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Q&A – Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes)


Andrew Lincoln — Rick Grimes on AMC’s The Walking Dead — shares the essentials of his role: his trusty Colt Python and a secret that he can’t even tell his wife.

Q: What was the bar scene like in Episode 8?

A: That was an incredible scene! We were so lucky to get such cracking actors. And we didn’t play the problem, we just played the fact that this is a reunion of human beings. The tension is inherent in the fact that they encounter this other group.

Q: Rick’s presence at the farm has been described as antagonistic this season. Do you ever feel like you’re a bad guy on your own show?

A: Yeah, I think I do a bit. I don’t normally see it like that though, because you never look at your own character as the problem. I’m appealing to this man’s spirit.

Q: Was the scene when Rick had to kill Sophia a difficult one to shoot?

A: I was talking about this the other day thinking, my goodness who’d have thought I’d build a career as a child killer in a huge internationally acclaimed show? What does that say about the state of things! Look, as an actor I was even going, “Please let her be alive.” It’s a gut-wrenching moment. Conversely, it’s a brilliant beginning to the second half of the season, which is a much darker and more dangerous exploration of these characters.

Q: Very important question next: What’s your preferred method of killing walkers?

A: I’m convinced that most of the time in the writers room is spent going,
“Ok, what’s the next one going to be like? How can we shock people, the
best?” Ax in the head always works, and the baseball bat was funny too. But I love my cannon. We were doing a sequence where I had to jump on an RV and I borrowed Shane’s glock and it kept jamming, but the Colt Python is like a Rolex: It will never fail you. It makes a real satisfying click as well. It’s become part of my body. I had to wrestle with the props department when they took it back the last time. They said, “You will be arrested trying to bring that through customs!”

Q: You used a rock earlier this season too…

A: Yes that’s kind of getting back to an older style. Very retro — almost Neanderthal. I mean whatever comes to hand, Rick is an incredibly practical-minded leader.

VIDEO: Talked About Scene: Sophia Is Found

Q: I love that Rick still wears a watch, post-apocalypse. Are you like that? Would you make that choice?

A: That is my choice as an actor. It’s Rick’s father’s watch that he’s given to him. I don’t actually wear a watch myself, but I do think that any real memento from the past is vital to people who are so destitute. The watch I wear on set is broken — it stays at one minute to 12. Someone changed it and made it work — I was like, “No, it should not work! Leave it at one minute to 12.” It’s very doomsday.

Q: You were in Love Actually. What do you enjoy playing more as an actor, a lover or a fighter?

A: I like to say, I’m a lover not a fighter but I’m willing to fight for love, know what I’m saying! I love romantic things, but the role of Rick is the role of a lifetime. It’s great to have a long journey to play with any character because you get stretched and pulled in directions you wouldn’t necessarily see in another context.

Q: Rick and Shane have a somewhat tense way of relating on screen. What’s your relationship like with Jon Bernthal?

A: It’s a nightmare to work with that man! But really, Jon Bernthal is like my American brother. He reminds me — I hate to say it — of a little bit younger version of me. What he’s done with Shane is magnificent as a character and I love the see-saw nature of their relationship. They’re like warring brothers — but they’re both so similar.

Q: Do you know what Dr. Jenner said to Rick at the end of Season 1 — and did Noah Emmerich actually say that to you?

A: Yes he did.

Q: Have people tried to pressure you into telling them?

A: My wife doesn’t even know. Man, I take my job seriously!

Click here to read an interview with Jon Bernthal, who plays Rick’s partner Shane Walsh on The Walking Dead.

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