The Walking Dead is headed in a totally different direction with characters facing a ‘huge change’ in circumstances, the cast and crew have teased.
Rick and his chums have got a fresh new mindset going into the second half of season five and instead of running for their lives they’re going to tackle the dead head on.
‘It feels like we’re moving into a new show – it just feels like a new place visually and also story wise,’ explained Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick. ‘It’s very hard not to be brutalised by this world, but there is a sense in Rick that he’s going to pull people through.’
‘We used to move in a direction based on fear, now we’re running towards things and we’re hitting things head on,’ added Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl.
But the fighting talk doesn’t necessarily mean fans should be feeling particularly optimistic going forward…
‘The second half of the season is dark and it’s sad,’ co-executive producer Denise Huth clarified.
The Walking Dead returns on Monday 9 February at 9pm on FOX.
‘The Walking Dead’ star Andrew Lincoln Talks ‘Cruel’ Twist And Reveals The True Meaning Behind The ‘Shut Up’ Line
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me about the emotions of having to say goodbye to Emily Kinney, who played Beth on the show?
ANDREW LINCOLN: Yeah, man. That was such a body blow. I really didn’t see it coming. I had absolutely no idea and I think everyone was reeling from that one. Always when you get about three episodes without a death you know it doesn’t bode well. Everybody starts getting twitchy. Emily is such a beloved person on set and such an incredible actress. I understood it. You get it in hindsight because you know if she hadn’t done such a magnificent job portraying this character she probably wouldn’t be in the firing line, you know what I mean? It’s symptomatic of such a great performance that we needed an emotional impact, and unfortunately, Beth was the character to do it this season, and it was harrowing.
The whole experience of shooting it was, as always, painful. And also you do feel robbed as well because I did not get enough time with her. I remember doing a scene with Emily during the Hershel beheading and she’s such a fine actress. I was in the middle of the scene and I walked forward to the fence having this exchange with the Governor and I remember putting my hand down and reaching out, and as he brought Hershel and Michonne on to their knees and my hand came out, she held my hand. She just knew it was there. It was that kind of amazing sense that she had. I really regret not having more time with her. I actually pitched an idea, I think in season 3. I said, “I think Beth should have a crush on Rick. And Rick doesn’t have a clue how to deal with it. And also, Carl is really upset about it. And then Hershel gets involved as well.” And everybody ignored me as usual. But I thought it was quite a good pitch.
I’ve seen you on set before and you are an intense guy and this was an intense sequence at the hospital. What did you do to get in the right place for filming that?
We all go off and do our own sort of crazy stuff and I think the crew is used to us being a little crazy. Certainly when you do a scene like that which is so odd and upsetting and strange I kind of just listen to music and get quiet before I do it. And then if it’s a physical scene you need to be amped up and I’ll do a physical preparation, but with that one it was just an odd experience because it was a new environment. It was a strange environment with new people, having what should have been a hostage exchange that just goes wrong. It was uncomfortable. I didn’t enjoy it. It’s not an enjoyable scene. And also, to lose somebody that is so important to the group that we would be fighting to find, was unbearable.
And it’s a funny thing because there’s a scene where we come out of the hospital in the aftermath and Norman is carrying Emily and I am sort of leading the way. And I had made a conscious decision that Rick is driven on this, he’s just done on this. He’s gonna push people forward and not get emotionally engaged. I tried to do it. And then having Lauren Cohan and Steven’s reaction to seeing the body carried by Norman was unbearable. I kept having to turn away from the camera because my eyes were just weeping. Tears were rolling down my face. Watching LC and Steven’s performances in that scene, my mind exploded reconstituting that stuff, and then exploded again. They were so good. It was just a bad day at the office, dude. I hate saying goodbye to people at the best of times. But when Emily Kinney, who is such a fine actress and one of the sweetest human beings you are ever going to meet — it was a terribly sad episode. And we’re still reeling. She was family. It sucks.
I know it’s tough for you guys off-screen, but what does the loss of Beth do to Rick and to the group moving forward on-screen?
