Andrew Lincoln on shooting his final Walking Dead scenes: 'I broke the set'

Cape Town – Andrew Lincoln’s iconic The Walking Dead (DStv 125) character Rick Grimes exited the series in the latest episode. 


In the 5th episode of the 9th season entitled What Comes After Rick was critically injured after his horse threw him off in the previous episode and getting impaled by a metal barb – he pulled himself off and mounted a white horse to draw the herd of zombies away.

The former sheriff lured them over a bridge in an apparent attempt at self-sacrifice that he then blew up by shooting at dynamite to stop the walkers. Yet Rick is found alive and, injured, and ends up flying away in a helicopter to a new community elsewhere.

On Monday it was announced that Lincoln will return as the character for three feature length spin-off movies. 

The actor recently sat down for a Q&A interview in New York where he talked about his last day on set what he learnt from playing the character and what fans reaction have been.

What have you learned from playing Rick Grimes all these years?

I've learned so much. Working in America and working with American actors is a dream that I've always had. Ever since I was at drama school and there was a vernacular, there's a style of acting in this country that I admired. And so to have nine years and most of the Screen Actors Guild of America come on the show and be killed by me, has been an absolute thrill.

I’ve have also learned a work ethic from this crew and this cast that I didn’t have before. I cared about work but this kind of commitment and care that has kept this show going is one of the lasting things that I will take with me.

What was your last day on set like?

I broke the set on my last day. We were doing a sequence and I did something and I thought, oh, that's quite interesting, and I thought it was a really good idea. And then I did it again and I had committed to it, and I started pulling on something and the set just fell down on a cameraman. On my last day I knock out a cameraman. He's a lovely man and he was fine, no one was hurt.

The goodbye was amazing, because it's everybody that's worked with me for nine years. There's a lot of people that are still there, who were there on the first day, and that's an immensely moving testament to the show, really.

You had like a bromance with Norman Reedus going on, where you would prank each other. Do you think he's gonna take it the hardest when you are not there anymore?

No, I think he'll still keep pranking me. I'm not worried about it.

Andrew Lincoln and Norman Rheedus.

What has the reaction from the fans of the show been like when the news hit that you were leaving? 

I have a lot of people saying you're leaving us, why are you leaving us? They're not happy but they're very sweet. 

Greg (executive producer and director) told us you watched an episode, you famously never watched the show.

He strapped me to a chair in his home cinema and said watch it if you want to be a director.

What was that experience like and will you keep watching the show now that you’re no longer in it?

I think it's brilliant. I mean what it was, you know, it was beautiful to see the quality of work and the care, and the relation – Norman, I thought, was doing exquisite leading actor work as was Danai [Gurira], as was Melissa McBride. And to see the new cast members, Dan Fogler, who I think is a tremendous talent and a huge asset to the show, I mean that was the most exciting thing. It's thrilling seeing all of this new world appear as well and I got an absolute buzz doing that. I understood, actually, why we're still here nine years later. I was like good show. 

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.

If you missed the episode catch it on DStv Now, Catch Up or Sunday at 00:20 on Fox (DStv)