Melissa Villaseñor Exited ‘SNL’ Due to Panic Attack, Bad Mental Health


The end of “Saturday Night Live” Season 47 saw the departures of longtime cast members such as Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Chris Redd and Melissa Villaseñor. The latter comedian opened up about her exit for the first time in an interview with The Daily Beast, revealing that consistent panic attacks drove her to leave the show. Villaseñor, beloved for her impressions, joined “SNL” in 2016 and was with the show for six seasons.

“Yeah, it was my decision,” Villaseñor said about her “SNL” exit. “I gave myself a lot of time in the summer to think on it and kind of play out in my head if I go back. At the end of the day it was about my mental health. Last season, I had a couple of panic attacks. I think it was just… I was struggling. I always felt like I was on the edge of a cliff every week. And I was like, I don’t want to be doing that to myself anymore. And it’s not like the show was mean toward me or anyone. It was just how I handle things.”

“I think I’m an introvert,” Villaseñor continued. “When I’m in a big group of a lot of amazing people, and everyone’s speaking over everyone else, I think I tend to get small. I get nervous, like, where do I fit? What am I supposed to do? That’s how I was in high school, too. And so I think that’s what caused it. And I was like, I think I’m okay. I feel like there’s nothing else that I feel like, oh, I need to be sharing this, I want to do this on the show. I think I’m ready. There was just something telling me, I think I could part ways.”

Villaseñor said it “was super hard” to leave the show “because I love Lorne [Michaels] and I am so grateful for all of them for having me,” adding, “I shared with them that this was my kid dream. This is all I wanted as a kid. So I’m going to carry that forever in my heart, that I got to experience that in my life.”

Similar to Kate McKinnon, Villaseñor said “it’s a little tough” to think about watching the new season of “SNL.” McKinnon revealed in July that she decided to leave “SNL” after her Emmy-winning run because her body was tired from the grueling work schedule. Aidy Bryant, meanwhile, told Variety that making it to 10 seasons just felt like a good time to walk away.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” Bryant said. “But it was such a huge change. When COVID hit, it was so jarring that we were all like, ‘I’m definitely going to come back next year.’ And then I had to shoot “Shrill” for half of last season, and so I missed a lot. And then it was like, ‘Well, now I should go back one more.’ I kept trying to seek one last normal year. This year wasn’t the normal year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that. It was like, ‘It’s really time now.’ And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number.”


Source: variety.com | Read original article

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