcolm Wilkerson on the hit sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. The Fox series ran from 2000 to 2006 and introduced young Muniz, who was then a child actor, to some of Hollywood's biggest stars. However, the titular gig also showed Muniz a darker side of the entertainment industry that consequently muddied his time on the show, the since-retired actor recently divulged.

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Muniz candidly opened up about his Malcolm in the Middle years and the set's "controlling" environment while appearing on I'm a Celebrity Australia. He recalled a specific moment of bravery that was interpreted as an act of defiance, and as a result, got his character scrapped from two full episodes.

"Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling or rude or disrespectful. Like they walked on pins and needles. I was so mortified by seeing people afraid to stand up for themselves, I was like: 'Say something,'" Muniz told his castmates during the April 1 episode of I'm a Celebrity Australia, per

And so, Muniz took his own advice to heart: "I walked off the set," he shared. "I didn't care if they told me I was never going back, because it was worth it to me," he explained. Of course, "it helped that the show was based around me," Muniz added.

Despite his name being listed in all 151 episode credits, Muniz's walk-off stint cost him two episodes. While Muniz didn't specify which episodes his character was written out of, Entertainment Weekly reports that Season 4, episode 17 only features archival footage of Malcolm.

Muniz was one of the most sought-after teen actors of the early aughts. He landed roles in blockbuster hits such as Agent Cody Banks and Big Fat Liar. Still, no amount of Emmy or Golden Globe nominations could make up for his "miserable experience," Muniz said in a interview.

"I never felt like I fully fit in the Hollywood world, even though I was in the world," he told the digital outlet. Of his experience with imposter syndrome, Muniz added, "I was going to all this stuff, and I was there, and I was like, how am I here?"

The actor has also previously shared that he suffers from memory loss. While doctors have attributed it to intense aura migraines and childhood concussions, Muniz believes his hectic schedule as a young person played a part.

It wasn't until Muniz packed up his bags and traded the Hollywood hills for the Arizona desert that he "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," he explained in the interview.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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