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Mayim Bialik, who stars in and executive produces the series, told Entertainment Weekly that the Fox comedy will address his absence in the tribute episode Jan. 5 following its holiday hiatus. She said the main goal as a cast was to figure out “how do we honor our friend while also honoring a grieving process that doesn’t end with two weeks off production?”
“He knew he was beloved,” she said. “He was a fabulous, fabulous person. And the ability to both celebrate him and honor him in a way that we hope is respectful was really our goal.”
On Call Me Kat, Jordan played Phil, a baker at a café owned by Bialik’s title character. Jordan made his final show appearance in December with “Call Me Fancy Puffenstuff,” the eighth episode of the third season that is currently airing.
“In many ways, it was very heartwarming for us to see the tremendous impact that he had,” Bialik said. “And it was obviously also really bittersweet because of our grief and how much we missed him. What I think that many of us felt was that Leslie was a person who really, truly did understand how loved he was when he was alive, and we definitely took comfort in that.”
The Will & Grace actor died in a car crash in October at the age of 67.
Bialik said that because Jordan was “such a beloved personality,” it was too difficult to plan a funeral episode, so they found a way that “his character will live forever, and he can have whatever adventures we all imagine.”
“We’re still grieving,” the Big Bang Theory actress said. “Grief is a full process, and I think there’s a level of authenticity that we feel we want to have as actors.” She also added, “We’re humans, and we lost our friend.”
Call Me Kat airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
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