(SPOILERS) The Walking Dead Q&A — Chandler Riggs (Carl)

Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about introducing a new survivor to the community, the devastating Mid-Season Finale and Carl's vision for the future. 

Q: When Negan arrives at Alexandria, Carl tries to appeal to him emotionally while Rick is mercilessly taking the Saviors out. What can both Carl and Rick learn from each other?

A: I think it’s more of Rick trying to learn everything he can from Carl. Carl is trying to prove that he sees this bigger world and this new hope for Rick, for Judith and for everyone, which Rick doesn’t see.

Q: The Season 8 Mid-Season Finale is chock-full of explosions, smoke, flares, etc. as Carl carries out his plan. How long did it take to shoot? 

A: It took a few days to shoot, but it was so much fun! The exploding cars, the exploding houses. It was a lot of really hard work, but it was so much fun. It’s always fun with the fire and smoke grenades and all that stuff. It was a lot of night shoots, so none of us got much sleep. There was definitely lots of sleeping after it was done. [Laughs]

Q: What was your first reaction to reading about Carl getting bit in the script? Were you told in advance?

A: I was super surprised. I was not expecting it at all. I don’t think any of the fans were expecting it. I found out during rehearsal for Episode 6, which was back around June. It was really weird for a while… but I’m going on to do lots of other cool and exciting things. I just booked a movie and that’s really exciting stuff. It’s definitely not the end for me. It might be the end for Carl, but not for me.

Q: Carl reveals that he got bit after bringing Siddiq safely to Alexandria. Do you imagine any part of him regrets that decision?

A: He obviously knew that Rick wouldn’t approve of his decision, but before he got bit, he didn’t plan on bringing Siddiq back. He planned to help out and honor his mom. To bring him back to Alexandria was a last-minute decision. I think he planned on waiting a little while longer, but once it happened, he decided to. He wants to show the people of Alexandria that not everyone is bad. Carl is trying to convince everyone. Not just Rick. I think Carl knew he wasn’t going be accepted by his dad, but he knew it was for the better and for the community. Siddiq needed help. He was out there alone for so long and he needed someone to help him out.

Q: Why was it important to him to help Siddiq kill walkers and carry out his mom’s belief that it frees their souls?

A: Carl is all about honoring and showing respect. I think he respected Siddiq a lot more when he realized that what he was doing was for his mom and not just a weird obsession he had. I think that’s why he really wanted to help out. Not just by doing that, but by bringing him back to the community. Carl saw that he was out there alone. He wasn’t with anyone or a part of any community and his parents had died. Carl could kind of relate to that in a way. Even after so much, Siddiq was still thinking about his mom and focused on honoring his parents.

Read a Q&A with Josh McDermitt, who plays Eugene.

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