Viewers tuning into American Housewife Season 5 will notice that the Otto family looks a little bit different. While the ABC comedy series returned to TV screens on Wednesday night, the face of Katie and Greg Otto's 10-year-old daughter, Anna-Kat, was not all that familiar. That is because Julia Butters, the 11-year-old actress who portrayed Anna-Kat throughout the series' first four seasons, has left American Housewife, with 13-year-old actress Giselle Eisenberg taking her place. But why, exactly, did Butters exit?
According to Deadline, Butters' departure from the show largely stemmed from her newfound stardom and numerous opening doors in the industry. After appearing on American Housewife, the 11-year-old was tapped to play Trudi Fraser, a child actress, in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Tarantino chose to cast Butters in the Oscar-nominated film after seeing her performance on the ABC series, and her portrayal of Trudi earned her critical acclaim.
In a report published just days after the film’s July 2019 theatrical release, IndieWire wrote that Butters was "certainly the breakout star" of the film. In their own report, Vanity Fair wrote that "there's something special about" the young actress, who they described as "magnetic and shrewd, handily stealing the spotlight from her seasoned, Oscar-winning costar while delivering classic Tarantino-penned dialogue." Butters' talent wasn't lost on the Hollywood A-listers around her, either, with producer David Heyman telling IndieWire that Butters would have received "an Oscar nomination" for a scene that was ultimately cut from the film. DiCaprio even compared Butters to a young Meryl Streep.
That breakout performance reportedly led to a number of open doors, and the young actress decided to leave American Housewife to pursue other opportunities. ABC Signature accepted Butters' request to depart from the project, bringing on Eisenberg to fill her spot in the role of Anna-Kat.
Just like Butters, Eisenberg is no stranger to the small screen. Prior to joining the ABC series, she was a series regular on another single-camera family comedy, CBS' comedy Life In Pieces, and she made her feature film debut at 5, portraying the daughter of DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street. She has also co-starred opposite Al Pacino in Dan Fogelman's Danny Collins.
American Housewife's first four seasons are currently streaming on Hulu. New episodes of Season 5 air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest updates.