How re-cast TV actors judged their successors

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From Digital Spy

While some TV actors have stuck around on their series for the long haul, playing the same character for most of their careers (or at least a show's lifespan), others have instead made way for new blood – and not always entirely willingly, either.

It may come with the territory, but unlike the majority of stars who have chosen to keep quiet about the new "them", these six were more than willing to share their thoughts.

1. Doctor Who – Peter Capaldi on Jodie Whittaker

Photo credit: BBC

Jodie Whittaker might have been "really nervous" about signing up for Doctor Who, but the rest of us always knew she was going to be a roaring success. 'The Woman Who Fell To Earth' is now the series' highest season debut ever, with consolidated ratings confirming 10.9 million people tuned in to watch the Broadchurch star steal the show as the first female Doctor.

Those are Bodyguard-style numbers, which is phenomenal for what is still a cult show. But what do her predecessors have to say about her?

Peter Capaldi, who was one Doctor before Whittaker, said: "Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker's work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has, above all, the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor."

Writing in the Doctor Who magazine, show writer Chris Chibnall recalled the moment Capaldi found out who his replacement was going to be.

"We set a time, I call him [Peter], and as he picks up the phone the first thing he does is giggle, delighted by the madness around it all," said Chibnall.

"I tell him the name. He is generous and gentlemanly, of course: 'Well, she's a fabulous actor,' he says. He asks if it will be all right to call Jodie and I put them in touch, one Doctor to the next."

Photo credit: BBC

And David Tennant, who was announced as the Tenth Doctor back in 2005, was equally as complimentary.

"It's very exciting as a fan," he told Entertainment Weekly's radio show. "It's exciting as someone who grew up watching Doctor Who. It's very exciting whenever there's a rebirth of the show – that's an exciting moment anyway. But because Jodie's a friend, and Chris is a friend, it's exciting on so many levels."

Amen to that.

2. Two and a Half Men – Charlie Sheen on Ashton Kutcher

Photo credit: Gale Adler/CBS via Getty Images

It all started off so well for Charlie Sheen and the hit CBS comedy Two and a Half Men, but Warner Bros Television cut short his contract in 2011, despite the fact that he was signed up until 2012.

Sheen had regularly complained he was being paid too little and had a number of altercations with the show's producers, which he enjoyed telling fans about on Twitter and uStream. So it was left to That '70s Show and Punk'd star Ashton Kutcher to take over – and Sheen was not impressed in the slightest.

Sheen shared a photo of his former co-star Jon Cryer with Kutcher, writing: "Hey Jon!!! U r a GENIUS!!! I effin love and MISS YOU old pal! Q; who's your lame side-kik?"

After a backlash from fans, Sheen amended his comments, but not in the way you would expect: "Hey relax everyone... Jon I'm so sorry I insulted your sidekik I meant REALLY lame," followed by, "Hey Ashton sorry bro all good. Now quit barfing on my old brilliant show. Remember Punk'd? How duz it feel?"

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live back in 2014, Kutcher, who was being paid significantly less than Sheen for the role, sent a message to his predecessor asking him to "shut the f**k up" and to stop calling him out on Twitter.

And then many, many years later, Sheen apparently got the message at last, reaching out and making peace with his replacement.

"I saw him at a Dodgers game back in November and I forced him into a handshake," said Sheen on a US radio show. "I said, 'Give me that cup of coffee, young man, and shake my hand'.

"He was tasked with such an uphill struggle, and I was more into my own ego than I was aware of his own battle, and for that I am regretful."

Ah, we love a happy ending.

3. The Crown – Claire Foy on Olivia Colman

Photo credit: Netflix

There was a changing of the guard for purely logistical reasons on The Crown earlier this year when Olivia Colman took over from Claire Foy as an older Elizabeth II, and Tobias Menzies replaced Matt Smith as Prince Philip. The first two seasons took place from 1947 to 1956, and 1957 to 1964, but the upcoming season will focus on the next decade of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, when Her Majesty and Prince Philip will be in their 50s.

