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Why Did Alan Arkin Leave The Kominsky Method?

Approaching 60 years as a screen actor, Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin continues to find major success in showbiz in the new animated blockbuster "Minions: The Rise of Gru" — his first role since the hit Netflix comedy "The Kominsky Method."

Arkin has a prominent voice role in the "Minions: The Rise of Gru" as Wild Knuckles, an ace supervillain who takes the 11-year-old Gru (voice of Steve Carell) under his wing to help future evil genius on his path to villainy. Arkin's list of credits is long and distinguished, which includes such classic films as "Catch-22," "The In-Laws," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Argo" — where his character coined the colorful phrase, "Argo f*** yourself." Arkin's wildly entertaining turn in "Argo" was so memorable, in fact, that it earned the screen veteran a best supporting actor Oscar nomination, which followed his best actor nominations for "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians are Coming." The actor finally got his due in 2007, when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for the hit comedy-drama "Little Miss Sunshine."

Not surprisingly, Arkin's TV work is included on his long list of awards accolades, including two consecutive Emmy Award nominations in 2019 and 2020 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for "The Kominsky Method." In Seasons 1 and 2 of the series, Arkin played Norman Newlander, a longtime friend and Hollywood agent of Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) — a once-successful screen star who has fallen on hard times and makes his living as an acting coach. Embraced by fans, critics, and the Television Academy, it didn't come as a big shock that "The Kominsky Method" was renewed for a 3rd season in 2021. What did surprise viewers, however, was that Arkin left the series ahead of Season 3.

Arkin says he wanted to slow down his career because of the stress involved in showbiz

Apart from flashbacks involving Norman, Season 3 of "The Kominsky Method" makes it immediately clear that Alan Arkin is done on the series because his character has passed away. In an interview with The Guardian in 2020, Arkin said he left the series because he simply needed to slow down. After all, the actor's first credited screen role came in the 1964 TV series "East Side/West Side."

"I'm like a horse going down the trail. Acting is so ingrained in my physiognomy and the channels of my brain that I find myself missing aspects of the business," Arkin told The Guardian. "But I don't need it anymore. I should probably get over it." Specifically, Arkin told a health editor with The Guardian that he wanted to get away from the intense stress levels that go along with the business.

"The less work I get, the better my health. The stress in the marketplace is enormous and my system has a fast reaction," Arkin said. "I can't deal with stress anymore."

Since then, Arkin has written a book, "Out of My Mind (Not Quite a Memoir)." As for those wondering why Arkin's name is suddenly appearing on the big screen again, it's because "Minions: The Rise of Gru" was originally meant to be released in the summer of 2020, but Universal Picture pushed the release date back two years because of the business uncertainties that came along with the COVID-19 pandemic (via Deadline).

All three seasons of "The Kominsky Method" are streaming exclusively on Netflix. "Minions: The Rise of Gru" premiered in theaters on July 1, 2022.