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Q&A – Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes)

Chandler Riggs, the actor who plays Carl Grimes on AMC’s The Walking Dead, explains how the state of Georgia’s gun laws differ from those on set and hints at Carl’s first walker encounter.

Q: Earlier this season, your character spent a bunch of time injured.

A: It was my birthday on set, the day that Carl got injured.

Q: Some birthday gift! Was it a challenge to remain still like that?

A: It kind of was. After each take I’d go over and eat a bunch of sugary snacks. I’d sit there trying so hard not to break out and yell! It was actually a lot of fun sitting in a bed for those episodes.

Q: What was your favorite moment from being on set this season?

A: Definitely my birthday. They got me a cake that said “Don’t Open Dead Inside,” which had fingers coming out of it. We also had these zombie-head cake pops that were made from red velvet cake, so it looked like blood when you took a bite. It was pretty cool.

Q: Did you watch the whole season last year after you filmed it?


A: I did! I watched every single episode.

Q: Do your parents like the show?

A: They love it. And my mom loves it because of the love triangle thing. I think it’s more enjoyable [than frightening]. For me the opportunity to work with all these actors is just amazing.

Q: Are there any actors you didn’t have a scene with in Season 1 that you’d like to work with this season?

A: Daryl Dixon. There’s the scene coming up in which I ask him if I can shoot the crossbow — and he tells Carl go pester his father. That scene was really cool for me, because that was the first time Carl has ever spoken to Daryl. There’s another scene later on with a walker too, that was fun.

Q: What are some of your favorite TV shows?

A: Phinneas & Ferb, although I know that’s kind of childish. And for movies? I really liked Super 8. If Steven Spielberg is an executive producer of anything, you know that it’s going to be amazing!

Q: Are you more into thriller movies now that you’ve been on the show?

A: It’s something I’ve always been in to. My dad was on Zombieland and I love that movie. So yeah I think I like the horror genre!

Q: Carl is always trying to use the gun — and he eventually get his hands on one this season. Were you excited to tote around these grown-up weapons?

A: This is funny: I think Georgia law says I can shoot any gun that I want when I’m 8. But I can’t touch anything that will fire a projectile on set. You have to be 14 to do it on set I think. So the gun I was carrying around was actually a cap gun. It was originally painted orange so we spray-painted it black. The knife is real too, though it is dull. One time on set, I actually pinched myself with the saw part of the blade — and my hand was gushing blood in the middle of the take! So when I lifted my shirt, I did it with one hand so I didn’t get blood all over the gun and my shirt — and make the wardrobe department angry.

Q: Do you have a lot of zombie-memorabilia in your house?

A: I do. At home I have lot of pictures from The Walking Dead, and some stuff from comic books. At comic conventions people will give me a lot of autographed stuff, so a lot of those are on my wall.

Q: What do you do to kill time on set?

A: Play with my kendama. You know the ball and cup game? It’s like that except the ball is very small and it’s got two cups. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Click here to read an interview with the actress who plays Carl’s mom, Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes).

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