I think Rick is one of these people that can partition and put it aside and actually use it for fuel to push him and the rest of the group forward. I think he has to because everybody is yet again lost. We have a reunion and we’re back together, but we’re lost. And yet again we’re in a desperate place and we’re in the middle of Atlanta that is overrun. We’re compromised, yet it’s one of these places where he has to step forward as a leader. There isn’t time to dwell on this. He has to keep pushing his troops forward. But whether or not that happens with the other characters is another thing.
Let’s talk about that first scene. You’re chasing this cop who’s fleeing, you hit him with your car, break his neck, then shoot him, then tell him to shut up, which seems a bit out of order. Usually you tell somebody to shut up and then you shoot him!
[Laughs] Your reaction is exactly the same reaction I had when I read the script! I went, “Let me just get this right, Scott. I say ‘shut up’ after I’ve shot the dude?” And he went, “Yep.” And I went “Okay. I’m going to find a way to do this.” I guffawed. Sometimes you have moments playing this role where you just go, “Oh, thank you!” Because you know what? The last episode I was furious. I kept saying, “Why don’t I shoot the bald dude?!? Why can’t I shoot him, Scott? Let me shoot him!” I said, “Scott, I want to shoot this guy.” And he goes, “You’re being tethered by Daryl. Daryl’s your emotional anchor. You’re still anchored by people — your friendships and your family.” And I’m like, “Uggggghhhhhh. I still want to kill him, Scott! I mean, the plan was to slit their throats. Help me out here.” And he goes. “No!” So I was quite relieved when I read episode eight, because of course as usual with Scott Gimple he’s always like, “Wait. We are going to get there. Don’t worry about that.” So I read the teaser and I just went, “Oh my lord! It’s beyond badass. It’s ridiculous.”
But the “shut up” thing was really interesting because the way I justified it was when I echo Gareth by saying “Can’t go back, Bob” — I think that part of it was him going “shut up” to Gareth. Because otherwise, really? I’m saying “shut up” after I shot the guy? Which really made me laugh. And to their credit, [writer] Angela [Kang] and Scott were laughing when they told me. They were like, “Yeah, we thought it would be really cool.” And I was like, “That’s not good enough! You’ve got to give me some help here!” So that’s the way I justified it, is that it was to Gareth. It was extraordinary shooting that scene.
Read more at source.
Walking Dead Producer Gale Anne Hurd On Rick Becoming The New Shane & Big Character Decisions This Season
Is Rick the New Shane?:
It’s been interesting to watch how all of these characters seem to take turns being either the voice of reason or the hard-liner. In “Crossed” Daryl was tasked with pulling Rick back from taking a violent and brutal course of action in order to rescue Carol and Beth. In the episode prior, he’d stopped Carol from shooting Noah. While Rick and Carol now seem to have come to an understanding about just how ruthless one must be in this world, Daryl is becoming an advocate for caution and restraint.
“That’s the journey of these characters,” Hurd said when asked if we can expect this to become the crux the dynamic between Daryl and Rick. With Daryl as the character who says, ‘Maybe we don’t have to be so violent.’Would Abraham Be Justified if He’d Killed Eugene?:
For many viewers, one of the most entertaining aspects of The Walking Dead is playing the “I judge your zombie apocalypse” game. In other words, we ask ourselves if the characters have made the right decisions and challenge ourselves to figure out what we would do in a similar situation. That’s one of the reasons that the Telltale Walking Dead games have been/were embraced by fans.
When Abraham nearly killed Eugene upon the discovery that he’d been lying about a cure, some may have found his actions to be justified. Eugene had selfishly gotten several people killed on a wild goose chase and given others false hope when they could have been looking for another way to survive.
“I think at that point you have become no better than the hunters,” Hurd reflected when asked if Abraham’s actions were to some degree understandable. “Eugene didn’t personally pull the trigger. He had a different approach to self-preservation, and yes, it certainly had terrible consequences. But that’s what happens to cowards, is that they don’t step up; they lie. They let other people fight their battles for them. At the same time, does a coward deserve to die in cold blood? That’s I think when you cross the line into — given Abraham’s history of violence and the fact that his wife took their kids away from him, even though he was avenging what happened to them, shows that there would have been no purpose had he succeeded.”