Foy, who always knew she was going to be replaced at some point because of the nature of the show, naturally found out it would be Colman before the rest of us. And when the news was made public, the Stockport-born star was full of praise for her replacement.

"I just love her," said Foy. "I admire her so much and the idea that we sort of will be doing the same job but not actually working together is just enough – I'm honoured by that."

To be fair, it's pretty much impossible to dislike Olivia Colman.

4. Riverdale – Ross Butler on Charles Melton

Photo credit: Netflix

Fans of The CW's original series based on characters from the Archie comics were furious when it was announced that Ross Butler would no longer be playing the role of Reggie Mantle – and Charles Melton would be taking over instead.

Butler had roles in both Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why, but decided to leave the former so he could could concentrate on the Netflix series.

"Before season two was confirmed for [13 Reasons Why], I had to make the decision of whether I wanted to focus on one character or split two characters and have a smaller role on both shows," he told Vulture.

"Reggie's a great character, but it's a different tone. I connected with Zach on a much more real level where I didn't have to create so much of a character for him. Reggie's more outspoken, like that jock archetype."

Speaking about his replacement in a video he shared on Twitter, Butler had nothing but kind words to say about Melton, who has been part of the Riverdale cast since 2017.

"I'm so happy that The CW, Greg [Berlanti], Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa], David [Rapaport] and Sarah [Schechter] gave me, an Asian-American, a chance to play a traditionally-caucasian character, Reggie," he said.

"In light of recent casting news, I am even more excited and more proud that they decided to keep Reggie Asian-American. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to the Asian-American community, and so I just wanted to say thank you guys again, one more time. I support Charles Melton all the way, passing the baton off."

5. Roseanne – Lecy Goranson on Sarah Chalke

Photo credit: Getty - ABC

During Roseanne's original run, two different actors played the role of Roseanne's eldest daughter, Becky. Lecy Goranson was on the show for five seasons (1988 to 1992), before leaving to take some time out to study and she was eventually replaced by a pre-Scrubs fame Sarah Chalke in seasons six and seven.

At the time, Goranson didn't discuss Chalke taking on her role, but in the eighth season both stars returned and split the part between them, with Chalke filling in while Goranson was away studying. Things were then switched up entirely during the reboot when Goranson played the original Becky, and Chalke returned as an entirely new character called Andrea.

Speaking to Vulture, Goranson spoke about the first time the pair joined forces on set.

"It was really fun," she said. "I mean, Sarah is great. She's a sweetheart and she has a great sense of humour. Once we were on Amy Schumer together and we went out to dinner afterwards and we talked about our experiences, and I was really curious about her experience after I left and what it was like for her.

"She was really honest about everything. Because of that, we already had a bond and an understanding of each other and where we were coming from."

6. The O.C. – Shailene Woodley on Willa Holland

Photo credit: HBO

Over the past few years, Shailene Woodley has been racking up a number of jobs that have seriously put her on the map. From The Fault in Our Stars and The Divergent Series to hit HBO show, Big Littles Lies, the 26-year-old has become one of the world's most in-demand young stars.

But cast your mind all the way back to 2003 and you may remember that the San Bernardino-born actor was the original Kaitlin Cooper in The O.C., before being replaced by Willa Holland.

In an interview with Moviefone back in 2011, Woodley spoke about her exit from the show which, she agrees, was absolutely the right call.

"I was 11 and I was on as a guest, recurring character, or whatever," she said. "My character went to boarding school and when they decided to bring her back, they actually re-auditioned me to bring her back.

"But I didn't go through puberty until late – I was the 15-year-old who had no boobs. So, at 11, I was like a little mouse-child. I looked like an 8-year-old. So, there was no weirdness when Willa Holland got it because she was so obviously right for the role, and I was so obviously not."

If you were hoping for drama, you're not getting any here.

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