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Frankie Muniz says he stormed off Malcolm in the Middle set and didn’t return for two episodes

Frankie Muniz says he stormed off Malcolm in the Middle set and didn’t return for two episodes

Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz has revealed that he once walked off set in frustration and didn’t return for two episodes.

The actor, 38, starred as the main character in the popular family sitcom from 2000 to 2006, having been cast while he was 13 years old.

Muniz is currently appearing on the Australian version of the reality series I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. He recalled the fraught incident on Malcolm in the Middle to his fellow campmates on the latest episode.

“There were two episodes I’m not in. I walked off the set,” said Muniz, who starred alongside Bryan Cranston, Jane Kaczmarek, Christopher Masterson, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan on the series.

According to the actor, it was on-set tensions and the behaviour of “certain people” that had prompted him to leave.

“Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling or rude or disrespectful. Like they walked on pins and needles,” he said.

“I 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.”

Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, and Bryan Cranston in ‘Malcolm in the Middle' (Saeed Adyani/20th Century Fox Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, and Bryan Cranston in ‘Malcolm in the Middle' (Saeed Adyani/20th Century Fox Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock)

While Muniz claimed to have been absent from two episodes as a result of the walk-out, his character does in fact feature in every episode of the show (though the episode “Clip Show #2” only shows his character in archival flashback footage). However, it’s possible that pre-shot footage featuring Muniz was incorporated into the episodes where Muniz was absent from the shoot. TV shows sometimes record “cold opens” – standalone comic scenes that run before the opening credits – out of sequence with the rest of the production.

After finding success with Malcolm, Muniz took a break from acting, and became an open-wheel racecar driver.

Speaking to news.com.au before his appearance on I’m a Celebrity, Muniz said: “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 LA, 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 realised 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.”