Keri Russell has opened up about the controversial decision to cut her hair on Felicity.
Keri Russell has opened up about the controversial decision to cut her hair on Felicity.

Story behind scene that killed a TV series

NOT since "The Rachel" had a TV haircut attracted so much attention.

When Felicity star Keri Russell chopped off her famous curly locks during season two of the drama series in 1999, fans were devastated - and many of them never forgave her.

When ratings for the show started to plummet, even then-WB Entertainment president Susanne Daniels admitted the haircut had probably played a part.

"You diluted that icon," she said. "I think it turned some audience away, in particular men and some women."

Original Felicity.
Original Felicity.

 

... The less popular version of Felicity.
... The less popular version of Felicity.

The outcry reportedly even led to the TV network banning its young stars from cutting their hair short.

"Nobody is cutting their hair again on our network and our staff. That's my new stance. No more haircuts!" the Deseret News reported Daniels as saying in 2000.

Felicity's hair may have grown back, but the audience never did - and Felicity was cancelled in 2002.

The cast of Felicity.
The cast of Felicity.

Nineteen years on, Russell has finally admitted the whole hair debacle was kind of her fault.

Appearing on the Felicity reunion panel at the ATX Television Festival earlier this month, the actor, 42, revealed that it all started with a joke involving a little boy's wig on set.

"We put it on me at like 2 in the morning as a joke … and we took a polaroid and over the summer we thought it'd be really funny to send to [Felicity creators] J.J. (Abrams) and Matt (Reeves) and say, 'I cut my hair - hope you like it.' Totally as a joke," Russell recalled.

She then got a phone call from Abrams asking, "Would you really cut your hair?"

The infamous Hair Cut scene was filmed at 4am, and they actually cut some of her real hair - although she explained that she went straight to the salon afterwards and had the rest chopped off.

 

Despite the fallout, Russell stands by the controversial decision.

"I thought that was such a good storyline," she said. "Felicity was never a fashion plate anyway … I was wearing baggy clothes, and I didn't know everyone cared about the way I looked."

Appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers earlier this year, Russell couldn't resist a dig at the show's fans when she was asked what advice she'd give her younger self.

"Your life is going to be so exciting, but whatever you do, don't cut your hair short during the second season of Felicity," she said.

"No, I'm serious. People will freak the hell out. You'll get hate mail. You'll even get death threats. But, gradually, your hair will grow back and your fans will forgive you, but you will never - and I repeat never - forgive your fans."


Australia’s vaccine rollout: How it affects you

Premium Content Australia’s vaccine rollout: How it affects you

We explain what the next stage of the vaccine rollout means for you

Revealed: Qld private school fees for 2021

Premium Content Revealed: Qld private school fees for 2021

School fees at most Queensland private schools have increased

Woman hospitalised after snake bite north of Dalby

Premium Content Woman hospitalised after snake bite north of Dalby

A weekend trip to the Bunya Mountains almost proved deadly for a woman after she...