Georgina Reilly: Why I left Murdoch Mysteries

It’s the end of the road for Murdoch Mysteries’ Dr. Emily Grace—a.k.a. Georgina Reilly. After 64 episodes, Dr. Grace opted to leave Toronto for London and the opportunity to further the Suffragette Movement.

Far from a run-of-the-mill episode, Monday’s “Double Life” featured the death of Emily’s girlfriend, Lillian Moss, and the discovery that she’d led an adventurous life under another name. Turns out Lillian was really a woman named Helen who had been in a same-sex relationship with a married woman. Lillian thought she’d killed the woman’s jealous husband in the midst of a shipboard fight, but he’d survived and returned to exact his revenge.

The episode marked the last for Georgina Reilly, who made the decision to leave Murdoch Mysteries to be, well, we’ll let her explain it all, including the chance she might return.

I’m sad to be chatting with you because it means Dr. Emily Grace has left Murdoch Mysteries.
Georgina Reilly: I know, I know.

I was told that it was your decision to leave. Can you tell me why?
It wasn’t an easy decision at all. It was a combination of things, personally and professionally. My husband, Mark O’Brien, was on Republic of Doyle and we moved to Los Angeles together. We’ve never actually spent a whole year together and I don’t know if we ever will because that’s just the nature of the business. As soon as we got here he booked Halt and Catch Fire and moved to Atlanta.

I love Murdoch and I love everyone and I love playing the character. As an artist, I’m excited about new things too, and opportunities in that regard as well. It becomes a question of when do you make a change creatively for yourself? I’m good with change, but it’s hard because, as an actor you’re like, ‘But you’re on a show, what are you doing?!’ You never know if you’re making the right decision at the time. You just have to go for it.

How did you tell everyone you were leaving?
I wrote handwritten letters to Christina Jennings and Peter Mitchell because I really wanted to express my gratitude and my reasons and everyone has been so supportive and understanding. Then, obviously, I told the main cast and team as well.

Jonny Harris was crushed.
I know. Well, Jonny and I are the closest because Jonny is very good friends with Mark and they’ve known each other for years, before I even came along. He was at our wedding. We had a social life outside of work as well as at work. He’s a very dear friend of mine and it was very fitting that my last scene was with Jonny. A lot of people were there on-set because they’d started blocking for the next episode.

I’m very proud of this character and if one person got a happy moment out of this relationship that’s all I’d ask for.

Did you get emotional?
Oh yeah. There were a lot of ‘lasts.’ This is my last read-through, this is my last costume fitting. I was more emotional at the beginning of the block, knowing it was coming. But then, I had a really big block and had to do a lot of work. I had an amazing episode written for me by Jordan Christianson; it was so much about Grace personally that it was a very emotional episode for me as an actor. Playing a doctor on this show, I know what I’m doing professionally and I’m not emotionally invested. Thank goodness for Gary Harvey, who is amazing and I’m so glad he directed the episode. There were a lot of tears here and there.

Murdoch Mysteries‘ fans were very divided when it came to Lillian and Emily’s relationship. Do you want to comment on the feedback you received?
My favourite note I got was that I’d ruined Murdoch Mysteries. I was like, ‘Wow, thanks for thinking I have that much of an impact!’ The optimism was wonderful and I think that representing different types of love is important. I respect people’s opinions and they are entitled to them, but at the same time social media enables you to say whatever you want without any thought as to what impact you may have. I’m very proud of this character and if one person got a happy moment out of this relationship that’s all I’d ask for.

Let’s look forward. What’s next?
I’m auditioning and seeing what’s out there. After being on such an awesome show and playing a fantastic character, I’m being a bit picky about what I go for, what I like and what I want to do next. To be able to do that and be confident about it is a testament to being on Murdoch Mysteries for so long. I know this can happen. Mark and I are creating our new life here away from our families and friends.

We’re also discussing whether we’ll expand our tribe or not.

Emily could return to Murdoch Mysteries. She wasn’t killed off.
I’m very grateful to them for that. I think it would be fun for Emily to pop back in here and there in some crazy episode for some reason. I think that would be great. It was really great when Pete said, ‘We didn’t kill you off.’ I had been bracing myself and was OK with a very dramatic death!

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.


24 thoughts on “Georgina Reilly: Why I left Murdoch Mysteries”

  1. Anywhere or anything but Canada. I’m already convinced this country doesn’t really exist. Thanks for not fighting to establish and industry at home, like every other talented person in Canada.

    1. That’s extremely rude and overly dramatic. Her reasons for leaving are completely understandable. She is a young woman who has been married for only a few short years and they both have been working in Canada for a long time. You sometimes have to expand your horizons like she said and be realistic. The US has much more to offer in this line of work as well. You go where opportunity takes you.

      1. England has far more to offer. Their programs are superior to anything shown in Canada or the U. S. And Canada’s programs are far more intelligent than anything shown in the U.S. Since she is searching for quality, she will be disappointed with what she finds in the U.S. Except for HBO; they carry a few decent shows.

