Darlings galore filled the stage at Thursday (July 17) afternoon’s Dirty Sexy Money panel at the Television Critics Association press tour. One major exception, though, was Samaire Armstrong, who plays the flighty twin Juliet Darling on the ABC dramedy.
[To be fair, family patriarch Donald Sutherland was also absent, though his birthday seems to oft-coincide with scheduled summer TCA events.]
There have long been rumors that Armstrong, who missed several episodes last season after a stint in rehab, was off the show as part of the extensive retooling that will also include the addition of Lucy Liu to the Dirty Sexy cast.
Getting any sort of specific and factual information out of series creator Craig Wright proved a bit complicated, though.
In response to the first query regarding Armstrong’s fate, Wright answered thusly, according to the panel transcript:
"I’m going to say something about that. You know, just to talk about the realities of making TV, when we first made — when we made the pilot, I don’t know if you all remember it, but her character left the home in the first episode. Remember? She goes down the stairs, and she says, ‘Someday is today. I’m going.’ Her character in my mind in terms of the gestalt of the show, the zodiac of the show, her character was always bound for the outside world. That’s what I thought was so cool and counterintuitive that this wasn’t a spoiled little bratty Paris Hilton type who stayed at home, that she was someone different, who was out there. But when you’re launching a show, money is an issue, and lo and behold, we decided we needed to bring her back into the home in order to make her stories more easily tellable within the center of gravity of the show. So she’s out there doing things. I think you can all consult your almanacs and the online history sources for what happens to crazy rich girls when they go off in the world, and you might be able to come up with some great ideas of what might occur to her out there, but I look forward to her coming back safely and sharing her adventures with us. We all love her as an actress. We loved her performances last season. I mean, some of her work in like Episode 5 in the Marie Antoinette birthday party, some of my favorite stuff on the show. So I just don’t want anyone to ever make the mistake — because it’s an absolute — to think that her absence has anything to do with anything but just making good stories, because her character is bound for the world out there, and when she comes back, we want her to be powerful and specific and special which is what she is."
Powerful and specific and special?
But seriously. What’s happening with Samaire Armstrong on the next season of Dirty Sexy Money?
"I think, you know — I think what — she would be characterized as recurring," Wright finally says.
Executive producer Greg Berlanti adds, "She’s not under any kind of particular contract to come back right now, but we’re hoping to have her back for a couple of episodes. That would be our hope."
Wright additionally clarifies, "I think definitely what I see occurring down the road — I mean, and I think anybody, if they consulted their inner storyteller, would arrive at the same conclusion, that Juliet, doubtless, will get herself into trouble out there, and the only person who’s the — you know, the right person to go get her is probably the team of Nick and Jeremy, and we’ll send them out to retrieve her and bring her back to safety."
For his part, Seth Gabel, Juliet’s twin Jeremy on the stage, didn’t seem worried about finding storylines without his sibling.
"Well, as you remember in the last season, I started working for the family, so I think Juliet and Jeremy both decided to sort of go their separate ways, and she’s off exploring the world and Jeremy’s
exploring the world of responsibility," he says. "And so there’s presently a lot to explore within the Darling family."
And there you have it. Samaire Armstrong is gone from Dirty Sexy Money until she’s back.
You gonna miss her? You gonna notice she’s gone?