ryan phillippe
Source: ABC

What Did Happen to Ryan Phillippe on 'Big Sky'?

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Apr. 27 2021, Published 10:10 p.m. ET

Ryan Phillippe fans were elated to learn that Ryan would be joining the cast of ABC’s Big Sky but were equally disappointed when his character, Cody Hoyt, was killed off in the show’s season premiere. 

Because Ryan was positioned to be one of Big Sky’s main characters, fans are wondering why his exit from the series was so abrupt. So, why did Ryan Phillippe leave Big Sky

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Why did Ryan Phillippe leave ‘Big Sky’?

Although Cody Hoyt’s murder was a surprise to viewers, actor Ryan Phillippe says he knew about his death when he signed on. 

The actor, who has previously starred in Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the USA series Shooter, said that although he may get some backlash for his most recent role, he was totally down to be in on the plot twist. He explained, "Oh, boy, I'm in for it. I'm going to get backlash from my fans." 

why did ryan phillippe leave big sky
Source: ABC
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“They're all excited in the comments thinking I have a new show, like, 'My guy is back on TV! I can't wait!' But how often are you really shocked to the point where your jaw drops? I hope that happens here," Ryan shared. 

According to Ryan, a prior commitment prevented him from joining the cast of Big Sky full-time, but he will return to the series by way of flashbacks throughout Season 1.

In a previous interview, Ryan explained, “It's a very bold thing to have one of the lead actors, who's heavily featured in the marketing, go out in the first episode.”

He added, “It sets the bar for the danger that lurks within the show and the fact that no one is safe. That's going to create even more tension and commitment from the audience to lean in and really focus on what's happening."

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why did ryan phillippe leave big sky
Source: ABC

Although Ryan Phillippe’s role in Big Sky may have come to an end, Cody Hoyt's story is far from over. After his death, Cody was survived by his wife, Jenny Hoyt, his son, Justin Hoyt, and his girlfriend, Cassie Dewell, and it’s just as messy as it sounds.

Ryan Phillippe explained, "Cody is recently clean and sober, so when Jenny and Cassie can't get ahold of him, they're worried he fell off the wagon — that he's in a gutter somewhere and crashed his car.” 

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He continued, "The murder is pretty well covered up, so it's going to take them a little while to find out. And then, over a few of the episodes, you get a glimpse into what my character's relationship with Cassie was like and where that was beginning to go. You get a glimpse into the family life between Jenny and our son. So my presence will remain in some degree." 

why did ryan phillippe leave big sky
Source: ABC

For showrunners, Cody Hoyt’s death wasn’t a last-minute decision. Executive producer Paul McGuigan said, "It keeps the audience on their toes and gives a sense of jeopardy to the whole series. And there's going to be other surprises you won't be expecting. We want people to enjoy the roller coaster ride."

You can watch new episodes of Big Sky Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.

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