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Having followed The Walking Dead since before it came to television, I am convinced that no one on the show has been more reviled by fans than Laurie Holden (Andrea). I share the view that she was terribly miscast, and couldn't handle the role. I suspect that her lackluster performance on the series was the main reason she was killed off, because...

in the comics, Andrea is still alive and well, and a much more interesting character than she ever was on the show.

As might be expected, the producers have generally shied away from saying this, and instead claim that she was killed off because a major character death was necessary and Andrea sacrificing herself for Rick's group made sense for the character. Producers Glen Mazzara and Robert Kirkman, among others, have toed this line in interviews. This doesn't make much sense, because there were plenty of other characters on the show who could have died when Andrea did - characters who weren't as important as Andrea is in the comics, or who died about that time in the comics.

Specifically, Carol dies early on at the prison in the comics, and Beth is a minor character on the show and doesn't exist in the comics.

Is there any evidence that Holden was actually fired because producers, directors, etc, were unhappy with her performance?

7

No evidence. The showrunner claims to have killed off Andrea for creative reasons.

I can't find any evidence that any of the creative staff or producers were unhappy with Holden's performance.

In a June 2013 interview by Hollywood Reporter with Glen Mazzara, the showrunner during Holden's exit, he claimed that killing off Andrea was done to show that "no one is safe" and to motivate certain actions by Rick:

Looking at season three as a whole, you've killed off a few major characters — including one who's still alive and kicking in the comics. What was the decision like to kill Andrea?

MAZZARA: They're all difficult decisions. I thought it was important that we always show that no one is safe. It's also important to show the effect that these deaths have on our other characters. Andrea's death, for example, I knew Rick was going to finally open up the gates of the prison after a season in which he's trying to hide away from the world and lock everybody away and keep them safe. He realizes what that means -- that our group is now becoming isolated and will be picked off, that his own son is on the road to becoming the Governor (David Morrissey), so he has to open up the gates and let other people in and be compassionate. At the end of the finale, he brings in these women, children and elderly people and the group is going to transform. There needed to be a blood sacrifice for that, and there had to be a price that was paid. Andrea paying that price was important. She is unable to re-enter the group. In a way, a lot of what she did was bring the two groups together. But she's never able to enter the prison and be reunited in a full way with Rick's group. That was an ultimate sacrifice that was worthy of the season finale.

When did you know Andrea would pay the ultimate price?

MAZZARA: It developed throughout the season. I always knew that Rick opening the gates and letting people in was always a plan. The idea of Andrea's death emerged halfway through the season.

(Source)

Laurie Holden suggests the character was written in such a way as to be different from Andrea in the comics.

Later that year, at Fan Expo Canada, Holden suggested that Andrea in the show was written to be different from Andrea in the comics (rather than the difference being a result of her acting). She expressed regret that her character was not written to be more like the one in the comic book:

"Your character is fairly close [to the comics]," Laurie said to Steven [Glenn]. "I wish I could have been a writer on the show because it would have been very different. The Governor would be dead by now. [The] writers have creative license and they do things to keep it interesting. I loved every moment working on that show, I loved the character of Andrea. I wish that I had been like in the comics and been able to end up with Rick in the end and to have been that killer sharpshooter. But I don't write the stuff and it was someone’s decision to go that direction and you just do the best job you can. It's just a different medium. You just embrace what they write."

(Source)

To my knowledge, these statements by Holden have not been countered by anyone working on the show.

  • @WadCheber Welcome to Who's Line Is It Anyway... – user31178 Feb 13 '16 at 6:31
  • Questions 1, 2, and 3 – Wad Cheber May 15 '16 at 0:40
  • 1
    @WadCheber : Thanks! I'll work these in and then update you. :-) – Praxis May 15 '16 at 2:57
  • I suspect he wouldn't say "We fired her because she sucked at life" because it would upset people, but the fact that the interviewer mentioned it gives me a bit more confidence that that is really why she was canned. – Wad Cheber May 15 '16 at 3:00
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There is no official reason that she was fired for dissatisfaction in performing her character in The Walking Dead. That doesn't mean that there were personal dislikes from Glen Mazzara towards Laurie Holden in her work. It wouldn't surprise me. The reasons he gave to end her character so soon, season 3, were not that valid in my opinion. He could easily have brought her back into the group at the prison.

She could have told the group that she had mistaken the Governor for a good man, and it took her a long time to see it was the opposite. She was also left behind in a way, when the barn was burned down to the ground and overrun with Walkers. But people make mistakes. She is not a holy person. So, several reasons are possible, that Glen wrote her character out of the show. What he gave as a reason doesn't mean it was the true reason. People lie all the time . The plan was her staying for 8 years ? So this writing her out of TWD is a bit TOO impulsive for my taste to believe this.. There's something smelly about it if you ask me. And I'm speaking from experience that most things in life are personal. At work, it's more important with whom you connect and how than how brilliant you are. If Glen Mazarra had a big like for Laurie Holden, you can bet she would be still in it. For sure .

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