From secret agents to deadly spies and assassins, Kelly Hu is no stranger to the worlds of action and science fiction. The actor and model boasts an impressive 133 acting credits under her belt, with notable roles in Arrow, Hawaii Five-O, The Orville, Warehouse 13, and X2: X-Men United. Thanks to her impressive resume, it was no surprise when the CW announced Hu was joining The 100, a post-apocalyptic science fiction television series based on the young adult novels by Kass Morgan. The series takes place in the future after a nuclear disaster wipes out most of Earth’s population and forced the survivors to seek refuge on a space station called the Ark. When the Ark becomes overcrowded, 100 juvenile delinquents are sent to Earth to test its habitability.
Hu appears in the pilot episode and plays one of the main characters, Ark officer Callie Cartwig, the best friend of Dr. Abigail Griffin. Sadly, Hu’s time on the series was extremely short-lived, as the character of Callie was killed offscreen after the CW picked up The 100 following its pilot episode.
Here’s who Callie Cartwig is and why Kelly Hu left The 100.
Who Is Callie Cartwig?
While the series didn’t delve much into Callie’s backstory, her limited screen time in the pilot episode presented the character as an empathetic and intelligent Officer who’s unafraid of taking risks to protect her friends and family. She’s extremely close with the Ark’s chief medical officer, Abigail Griffin. When she learns her friend is slated for execution (by a process called “floating” in which the offender is jettisoned into space), Callie attempts to interfere on Abigail’s behalf. She appeals to the seemingly cold and unsympathetic Councilman Marcus Kane and begs him to reconsider his decision, telling him he can’t kill anyone who disagrees with him. The two have an intimate moment, with the series implying they used to share a romantic relationship, but Kane refuses to call off Abigail’s execution.
Callie visits Abigail, and the friends embrace, with Callie promising to look after Abigail’s daughter Clarke. Moments before the execution, Chancellor Thelonious Jaha intervenes and demands the immediate release of Abigail. Callie is thrilled and happily reunites with her friend. Her reunion with Abigail is the last the audience sees of the character, and she’s never referenced again.
Why Kelly Hu Left The 100
Showrunner Jason Rothenberg explained on Twitter that Hu’s Callie was floated offscreen due to budgetary restrictions. He explained that budgets often change between a pilot episode and a network picking up the show. He also said while he thought the character was “great,” there wasn’t enough for Hu to do in the series, so he cut the role instead.
It was a shame to see Hu depart The 100 after a single episode, considering the ease at which she played the character of Callie and settled into the gloomy and daunting atmosphere of the series. If Hu had remained on The 100, the show could’ve explored her past romantic relationship with Kane, with their bond and differing stances creating division between the two characters. Callie would’ve acted as an essential ally to Abigail Griffin, and her bravery and friendliness would’ve brought a little more light into the dark and chaotic world of The 100.
Hu’s career is far from over, and the actor has enjoyed successful roles in television (Teenage Mutant Turtles, Young Justice, Phineas and Ferb), film (Death Valley, Maximum Impact, Batman: Soul of the Dragon), and video games (Mortal Kimbat X, Infinite Crisis).
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3 Replies to “Why Kelly Hu’s Callie Cartwig Left The 100”
She’s brilliant and also a tad bit underrated. Loved her as Lady Deathstrike in X2 and she had awesome roles in Arrow and The Vampire Diaries. Sad that her character was killed off-screen in a show that I liked.
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Yes! I loved her in Arrow especially. I always find I wish I had more time to spend with her characters, but at least she’s memorable in everything she does! I really think she would have had some interesting storylines in The 100 if Callie stuck around longer.
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Oh yes she had no space for character development for sure. And she leaves a mark with every appearance!
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