TV Relationship Storylines Actors Wanted
“I wanna work with the blonde.”
The relationship between Dylan and Kelly on Beverly Hills, 90210 happened because Luke Perry (Dylan) requested to work with Jennie Garth (Kelly).
Executive producer Charles Rosin revealed on the Beverly Hills, 90210 Show podcast that the idea for the storyline was first conceived when Perry came into his office one day, “It didn’t start with me, it started with Luke. It started when we merged in with Melrose [Place]. … Everybody was pretty good with that. The network was happy and [producer Aaron] Spelling was happy. Luke wasn’t happy. He felt we were really subordinating ourselves.”
Rosin continued, “What [Luke] said to me was, ‘I wanna work with the blonde.” From there, Rosin went to the network and persuaded them that a Dylan and Kelly romance needed to happen. Although it took some convincing, Rosin believes the controversial storyline was the right move. “It was really clear we needed to change things up,” he said.
Euphoria actors Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi requested changes to the infamous argument scene between their characters, Cassie and Nate, in Season 2, Episode 4.
Sweeney said in an interview with The Cut that the scene was initially supposed to end with Nate calling out Cassie for hooking up with her best friend’s ex, but she and Elordi had other ideas. Sweeney explained, “Jacob and I did the scene as it was written, and we were like, ‘There is so much more here that we could do that’s pent up. Let us build it.'”
So creator Sam Levinson rewrote the scene and incorporated Cassie’s now-famous “I am crazier” line in it. “I let any judgment of myself go,” Sweeney continued. “I’m very proud of the meltdown Cassie had this season.”
Friends stars Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc wanted their characters, Phoebe and Joey, to get together, but the romance never blossomed.
LeBlanc revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he and Kudrow pitched the idea, but the writers shot it down. “Towards the end, we actually pitched the idea that Joey and Phoebe had been having casual sex the entire time,” LeBlanc said. “We’d go back and shoot all the historical scenes and just before a moment that everyone recognizes, there’s Joey and Phoebe coming out of a broom closet together. But they were like, ‘Nah.’”
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine writers weren’t originally planning on Jake and Amy having any children together, but Melissa Fumero (who played Amy) pushed for the storyline.
Showrunner Dan Goor explained in an interview with E! News, “I really was firmly of the belief that it’s a workplace show, and their relationship exists in the workplace, and I wasn’t keen on [Jake and Amy] having kids. I just felt like that wasn’t necessary.”
However, after speaking with Fumero about it, Goor changed his mind. “I said, ‘I can’t think of a compelling reason,’ and she had one,” Goor said. “Her reason was ‘I feel like Amy — this is Melissa speaking — is a person who wants to get an A on every test, and getting pregnant is a test you can’t study for, so if she has difficulty getting pregnant, it could drive comedy and be really compelling.’ Immediately, I was like, ‘Oh yeah.’ She knows that character so well, and that is so true. And so we decided, at that point, before the season started and before I knew she was pregnant, to make her and Jake decide to try and have a kid.”
Speaking of pregnancy storylines, Andrea’s surprise pregnancy on Beverly Hills, 90210 happened because actor Gabrielle Carteris requested her real-life pregnancy be written into the show.
Andrea — who was known for being the sweet and smart, but awkward one of the friend group — unexpectedly got pregnant her freshman year of college with then-boyfriend Jesse. She gave birth to a daughter, Hannah.
Carteris explained in an interview with People, “Before I got pregnant with my first child, I went to Aaron [Spelling] and said, ‘My husband, Charlie, and I would like to start a family, and I’d like for you to write it in that Andrea gets pregnant because I don’t want to hide my pregnancy. I want my baby to know I was proud and share it with the world.’ Aaron was so shocked, but he said, ‘Yes, we’ll do it.’ So Andrea was full-blown pregnant.”
Brittany and Santana’s relationship on Glee was never meant to be a real, serious storyline — until Naya Rivera (who played Santana) spoke up about it.
Rivera spoke about the on-screen relationship in a 2011 interview with Access Hollywood, “It started off as this funny thing, like ‘Oh yeah, she just randomly hooks up with her friend Brittany.’ I kind of was encouraging them to make it more serious and not play around with it because there are people out there that it’s not a joke to, it’s their real lives.”
Legacies stars Danielle Rose Russell and Kaylee Bryant pushed for their respective characters, Hope and Josie, to be in a romantic relationship, but the idea never progressed.
Bryant said in an interview with BuzzFeed, “Danielle and I loved the idea of Hosie starting from Season 1, and we kept asking and asking and asking for it. So it’s kind of funny and full circle that now the fans have kind of taken our side with things, and now they won’t stop asking for it. All we want is this beautiful, dynamic relationship. And I think that the fans want that as well.”
Bryant also spoke about the idea of Hope and Josie in a June 2021 interview with Hollywood Life, “[Danielle and I] really wanted it to happen. And the fact that we pushed so hard being like, look at this, look at this, we can do it, we can do it, and then the fans backed us up has been so incredible and so uplifting in the sense that like we’re not alone. … It’s all up to the writers at the end of the day. They know how we as the actors feel, and they know how the fans feel for sure.” The actor exited the show in December 2021.
Degrassi: Next Class actors Sara Waisglass and Chelsea Clarke wanted the show to explore a romance between their characters — Frankie and Esme, respectively — but the idea wasn’t taken seriously.
In a 2017 behind-the-scenes video, Waisglass revealed that she wanted the scene between Frankie, Esme, and Zig — in which the girls both make out with him in the pool — to include a kiss between Frankie and Esme as well.
One of the most iconic couples on How I Met Your Mother, Barney and Robin, would have never come to fruition had Neil Patrick Harris (who played Barney) not pushed for the relationship.