The Walking Dead did not disappoint with its season five premiere, prompting many to compare it to an action movie and the second episode followed suit with poor Bob becoming a victim of the Terminus cannibals, but just when you question how it could possibly get anymore shocking, lead star Andrew Lincoln says he is “really worried” the upcoming episode three could have pushed the boundaries.
Viewers are anxiously awaiting to see the aftermath of episode two’s climactic ending, with Bob getting his leg sawed off and eating by the cannibals speared on by leader Gareth, and with Daryl and Carol heading off into the night to track down Beth, expectations are high that it’ll all hit the fan when the rest of the group find out three of their members are missing in the latest episode. Andrew, who plays group honcho Rick, says viewers will need to brace themselves for Four Walls and a Roof, which airs next week.
In a lengthy and very teasing interview with Details, Andrew says of the fast-paced style of the new season: “It’s an Indiana Jones thing. I love that we go that way—that we go fearlessly into moments where you just think, Really? But you know, they’re big popcorn moments! The balance between playing the brutal leader and the charismatic leader and the righteous leader. It’s a plate-spinning act. Be advised: Episode 3 is very, very . . . well, we’re going into uncharted waters with this episode, and I’d be very intrigued to know what you make of it. I wish we were having this conversation next week, because I’d be very intrigued to know what you think.”
He added to the reporter: “Watch it, and then call me up and tell me if you think we’ve overstepped the mark! [Laughs] Because I’m really worried. Honestly, I am, I am very concerned about this one. What did you think about the last episode? Because it had to be softer, you had to see where the characters were. But it still has that incredible thing – Bob’s leg being eaten at the end, you know what I mean?”
At the moment, it feels as though anyone could get bumped off with the season appearing to be the most daring so far, so naturally, tensions must be high between cast members about who will turn into zombie dinner next, but Andrew remains coy about his future on the comic book series despite the fact he is a lead character and is most likely safe. “Well, I hope that is true. You speak to the writers’ room and tell them that. Honestly, though, this is the greatest job I’ve ever been involved in. Just carrying this incredible story. A really fine actress just joined our cast, and she’d never seen the show before, and she texted me and said, “It’s mythological. It’s extraordinary.” She said, “It’s devastating, this story.” Those words really rang true: It’s mythological. And you’ll see with my beard—it’s biblical, where we’re going,” he explained.
“There’s something very primal about the story we’re telling this year. I said it in jest, but it was a conscious decision, maybe two years ago, to push ourselves and make us look as feral as we can. That’s why we’re gonna need a bigger beard. I’m really thrilled. It’s full of surprises, this season, but it’s full of all the classic ingredients. But this season, more than ever, the scale of it is just mind-blowing,” Andrew added.
Say no more, something tells us episode three could be a game-changer!
This season of “The Walking Dead” is going to be huge, but the biggest part will definitely be star Andrew Lincoln’s beard, as MTV News found out when we visited the Atlanta-based set of the show earlier this year.
“What can I tell you?” Lincoln said when asked about Rick’s progression in season five. “I’ve been growing my beard. I decided this season we’re gonna need a bigger beard. It’s all about the beard this season. I’m just waiting for them to tell me to stop growing it.”
Okay, so not the most spoilery thing an actor has ever said – and believe us, there were plenty of juicy spoilers for the upcoming season on display that we can’t divulge at this time. But the busy actor – Lincoln is in most of the scenes that were being shot while we visited on set – still thinks that this will be the best season so far.
“It’s been incredible,” Lincoln said on filming the newest set of episodes. “I think the returning episode is one of the strongest we’ve ever had. When we all read it, we just thought it had everything.”
Having seen the season premiere, “No Sanctuary,” we agree that the episode has everything you’d want from the show. But beyond the action-filled opener, it seems like things won’t let up from there.
