The Affair star Ruth Wilson talked briefly this week about her decision to the leave the show in an interview on CBS This Morning and addressed the rumors that her exit was because of a pay gap. Wilson said that she “never complained to Showtime about pay parity,” and she also said that she did want to leave the show, but she could not talk about why.
However, something doesn’t seem quite right because Showtime released a statement saying that everyone agreed Wilson’s character arc had run its course and they decided to kill off her character. So, who is telling the truth?
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 17, 2018
Wilson has starred as Alison Bailey since the show’s first season, and the character died in an episode earlier this month from an apparent suicide. But, in the season four penultimate episode that all changed.
During the first part of the episode, Alison forgave Ben (Ramon Rodriguez) for lying to her, and they appeared to make up. But later in the episode, Ben started drinking and fought with Alison, and then seemingly killed her and dumped her body in the ocean.
The cause of death is still a mystery, but Wilson said that she thinks it was a murder; however, it wasn’t clear. She then said that maybe the first half was fantasy and the second half reality.
As far as whose choice it was to kill off Allison — the actress or the show — showrunner Sarah Treem said that it all started with a request from Wilson.
“Ruth wanted to leave the show. That was a request, so that was decided basically before we started writing. It wasn’t a discovery of any kind. That was very deliberate,” Treem said. “And actually, we shot all of her work first. Her whole storyline was shot before we shot anything else.”
Ruth Wilson’s character was killed off on ‘The Affair’ after she complained about unequal pay https://t.co/qvwHcnFFnP (So that’s the reason her character’s death was sudden! You got to be kidding me smdh) #TheAffair
— ♑️ Melissa ? (@23Martini) August 12, 2018
Treem also said that it wasn’t always in her mind that Alison would die, but it was always an option. She says that the question for Alison’s character was always “how does a parent survive” the death of a child? And, would this character be able to do it? Treem says that it was always a possibility in her mind that Alison wouldn’t ultimately survive.
Ruth Wilson seems to be happy with her decision, and she said the fan response has been “amazing.” She added that it has been a moving experience for her to see that her character on The Affair connected with people, and since she has close friends who have lost kids, it was important to her to “serve the story of this woman who is defined by grief.”