Although Barney and Robin didn’t get together until Season 4, Harris revealed in an interview with The Fan Carpet that he was always “actively trying to make it happen.”
Harris said, “I [talked] to the writers and I was pitching it, and I’d try to do little things in our scenes together where I gave her an extra look and an extra glance, or would stare only at her during a whole scene just to see if anyone was noticing.”
Schitt’s Creek creator and actor Dan Levy wanted his character, David, to hook up with Stevie in Season 1 to “play with people’s expectations.”
In an interview with Variety, Levy explained, “At first there was a lot of questions about, ‘Is he gay? He has to be gay.’ And then to have him hook up with Stevie really felt like it represented what I wanted to explore on this show, which is, ‘leave your judgments and your expectations and all of that aside, and let’s just see people for who they are.'”
Throughout the show, David has relationships with both men and women, eventually ending up with Noah Reid’s character, Patrick. “The idea of pansexuality felt very in line with David, and the way that he explores his sexuality feels very free and open,” Levy continued. “To find Patrick felt like we’re going to show another side of this person, and have him fall in love with someone who offered him a comfort and security that he’s never had before.”
Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who had a guest role on Degrassi: The Next Generation, credits himself personally for breaking up Joey and Caitlin’s relationship.
Smith revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he had originally pitched episode ideas where Joey and Caitlin get married, but was turned down because the show would only work with Canadian filmmakers. Instead, Degrassi creator Linda Schuyler offered Smith a cameo. And thus, the infamous storyline was born.
Smith, who played a fictionalized version of himself, shared a kiss with Caitlin, which led to her and Joey’s final breakup. “I broke her and Joey up,” Smith said. “It was awesome. I changed the f—ing course of Degrassi history! Yes. These two were heading toward a marriage, and I ruined it.”
On the show, Lola attended prom as a volunteer with Saad and their group of friends, but Arcuri didn’t consider it a true prom experience, since she didn’t get to get dressed up and dance. “If it wasn’t for Saad, I think Lola would have gone to prom with Miles,” Arcuri said. “Maybe the year after.”
Miranda and Che weren’t originally supposed to get together on And Just Like That…, but Cynthia Nixon (who played Miranda) suggested it to showrunner Michael Patrick King.
Initially, the writers planned to have Miranda explore her sexuality with Professor Nya Wallace (played by Karen Pittman), but Nixon didn’t feel it was the right match. Nixon said in a behind-the-scenes documentary, “Nya was a straight character and Miranda’s a straight character, and I was like, ‘Well, that doesn’t sound very sexy at all. Two women who’ve gotten to this age and who are now just fumbling around. That doesn’t seem great. And I was like, ‘Why couldn’t [Miranda’s love interest] be this butch person you’re talking about having for Carrie?’”
From there, the writers created Che Diaz specifically for actor Sara Ramirez. And thus, the relationship between Miranda and Che was born.
One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton always hoped Jake (played by Bryan Greenberg) would “come back for” her character, Peyton. However, Greenberg never returned after Season 3.
Peyton dated Jake off-and-on throughout the first three seasons of the show, but she ultimately ended up with Lucas. Burton spoke favorably about Jake and Peyton’s relationship on her podcast, Drama Queens, with her co-stars. “I loved working with Bryan. It’s not a secret that I was just like, ‘Oh my god, he’s so cool!'”
Cheryl and Toni’s relationship on Riverdale happened partially because actors Madelaine Petsch and Vanessa Morgan (who played Cheryl and Toni, respectively) nudged the writers towards it.
Petsch said in an interview with Elle magazine that she sent Riverdale creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a screenshot of a comment by a fan that read, “Vanessa and Madelaine are best friends in real life. Like, it’d be crazy if they, you know, got together on the show.” In response, Aguirre-Sacasa told Petsch, “Lady, you never know.”
Petsch also revealed that she pushed for Cheryl to come out as a lesbian in the first place, “[Aguirre-Sacasa] asked me, ‘What’s something you want to see from Cheryl?’ And I said, ‘I think I’d love to see her explore her sexuality.’ And he was like, ‘Explore it? What do you mean?’ And I said, ‘I don’t think she’s straight. Do you?’ And he said, ‘You know what? No, I don’t.'”
Conversely, Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse argued for his character, Jughead, to be asexual, but the writers went a different direction.
A longstanding headcanon amongst fans, Jughead was officially confirmed as asexual in a 2015 edition of the Archie Comics. This aspect of Jughead’s character has never been explored on Riverdale, however.
Sprouse explained in an interview with Glamour, “I think, in this show, [Jughead’s] not aromantic and not asexual. I argued in the beginning, creatively, that he should be both, but in this show, he’s kind of a tortured youth that ends up finding a comfort and a resonance with another person who’s going through a lot of trauma. They end up forming this kind of beautiful, honest union, and I think that, to me, is a narrative that works with this universe of Jughead. But I think that kind of asexual and aromantic representation is really important.”
And finally, Pretty Little Liars actor Ashley Benson, who played Hanna, was so upset over the relationship between Spencer and Caleb (Hanna’s primary love interest) that she actually begged creator Marlene King to break them up.
Benson revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, “I cried. Like literally, I cried. I was so upset. I was like, ‘You have to change it! There’s no other guy for Hanna.’ And when I found out he was going to be with Spencer, I was like, ‘There’s no way. You cannot be with Spencer!'”
Ultimately, Benson did get her wish — Spencer and Caleb eventually broke up, and Hanna and Caleb were reunited. However, it didn’t happen right away. “I definitely tried to get in the writers’ room and say, ‘How we can get this different? Can we just do one episode where they’re not together?'” Benson said. “Marlene was like, ‘Ashley, the fans have to go through this.’ And I was like, ‘No! The fans are going to hate it!'”
Did any of these surprise you? Tell us in the comments!