“It’s been brutal, my voice is going – which is a good sign,” Lincoln continued. “It means I’m obviously doing something right. It’s the most ambitious season we’ve ever attempted. If we’d started the show with these two episodes, I don’t think we’d be here today. But we’ve earned those two episodes after the four and a half years of the story we’ve been telling. I’m really, really excited to see how the world reacts to it.”
Lincoln will see how they’ll react on Sunday (October 12). Head back to MTV News over the next few days for plenty more from our exclusive set visit to “The Walking Dead.”
The AMC zombie drama, which returns Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, has become the No. 1 show on television in the adults 18-49 demographic for the last two years, a feat almost unheard of for a cable show.
“We could not be more excited for October 12th as we share new episodes of The Walking Dead with fans around the globe,” said AMC President Charlie Collier in a statement. “In advance of Sunday’s season five premiere, AMC proudly confirms a sixth season order of this extraordinary series. Thank you to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, the terrific executive producers, and the entire team who brings this compelling world and these rich characters to life. There’s plenty more Dead ahead thanks to their impressive, collective effort.”
Gimple is slated to return as showrunner alongside executive producers Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse. The news comes on the heels that AMC also ordered a pilot for a companion series to The Walking Dead based on a new story.
AMC ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Start Date: Midseason Finale Has Over 800 Walkers, Andrew Lincoln Warns Families
Put the kids to bed early this October because, according to Andrew Lincoln, Season 4 of “The Walking Dead” isn’t for children.
“We’re really earning our rating this season,” Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly for their special four-cover issue. “There are families that watch it together, but just so it’s on the record, guys — it’s a grown-up show this season.”
Some of the gore is likely contributed to by the mass number of walkers that will be seen this season. Season 4 had 9,000, according to Huffington Post.
“I can tell you that in the mid-season finale that we just finished shooting there were upwards of 800 walkers for just that episode,” Greg Nicotero, the show’s executive producer and makeup artist, said. “I haven’t done the tally yet for this season, but being out in the world it’s a little trickier to avoid zombies. When you’re in the prison, you have a safe haven. The zombies aren’t so much of an everyday occurrence, whereas in this season we’re out in the world at some point so they’re there.”
“By minute two or three of our season premiere, I think the vast majority of our questions have been answered, and five or six more have been presented, so you’re very much going to be invested, well-informed, and ready for the ride that we’re going to take you on,” Robert Kirkman, “The Walking Dead” comic book creator and show executive producer and writer, told EW.
Season 5 will also feature a tribute in Episode 1, Nictotero told Huffingotn Post, although’s “little more subtle, and this time it’s not necessarily a zombie.”
“We hit certain milestones from the comic book that are tailored to our show and our characters, and certain storylines that we see in the comic book we will see in various places through Season 5,” he continued.
June Javelosa – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor
Hollywood, CA, United States (4E) – In a recent interview published by Entertainment Weekly, the surviving cast of the hit show share how they envision their characters to meet their end—
Lauren Cohan, sees her character Maggie jumping of a cliff, while holding hands with her on-screen love interest, Glenn.
Chad Coleman, who plays Tyreese, wants to leave the show by doing something brave and heroic.
Michael Cudlitz, says of his character Abraham: “I would hope that his death would be befitting of his life and Abraham did everything hard.”
One half of the post apocalyptic It couple, Glenn, played by Steven Yeun thinks it’s hard to top the way he was offed in the comic. “What a way to take out a character, and a character that’s been there for so long, by just snatching him away from the viewers and the readers.”
One of the toughest characters on the show, Michonne, played by Danai Gurira believes her death should be something that stays true to the way the show built her character on the show.
Melissa McBride, who plays Carol says she’d like to leave the show without any last words, believing her character to have already made clear what she stands for and what she has to say throughout her run.
Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick simply says: “I don’t care how it goes, but maybe a kid should take me out.”