    2. Somewhat harsh but totally true. It’s one thing to go to the US because of the limited acting jobs available in Canada, but to leave a paying job just because you’ve moved to LA imo is more about money and fame then challenges. If I’m not mistaken the actor who plays the inspector doesn’t live in Canada and same goes for the actor that plays Dr. Ogden, and they don’t have a problem coming to Toronto for filming

      1. The way I read the article( and I assume “Mike O” read the same one I did), Miss Reilly doesn’t get to spend much time with her husband hence the move. She also said that this was NOT an easy decision to make. This was not something she did on the spur-of-the-moment. FYI: Being an actor IS about acheiving fame and money, we all need to pay our bills somehow!

      2. Helene Joy owns a house in Toronto and I see her around town all the time when MM isn’t filming, so I’m pretty sure she lives here.

  2. I personally truly enjoyed Emily and Lillian’s relationship-it holds a special place in my heart. I’m gay and it was so nice and refreshing to see a same-sex relationship that was portrayed like every other relationship on this show. It wasn’t in your face or for the shock value, unlike so many other shows. It was mundane, boring, adventurous and so loving – like seeing what the other wanted to have for dinner that evening or what they were going to do once they got to London.

    I was also very pleased to see those important in Emily’s life, supported her regardless of whom she loved. It put a smile on my face to see Brackenreid be this ‘fatherly’ protective figure – that one episode where he warned her to be careful about her relationship with Lillian. I think he did it more out of fear for her rather then hatred.

    I know there are a ton of George/Emily shippers out there – they were cute. But this is life. Sometimes things don’t happen the way it should and things change. It’s a part of life. Emily and George found love with other people but they will always love each other as well – just not like that.

    I’m sad, yes, but I hope that she can do a few episodes in the future. I hope that Emily finds love again no matter what shape or form it comes in.

  3. I am sad to see you leave the show but I wish you much success in the near future. You are an amazing actress and great things are lining up your way. Thank you for the time you spend with all of us here in this beautiful Canada. I hope to see you pop up into a episode here and there. Best of luck. Hasta pronto.

  4. good luck, will be looking for you on tv or movies as the years go on….good luck to MARK AS WELL, my advice, use this slow time to make a baby……you will be misses

  5. I will miss the character of Emily. She added a lot to the show. Best of luck in your future and I hope many great parts will come your way.

  6. All I have to say is that was one hell of an episode. There wad excellent acting, real tension and even some new camera work. I think everyone upped their game so Dr. Grace would have a proper send off. I only wish every episode of the show was that good. Georgina Reilly showed what a great actress she is. Congratulations on an excellent job.

  7. I was so sad to see you go Georgina. You were like a ray of sunshine. Bright, perky and very spunky. You will be missed. Good Luck in the future, and I hope someday to see you back on Murdoch.

  8. My wife and I love this show but, for some reason, we find it very difficult to understand what the cast (especially woman) are saying. We can usually get about half of what they say. It is not us because all of the other programs on our Shaw satellite TV are easy to understand. Anybody else note this on Shaw satellite?

  9. Dear Miss Reilly: Excuse the pun but, thank-you for “Gracing” us with your performances on Murdoch Mysteries. The show has always been excellent right from the first season, but when your character made her first appearance a few years ago, the fans took notice and endeared you to their hearts both as Emily and Georgina Reilly. Thank-you, and I hope you come back some day. Take care.

  10. Well I can’t wait to see her back as a special guest star and I don’t care they went off the books a bit but it is still a good show.

    1. I agree! Its great that they didn’t choose to kill her off and left the door open for future guest appearances or perhaps recurring role. As much as I would love for it to, MM won’t last forever. I am sure the entire cast ponders on what they will so when this show ends and how much further they would like to go. Emily can always return in the end. Perhaps for George. I am an avid fan of them as a couple after all. :)

  11. I m glad to see ms rielly leave the Murdock mysteries as she was the weak link of the show best of luck to her
    I have watched all the episodes of Murdock Mysteries and love all the Canadian content
    thanks to the writes and proudcers for such a good show
    Murdock is my favorite character along with inspector brecken

    1. The Emily Grace character was NOT a “weak link” at all!! She added a fresh dimension to the show and a LOT of fans will miss her, or has “Dee” not read all the comments first before commenting?!? And it’s Murdoch Mysteries and Inspector Brackenreid-not Brecken! Sorry for sounding condecending, it’s my favorite show too!! I actually met Jonny Harris and got his autograph-he was really nice. Can’t wait till NEXT Monday’s episode, the preview looked exciting!!

  12. You will be miss Dr.Grace you was a great part of the show, I am going to miss your smile and your bubbly outlook on everything. Best of luck in your future in what ever you do.

  13. If not this season, maybe next season they could have an episode where Murdoch’s dad and Jasper, Ruby Ogden, and George’s mother all get together for a family event ( maybe William and Julia adopting a baby!–nudge nudge–wink wink!!) or some thing like that. What do YOU think Murdoch script writers??–just a thought! Love the show!!

  14. Loved Georgina Reilly as Dr. Grace. Loved the character. The show always has great taste.

  15. I love Murdoch Mysteries and have never missed a episode . I live in the USA and appreciate the writers sharing such a great show. I can never guess the killer or killers which keeps me intrigued . All the characters are needed to complete the show. With Emily leaving there will be a empty void that no one can fill. A true lover of Murdoch mysteries will never stop watching just keep expanding the mind. You will truly be missed Dr. Emily Grace but better opportunities await you.

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