Chris Roach, who plays Mott on CBS’ Kevin Can Wait, was absolutely blown away the first time he saw Leah Remini join Kevin James on the show, he revealed in an interview with Chanel Omari on StarShop on Monday, October 23.
“There were some changes over the summer,” Roach, 38, told Omari, referencing the recasting. Donna, played by Erinn Hayes, was killed off at the end of season 1 and later replaced by James’ longtime King of Queens costar. “I thought Erinn and Kevin had great chemistry on season 1, and I would hear people go around and say, ‘but you have to see the chemistry between Leah and Kevin? It’s undeniable and magnetic. I didn’t really understand until I saw it for myself. When you see it, you’re like, ‘Ok now I get it.’ The two of them together are just magnetic. She makes him more funny.”
“It was never personal to kill off Erinn Hayes’ character,” he added. “The whole point of the show was that they needed more of a storyline to continue the series. Erinn’s character was never meant to last. She was amazing while it lasted. The truth is her getting killed off the show suddenly was the point Kevin was trying to make: in real life, these things can happen and sometimes are not explainable, because that’s life. He wanted to portray that authentic message through out the series.”
Fans of the show were shocked when Hayes didn’t return for season 2 and they wanted answers. In an October 14 interview, James explained that it all came down to storyline. “The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive,” he told the New York Daily News. “If we got through a second season, I wouldn’t see us getting through a third one. We were literally just running out of ideas.”
Following the interview, fans were even more unhappy. When they began tweeting their disappointment with the show, Hayes showed her appreciation by liking many of the messages.
One user wrote, “We were literally just running out of ideas” – Kevin James. Based off this I don’t expect your show to last very long @hayeslady is better off,” and she liked it. She also liked a tweet saying, “If Kevin Can Wait, so can we — for you to have a bigger career than him!!!”
The show has not yet revealed how Donna died, but decided to kill her off “out of respect for the character,” executive producer Rob Long previously said. “The goal was to give Kevin’s character a real drive and a real predicament [involving] how a family comes back together [after tragedy],” he told TVLine.
“True, I’ve been let go from the show. Very sad, I had a great experience season 1,” Hayes tweeted when the news broke. “Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”
Kevin Can Wait airs on CBS on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.
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