And finally, everyone’s favorite zombie archer, Daryl, played by Norman Reedus says…”You would just see him walk down a road like Mad Max and I’d get smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller, and then a little dog would run on the road with me and just start following me off into the sunset, and you’d never know what happened to him. I would wanna go out like that”
Depsite being deep in the guts of filming on The Walking Dead Season 5, Andrew Lincoln, AKA Rick Grimes, proved why he’s one of the most popular guys in the business.
A young fan approached the superstar but instead of acting aloof and disinterested, Lincoln did something adorable: He swapped hats with the kid and autographed it for him.
How awesome is that! I gotta say it’s refreshing to see these stars take time out of their busy schedule to show their appreciation to the fans and the support they give the show. Many other celebrities probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to the group of gathered Dead-Heads, but then I guess the cast of The Walking Dead aren’t like most celebrities.
The Walking Dead is the highest rating show on cable TV and a lot of this is because we fans feel a connection to the show.
In the end we are more than just fans: We are The Walking Dead.
McFarlane Toys have recently just revealed more details and a preview image for their upcoming Rick Grimes Deluxe figure. He’s the perfect companion piece to the already released Daryl Dixon Deluxe 10-inch figure that came out late last year.
I personally love collecting McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead figures, well mostly the TV ones, which have gone from downright terrible in Series 1 to not half bad in the latest, Series 6. I have the 10” Daryl Dixon in my collection and I am really impressed with him, though I have some problems displaying him due to the pose he was given. The pose for Rick Grimes appears to be much better.
The figure will be 3D scanned directly from Andrew Lincoln’s head, and if it’s anything like the Norman Reedus portrait on the Daryl figure, it’s going to be absolutely amazing. Until now, it’s been unclear what season the figure is going to be based on and what accessories he’ll come with.
The figure will be based on the Season 3 key art that is pictured below with the figure. His accessories include his signature Colt Python, sniper rifle and alternate arm to hold the sniper rifle. I’m hoping this figure will have better articulation than the Daryl figure, most notably a ball-jointed head.
This figure will be released in November of this year, exactly 1 year after Daryl was released. He’ll retail for $34.99 and I’m definitely going to pick this up when he hits UK shores. Pre-orders are currently available here.
If you’re setting your TiVo or DVR to record the Season 4 finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” be sure to give yourself a several-minute cushion at the end, because you do not want to miss the very last line of the episode.
The Post spoke to Andrew Lincoln, who plays the survivors’ unofficial leader, Rick Grimes, as well as executive producer Greg Nicotero, and learned that the very last line of this game-changing season will change the game yet again, launching the first season-ending cliff-hanger in the show’s history.
“Traditionally, when we [end a season], it has a wrap-up,” says Nicotero. “At the end of Season 2, we saw the prison. At the end of Season 3, we saw them bringing people from Woodbury to the prison. It all had this resolve to it. In this episode, there’s a line that a character says, the last line of the episode, that’s probably the first time we ended [a season] on a ‘what’s gonna happen next?’ moment.”
But based on what Lincoln and Nicotero shared with us, that’s not the biggest shock in store tonight.
According to Lincoln, something happens to Rick that, even accounting for the deaths of his wife and (he believes) his infant daughter, will be the most brutal thing he has endured in the show’s history.
“My car explodes if I say anything [more],” jokes the British actor, before finding a way to open up without revealing more than he should.
“I will say that something happens in the finale that when I read it, I called Scott Gimple, the showrunner, because we’ve always been incredibly responsible with the violence in this show. And I just wanted to ask, ‘Is this a step too far?’”
For some fans of the show, though, the prospect of any action at all will be welcome.
This year, AMC divided Season 4 into eight-episode halves, and each episode featured only a few survivors; ultimately, none of the cast appeared in more than half the episodes.
For Lincoln, this format afforded him time to spend with his family. Once shooting began without him, though, he quickly changed his tune.
“I got incredibly bored and wanted to be back on set, so I don’t think I was much comfort to my family,” says Lincoln, 40, who lives on a farm just outside of London with his wife, Gael Anderson (daughter of Jethro Tull singer Ian Anderson) and their two kids, Matilda, 6, and Arthur, 4. “I missed the shoot. I missed being on set.”
