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Frankie Muniz Reveals He Walked Off 'Malcolm In The Middle' Set For Two Episodes Amid Tensions

The actor, who is currently appearing in Australia's 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here,' opened up to his fellow castmates about how he walked off the set of the hit comedy due to 'disrespectful' people.

Frankie Muniz
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Frankie Muniz opened up about why his titular character in the 2000s sitcom Malcolm in the Middle was absent for two consecutive episodes.

During an episode of Australia's edition of the reality show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, the former child star told fellow celebrity contestants that he walked off the set of Malcolm in the Middle amid ongoing tensions.

The 38-year-old was 13 when the show, centered on a dysfunctional middle-lower class family, premiered on January 9, 2000.

Muniz played the lead role of child prodigy Malcolm for seven seasons, but he wasn't in all of the show's 151 episodes.

He explained to his I'm a Celebrity campmates:

"There were two episodes I’m not in. I walked off the set."

Muniz said tensions on the set created a toxic work environment due to “certain people” and that other cast and crew members were constantly walking on eggshells.

Muniz continued:

“Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling or rude or disrespectful. Like they walked on pins and needles."
“I didn’t care if they told me I was never going back, because it was worth it to me."
"It helped that the show was based around me.”

He added:

“I was so mortified by seeing people afraid to stand up for themselves, I was like: ‘Say something’."

Social media users shared their thoughts.

When the show wrapped its final season on May 14, 2006, Muniz continued acting in a handful of films and made cameos in TV shows, but gradually shifted his interests to the world of professional car racing.

Before entering the South African jungle for I'm A Celebrity, Muniz told that he wanted to break away from Hollywood for his mental health as he was suffering from “impostor syndrome."

He told the news outlet:

“I never felt like I fully fit in the Hollywood world, even though I was in the world."
"I was nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes, and I was going to all this stuff, and I was there, and I was like, how am I here?”

Muniz eventually decided to find a place where he did feel like he belonged because Los Angeles was not exactly where he called home.

“I hated LA, so I kind of stayed in my own little world, my own little bubble," he said.

"And moving to Arizona, I did it on a whim, and I realized immediately that I started looking up."
“I started enjoying looking at trees and birds in the sky. Going to the grocery store was a fun thing."
"You don’t get that in LA. It’s a miserable experience.”

Muniz, who shares his 3-year-old son Mauz with his wife, Paige Price, recently said he would never let his kid follow in his footsteps to become a child actor.

"I would never let my kid go into the business," he said in a TikTok interview with Pedestrian TV.

He explained:

"Not that I had a negative experience, because to be honest, my experience was 100% positive. But I know so many people, friends that were close to me, that had such insanely negative experiences."

"I just think it's an ugly world in general," he added. "I never cared about rejection, but there's a ton of rejection."

You can watch a clip here.

As a child actor, it didn't take long for Muniz's career to take off after appearing in commercials and made-for-television movies.

His work on Malcolm earned him an Emmy nomination and The Hollywood Reporter's "Young Star Award."

During his stint on the long-running series, the Malcolm star also appeared in commercially successful films like My Dog Skip, Deuces Wild, Big Fat Liar, Agent Cody Banks, Racing Stripes, and in TV shows like Lizzie McGuire;Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; and MADtv.

By the time Malcolm was in its final season, Muniz was making around $150,000 per episode, (not adjusted for inflation).

While his Hollywood experience was certainly not lacking, he acknowledged that his lucky streak doesn't apply to everyone and that becoming a "successful actor" was like "winning the lottery because that's all it is."

"You know, me, getting Malcolm in the Middle—maybe that was a little different in other shows— a child actor, you get picked because you look like you could be the kid of the parents they picked," he said.

He also discussed the harsh reality of aspiring actors who are among a "million" others in Hollywood who think it's an easy industry to break into, but that it really amounts to luck.

"Maybe they're amazing actors. They could be the best actors on the planet, but they don't even get the opportunity," he said.

Now enjoying a new chapter in life, Muniz announced in February that he would enter the opening season race for his NASCAR XfinitySeries debut at Daytona International Speedway.

He will drive the No. 35 Ford as a teammate for Joey Gase Motorsports.