Lethal Weapon's Clayne Crawford Gets Blunt About Exit From 'Cookie Cutter' Fox Show

Clayne Crawford in Lethal Weapon on Fox

This is the happiest Clayne Crawford has been in his career, after the "greatest year" of his life -- which happens to be the year after he was fired from Lethal Weapon. This current career happiness only happened because he was "backed into a corner" with his ousting from the Fox show. Crawford got pretty candid about his Lethal Weapon exit while premiering his new movie The Killing of Two Lovers at the Sundance Film Festival.

While Clayne Crawford said he loved Lethal Weapon and playing the action character of Martin Riggs, the actor told UPI he missed the kind of work he got to do on the Sundance show Rectify. It sounds like he regrets his reasons for joining Lethal Weapon.

Coming from Rectify, I thought maybe I want to go do some hood slides and shoot guns and jump off of buildings. I chased the money and the opportunity to be on the side of a bus and billboards. I was quite unfulfilled.

Clayne Crawford was fired from Lethal Weapon, with the character of Riggs being killed off. Crawford's firing was tied to his alleged bad behavior on set and clash with co-star Damon Wayans, which both have been pretty open about. Crawford had a graceful parting message when he left Lethal Weapon, but also spoke previously about being blindsided by his firing, and his difficult time on the show after apologizing for an incident with an episode director.

While Clayne Crawford said he's still friends with Lethal Weapon co-stars Jordana Brewster, Chris Coy, and Hilarie Burton, he learned that working on a network TV show just isn't for him:

I was surrounded by people that didn't care that much about the artistry of it, and I should have known that going in. I thought maybe we could make something that's more cable for Fox. I should've known better, [a show airing] Tuesday night at seven, I was going to get a cookie cutter.

Clayne Crawford said he told his wife he wanted to "take all that ill-gotten money" from the show and make something that made his heart feel good again and reminded him of why he got into this industry in the first place. And so now we have The Killing of Two Lovers, which was written and directed by Robert Machoian, with Crawford as both producer and star. In the film, he plays David, who is going through a time of transition with his wife Nikki in a claustrophobically small town.

So things are turning out OK for Clayne Crawford, who also returned to TV for Hulu's Into the Dark (but not NCIS: New Orleans). However, Crawford isn't completely letting himself off the hook for his experience on the set of Lethal Weapon, as he continued to UPI:

I certainly didn't navigate that situation as well as I could have, but I'm grateful that I was able to go back to what it is that I love, which is just filmmaking with someone and other cast [members] who love it as much as I do.

Lethal Weapon replaced Clayne Crawford with Seann William Scott for Season 3, but fans just weren't happy about any of it. Crawford had a lot of support from viewers, and Lethal Weapon only lasted for the 15 episodes of Season 3 before Fox ended the show.

The Killing of Two Lovers just premiered at Sundance, but so far it seems to be getting very positive reactions. We'll have to wait and see if Clayne Crawford continues making films or eventually returns to TV -- maybe for an HBO project or something. Keep up with everything premiering in early 2020 with our handy TV schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.