As for the story format itself, while some disagree — New York magazine headlined one of its recent weekly recaps of the show, “Man, The Walking Dead is Boring This Season” — Lincoln believes that the slower pace helped flesh out the show’s characters.
Episode 14, in which Carol (Melissa McBride) was forced to kill a young girl, is a case in point. “You think it’s one thing, then it turns that inside out and rips your heart out. It’s astonishingly bold,” says Lincoln.
“There is a necessity to make this an action-packed thrill ride, but you need to do the footwork in character development and story to earn those rewards. There has to be light and shade, otherwise it would be the other way around — is it too bloodthirsty, is it too gory, is it too action-packed? Where’s the character development?”
While Lincoln has enjoyed reading the scripts to see where the show was headed, he let The Post in on a surprising fact about him and “The Walking Dead.” Despite being its star, Lincoln has never seen even one episode of the show that has made him a very recognizable man.
“I hear it’s very good,” jokes Lincoln, who prefers not to watch himself act, and therefore hasn’t in 15 years.
“It’s not an enjoyable experience for me,” he says. “After working for about eight years, I realized that watching myself made me self-conscious. So I stopped.”
(Lincoln has been asked to provide DVD commentary for Episode 14, so he will soon watch his show for the first time. Of the other pop culture touchstone Lincoln was in — the polarizing 2003 Christmas film, “Love Actually,” in which he played a man in love with his best friend’s wife — Lincoln attended the premiere, but says he “watched the other stories but kept my head down during mine, like a weirdo.”)
But while Lincoln may have a short embarrassment fuse, he’s not above toying with others — namely, his castmate Norman Reedus, who plays the show’s hardened country boy, Daryl Dixon.
When Lincoln and Reedus recently flew to Tokyo for show promotion, Lincoln engineered a prank where a fan with one arm and no legs — Nick Santonastasso, 17, a Vine star thanks to pranks where he scares people while made up like a zombie — hid in a room-service cart in full zombie makeup, then jumped out to scare Reedus.
“My big concern is that I’ve started a war. It’s on,” says Lincoln. “I’m living in fear — not that I’m gonna get killed [on the show], but I fear Norman’s wrath more than anything else. Every moment that is not a prank, he’s planning one.”
As Lincoln keeps looking over his shoulder, though, Rick’s harsher realities illustrate why Lincoln loves this show overall and tonight’s finale in particular, in their demonstrations of how resilient people can be in even the toughest of circumstances.
“The extraordinary thing about human beings is their capacity to heal in real life, and that’s the greatest story we’re telling,” Lincoln says.
“The thing that happens [tonight addresses] that question of, can we ever come back, and can we ever be the same people we once were. Certainly, [the question of] how Rick lives from this point onwards is resolved.”
Who lives? Who dies? Who makes it to Terminus? And what is this shocking Rick Grimes storyline we’re hearing so much about? “The Walking Dead” Season 4 finale is just a couple of days away, and Yahoo TV talked to series star Andrew Lincoln, Rick Grimes himself, to get the scoop on just how frightened we should be for Rick and our favorite zombie apocalypse survivors (hint: very).
We talked to Greg Nicotero earlier this week, and we’re worried about Rick in this Season 4 finale.
[Laughing] Yes, and you should be, be afraid. I’ve just spoken to someone who’s seen it… they were freaking out a bit.
We know the Claimers — Joe and his friends, who are travelling with Daryl — are on Rick’s trail, and it seems pretty likely they’ll meet up in the finale. What can you say about that?
Just wait, just wait. We haven’t got long to go [laughing]. They meet, yeah… they would be pretty bad trackers if they didn’t meet, is all I’m saying. But you never know. I’ve got a feeling that… well, something’s going to go down, definitely. I’ll say that.
This is what Robert Kirkman said about the finale: “This is Rick Grimes being pushed to his absolute limit. And if you think you’ve seen that before, you haven’t. And the Rick Grimes that comes out of this is really going to shock people.”
