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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why?!?! Wait, let me start over. Deciding to leave the show was obviously a tough call to make. Tell me how you decided it was time.
CRYSTAL REED: I love the art. And I felt like, creatively, there were things I wanted to do differently, and I wanted to explore other avenues of film and TV. I wanted to jump into different characters. You know, I’m 29. So I think the age difference was something I wanted to change as well because she’s 17. I love the show so much. So I went to Jeff and talked about it and he said, “We’ll write you a great ending.”
When was this conversation?
We were a couple of episodes into [season 3], and I spoke with my team and expressed that I wanted to do different things and explore different avenues and tell different stories. And they were completely supportive of me and said I should talk to [creator] Jeff [Davis]. It was such a nerve-wrackng day but he’s such a great guy and person. It’s not always that people will always let you leave the show. So I’m really, really grateful for that.
What is it like to say goodbye?
It was really difficult. The last week was really hard because I have spent so much time with these people and with the crew and with the cast. I didn’t expect for it to be as difficult as it was. I remember driving to do a scene, we were supposed to shoot in Long Beach, and I was crying the entire way and I remember calling Jeff and saying, “I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can let her go.” And he said, “It’s going to be great” and said the most beautiful things to me. Still, it was really difficult. It’s so hard for me to say goodbye to her. I really love her.
Tell me about filming your last scene.
Well, I haven’t seen it yet, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes you film things, and it turns out very differently…usually for the better. So I don’t know what it’s going to look like… But the moment was really hard for me because we as people will never be able to act a death scene properly because we will never go through it and if we do, then we’re dead. [Laughs] So the actual physical act of it was hard; I did a lot of research on how she would be actually dying in this circumstance, so I had to bear that in mind. So, as she was dying and she had her last breath, I was saying my lines and I kept saying, “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.” And I remember one of the producers came over and said, “Please don’t say that because she loves Isaac.” [But] I do feel like Allison still loves Scott. And I think in that moment, she said she loves him because that’s still there. So it was hard for me to hold back those feelings because as an actor, I feel like that’s still there. So I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but it was interesting for me as an actor because I so strongly felt the urge to say it to him even though she wasn’t supposed to. So that was interesting.
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