It’s official: The Affair is coming back for season 5, but Ruth Wilson is not. Wilson’s character Alison’s sudden death has been controversial, leaving fans on the edge of their seats wondering how the show could possibly go on without half of its star couple. Even after Alison's untimely demise, there has been speculation that she would return for season 5 in an alternate timeline. But Wilson confirmed that she will not be returning.
Showrunner Sarah Treem told The Hollywood Reporter that Wilson requested to leave the show early in the process. Season four was crafted specifically to meet that request, and the show even filmed Wilson’s storylines first so she could move on.
Why Wilson wanted to leave is still a mystery. Wilson told Gayle King on CBS This Morning that the decision to leave was hers, but the reason behind it will remain under wraps, saying, “I did want to leave, but I’m not allowed to talk about why.” She did confirm that her reason for leaving the show wasn’t about pay disparity.
Wilson is charging forward with a deeply personal project, a BBC series called Mrs. Wilson based on her grandmother’s autobiography that Wilson will executive produce and star in. The series will follow a surprising moment in her family history: in the wake of her grandfather’s death, Wilson’s grandmother was approached by another Mrs. Wilson claiming to be her late-husband’s other wife.