How Big Sky’s Ryan Phillippe Reacted To The Deadly Series Premiere Twist

Big Sky Ryan Phillippe Cody Hoyt ABC
(Image credit: Kharen Hill / ABC)

MAJOR SPOILERS for the series premiere of Big Sky are discussed below!

If you watched the series premiere of Big Sky, then you might have woken up today with your jaw still on the floor. The ABC series’ debut episode concluded with a stunningly deadly twist that saw it pull a “Game of Thrones” by killing off one of its purported core leads. Ryan Phillippe’s Cody Hoyt was shot at the end of the episode and appeared dead. Thus leaving viewers with a massive shock and wondering how Phillippe reacted to the twist ending.

Is Cody really dead on Big Sky? The cast’s comments indicate the series premiere is the end of Cody’s life in the present, with any further appearances happening in flashbacks. So, how did Phillippe feel when he read what would become of his character in the series premiere? During last week's Big Sky panel (via Deadline), he said:

I was shocked certainly, and I think that’s also what made me so excited about it. So often in entertainment you can see what’s coming a month away, and to have moments in a series like this where it kind of takes your breath away, when you are absolutely shocked and did not see it coming, it’s exciting to me.

The rarity of the moment led Ryan Phillippe to be enthusiastic over the deadly twist, even though it probably means his time on Big Sky will not be long-term. The show will seemingly shift its focus from the trio at the start to the new duo that now focuses on the two women in Cody’s life. This means that Kylie Bunbury’s Cassie Dewell (Cody’s new girlfriend/PI partner) and Katheryn Winnick’s Jenny Hoyt (Cody’s estranged wife) will probably be spending more time together than they thought.

Cassie and Jenny will have to join forces as they attempt to solve the string of mysterious disappearances rocking Montana. Big Sky’s big move means Ryan Phillippe will not be returning to television in a full-time capacity via the ABC crime drama. Phillippe had previously starred in USA’s adaptation of the 2007 Mark Wahlberg thriller, Shooter. It lasted for three seasons before it was cancelled in 2018. On not making it far into Big Sky’s run, Phillippe added:

And I think it sends the message that in a series like this, no one is safe, so you really have to pay attention and hope that the people you love stick around.

There you have it. Big Sky viewers better watch out, even though I think the show will have a tough time topping the shock value of killing off Ryan Phillippe’s character. It sounds as though part of the draw for Phillippe was being a part of a series that dared to take such a significant swing. It certainly did not hurt Katheryn Winnick’s interest, although she shared that David E. Kelly was the draw for her.

Winnick is no stranger to shocking deaths rocking a television show, as she previously starred on History’s Vikings. How Jenny and Cassie deal with the fallout of Cody’s death is an answer that will be coming shortly. Big Sky will continue with another new episode next week, so fans will have to see what else David E. Kelly has up his sleeve as the show progresses.

New episodes of Big Sky air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. For more television options to watch, check out 2021’s winter/spring schedule. You can watch Ryan Phillippe in the TV adaptation of Shooter on Netflix. It is streaming there alongside a lot of new 2020 content.

Will you keep watching Big Sky following the deadly twist? Vote in the poll below!

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Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.