Yeah, that’s very good. I think the story this season begins with a man suppressing his brutality for the sake of his son. I don’t want to give too much away, but basically, you will see a side of Rick that you haven’t seen before or in a place that he goes to that he’s never been before. Like most things he’s driven by, it’s for the sake of his son.
All I will say is that when I read [the script], I called up Scott Gimple, and I said, “Scott, we’ve always been incredibly responsible with where we go and the darkness and the brutality of the world that we inhabit. Do you think we may be going a little bit far on this?” He said, “No, no, not at all,” and when I did it, when I did the scene, like most things Scott Gimple says, he was right, and it made complete sense. It is a definite evolution.
What was your favorite Rick moment in the second half of the season?
I loved [“After”]. I just thought it was very well drawn… and obviously for the fact that I got to lie in a bed unconscious for quite a lot of the scenes [laughing]. But I would say that I think my favorite episode, just for what happens, is the one that you haven’t seen yet. Just because, it’s always really exciting to play… it’s such a privilege to play this character, and certainly to play it for so long. You get to explore and then live with him in so many different ways. And when something happens that changes him irrevocably, it’s an exciting moment. You start going, “Oh, I’m no longer this guy anymore, I’m this guy.” That’s what happens this Sunday.
Are you excited for fans to see it, and then to start filming Season 5 in a few weeks?
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that are still alive are texting each other [laughing]. It’s an amazing time. Just because it so beautifully synchronizes… the finale and then suddenly the emails start coming in and everybody starts getting ready [for Season 5]. It’s particularly exciting to start up Season 5, because of where we leave Season 4. It’s a really thrilling place.
Did you feel Season 4 was a different show? And in a good way if so?
Oh, hugely. And I think it was good. I think different is always good. No, that’s not true… that’s a flat out lie. You can have different bad. But I think that changing the show up is essential. Just because we want to keep ahead of the audience, and we want to keep people on the balls of their feet and not know where we’re going to go.
For that reason alone, I think the writers did a magnificent job this season. I loved the storytelling. I thought it was slow in parts, but for a reason. I think it was different and needed to be different. Maybe that’s the ace we’ve got up our sleeve, the fact that we can just smash it all up and start it all over again.
Were you excited to learn some of the character backstories?
It’s so good. It’s so exciting to go, “Oh my God, the Michonne story.” All the little things that they’ve added in, that you are being drip fed about pasts and relationships and who these people are and their secrets. There’s nothing more satisfying as an actor, I think, than playing a secret, holding onto a secret for so long.
You mentioned Michonne… she, Rick, and Carl have formed a family unit, and not just because they’re together in the second half of the season. They’ve been building to that. Is Michonne the person that Rick most trusts with Carl? And not just because she’s the only other person with them right now, but in general?
The funny thing is that I think he sees a relationship that Carl doesn’t have with anybody else. Carl is a teenager now. There are certain things that a boy can’t say to his father… there’s a lightness that [Carl and Michonne] bring out in each other that is so of the old world, that is so important to life. Otherwise, what’s the point? I think that Rick identifies that as a hugely important part of their relationship. But also, she signifies a maternal presence, maybe a sisterly presence. She’s a sort of go between. Also, you’re right. She’s great insurance. If I die, I trust that she’s a warrior. She’s a survivor. It is a kind of insurance policy, as well.
One of the best moments of the entire series so far was the end of “After,” when Michonne finds Rick and Carl in the house, and Rick sees her at the door and tells Carl, “It’s for you.”
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with you. I love it. It’s rare that you get the chance to have that levity on our show. It’s a lifeline for this guy. It’s funny, I was signing something at a convention, and the person said, “Sign your favorite line from this season,” and I just said, “It’s for you.” They asked what episode that was from, and I said, “You haven’t seen it yet. Wait.” That was Robert Kirkman. Robert Kirkman wrote that episode, and I thought he did a beautiful job.
“The Walking Dead” Season 4 finale airs Sunday, March 30 at 9 p.m. on AMC.