Chances are, if you’re reading this site, then you’re very familiar with AMC’s groundbreaking zombie drama series “The Walking Dead” that debuted this past Halloween. And since we’re big fans of both the graphic novel and its television adaptation, we jumped at the chance to speak to actor Andrew Lincoln about all things zombie and his experiences working on the breakout hit series.
When the British actor (who portrays the series’ main protagonist, Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes) first read the script, he just knew he needed to be involved in some capacity. “The first script I read, I absolutely loved and desperately wanted to be a part of this story. I loved that it had all the horror from the graphic novel series in there, but it also kept the humanity, too. Those involved with creating this series have done a beautiful job of setting up this world in Season One and introducing audiences to some very complex characters and storylines.”
“Coming from England, it’s always lovely to be able to play an American character, but Rick Grimes is much more than just another character. He’s an ‘everyman’ which is true to the comics, and I think because he’s just another Average Joe, audiences can relate to that. He’s the responsible one on the series – he feels like he still has responsibilities to his family, and he now has a set of goals in this new world that he must achieve to make some sense out of everything, and I think most people can relate to him on some level. They can relate to what drives him: his family,” Lincoln added.
Lincoln, who also said he’s a huge fan of Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series, said for him the appeal of the series is largely due to the stellar creative forces behind the curtain.
“What I think is just absolutely great about the creative team on ‘The Walking Dead’ is that they are adamant on honoring the graphic novel story arcs, but they are still able to work in some surprises along the way, too, so we can cater to both the fans of the novel as well as to new fans of the series,” explained Lincoln. “I think honoring Robert’s wonderful stories from his series of books is essential to keeping true to what makes ‘The Walking Dead’ so brilliant.”
When Lincoln began his work on the series last year, little did he know how much his life would change once “The Walking Dead” hit the airwaves this past October. “I love how much audiences from all over have responded so well to ‘The Walking Dead’ so far. It’s almost surreal to me. I told Frank (Darabont, series creator and executive producer) the other night at dinner that if he would have told me that the responses would have been like this when we first started on the series, I never would have believed him.”
“There are always three things that fans say to me now: They ask me where Merle is, what was it that Dr. Jenner whispered to me in the last episode, and how bad they feel about what happened to my horse. For me that’s a blast, and I am so grateful that everyone’s so invested in the story we’re telling to be keeping track of every little thing so closely,” Lincoln added.
Now with Season Two of “The Walking Dead” looming in the future and millions of fans waiting to see what’s next for the survivors, we talked with Lincoln about the added pressure for the new season.
“There’s definitely a pressure going into a second season, but we’ve all learned so much already just from working on the first episodes,” said Lincoln. “Frank, Gale (Anne Hurd, producer), and everyone at AMC are keen on playing on the strengths of what we did for the first six episodes, but they are going to be pushing all of our characters to our breaking points in Season Two.”
“There’s not much else I can say about the next season except that I definitely don’t think fans will be let down. That much I can promise to everyone that reads this,” Lincoln added.
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