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The Walking Dead
“The Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln spoke with Dread Central on Dec. 3 about his hit zombie show and what fans can expect when it returns from break in 2013.
So far there have been a number of deaths in the first half of the third season, including two major characters early on. Lincoln said in the interview that the show still brutalizes him. He calls it extraordinary, but also a downer because they lose so many people from the ranks of the show.
“You make these incredibly brilliant and intense relationships with truly gifted actors, and invariably they get bitten, and I have to kill them,” Lincoln said. “And it is kind of the big downer on what is becoming the single greatest job of my career.”
The season also saw Rick suffer a major mental breakdown after the death of his wife Lori inside the prison. He began to receive mysterious phone calls from Lori, all a break in his sanity, and he had to start to work his way back to his capability of leadership for the survivors.
“I came into the writers’ room and said, ‘What do you think Rick’s breaking point is?’ And this is what they came up with,” Lincoln said. “I wanted to drop the gun, I wanted to fall, all of these things, and I wanted you to see this man, who has led these people and been so strong, fall to the ground broken.”
Now, when the season returns, fans will finally get their chance to see the two leaders face off as Rick and The Governor will meet, and fans who know the comics understand that things get explosive after that. What is great is that Lincoln has grown into his character so much that he can’t even stomach the fake lives of those in Woodbury.
“I hate Woodbury,” Lincoln said. “I actively feel nauseous when I go there. I hate everybody in it, I just can’t stand to look at the place. I love the prison; it’s beautiful.”
The third season of “The Walking Dead” returns in February 2013.
I have added 178 HD screencaps from episode 8, The Walking Dead returns in February 2013.
Q: Now that The Walking Dead is in its third season, what aspects of the show still surprise you?
A: The show just surprises me and brutalizes me. I was just taking to Scott Wilson, and we were just riffing on how extraordinary how this show is. The only downer is the fact that we lose people. You make these incredibly brilliant and intense relationships with truly gifted actors and invariably they get bitten, and I have to kill them. And it is kind of the big downer on what is becoming the single greatest job of my career. In the space of three years I’ve done more gymnastics on this show then I have in probably four or five years. It’s been an incredible journey, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, although it would have been nice to have a couple of more seasons with Sarah [Wayne Callies].
Q: Are you starting to feel like your character — a leader among the company of actors?
A: I don’t know. I just try and do my job. If people look to me, that’s great. But acting is not like Enron; it’s not a corporate exercise. People have their own ways of working and I’m very much of the opinion that you create a space that people can feel relaxed and comfortable and able to work in. I don’t feel that fear is a good incentive on a film set. It’s not the way I respond to work; so if anything I just try and make people feel at ease and happy and wanting to come to work and do their best. And as a leader, I try and create an environment where people can risk and dare to look stupid. Then again, if I’m on set with Scott Wilson, who’s worked for fifty years, I bow at the seat of that. I call him Lionheart; the guy is a god!
Q: After Lori dies, Rick goes through a total mental breakdown. What’s it like to lose your mind?
A: If they kill my wife, you know what I mean, it’s the real deal for me. She deserved everything. I came into the writers’ room and said, “What do you think Rick’s breaking point is?” And this is what they came up with. I wanted to drop the gun, I wanted to fall, all of these things, and I wanted you to see this man who has led these people and been so strong, fall to the ground broken. I had an acting teacher who always said that even when you’re ripping your guts out with emotion, it should be catharsis. Not many people get to do that in their lives full-stop.
Q: In Episode 8, Rick finally gets to see Woodbury. What was your take on the town?
A: I hate Woodbury! I actively feel nauseous when I go there. I hate everybody in it, I just can’t stand to look at the place. I love the prison, it’s beautiful.
Q: You’ve spent nearly three years in Georgia filming the show. Are you starting to feel like a bit of a Southerner now?
A: I think I’m a Southern British now. This is the one time that I talk in British. My family has gone home now — honestly man it won’t be long it before I’m completely integrated. I totally love this part of the world. Almost three-quarters of my year is spent in America now. I love this country and I’m very excited to be here now. You know, even in spite of the brutal summer and ridiculous weather we get, this part of the world here around Georgia is really beautiful.
Q: How does that Southern influence permeate the set?
A: People are really cool here. They feel it’s our homegrown show. When people come down to work here we really go off into this bubble. It’s not about the business side of things down here. We just get down and get sweaty and dirty and get on with it.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, you finally got to pay a visit to Woodbury 90210. What did you think of the place?
ANDREW LINCOLN: I hate it there. [laughs] I just can’t bear it. It’s so funny because every time Norman and I have to shoot around there, we just go, “Ugh, I hate it!” I love the prison. I love the dirt. I love the fact that we never clean up. I don’t know, there’s just something not right about that place. It was great shooting the hell out of it! We took it to them. There weren’t as many of us but we took the battle directly to them. But it was weird because David and I – we still haven’t quite met yet in the season. He’s been texting me all the time when I’m not there, just saying certain things. And that’s all we’ve been doing is just texting derogatory things like “Get out of my prison!…Leave my friends alone…Get your creepy British hands off one of my friends.” It’s all that kind of stuff going on. So it’s good fun.
EW: Yeah, Rick and the Governor have not even shared a scene yet at this point.
LINCOLN: I know! It’s kind of hilarious that all of this has gone down. But that’s the thing I love about the structure of it, using something completely not from the comic — the two brothers — as the lynchpin, which I thought was a really smart way of connecting these two worlds that nobody would have ever anticipated. And also to have Merle be driven by the same familial instincts was great. It’s a great dynamic for Merle because everybody thinks, oh, I know what he is. And then you realize that his motivation is exactly the same as his younger brother’s, which is true probably, isn’t it? Even if you didn’t get on with a relation, you’d still want to find them.
EW: Of course, the biggest shock of all may have been the return of Jon Bernthal as Shane — or at least Rick’s hallucination of Shane. What was it like having Jon back in the mix?
LINCOLN: Man, it’s just always a joy to have him. He’s a great, great man and a great talent and I love him. He’s my brother and it was so strange seeing him there — and yet, so familiar. And it was very moving. He came back and was on his way to doing the Scorsese movie [The Wolf of Wall Street]. I could see him and he was being very respectful and standing back and letting us do our thing and not interfering and just watching. And I could see him itching to go so I said, “Jon, I need to run lines for this.” And he came on set and he wasn’t supposed to be working that night but suddenly he just said, “Right. I’m just coming. I’m coming back. I can’t not work.” So he got changed and we started acting the scene. He was only supposed to shoot the day afterwards.
And it was weird because Laurie Holden said to him, “What’s it like? You’re just living the dream. You get to go work with Scorsese.” And he said, “This is the dream here. This is the greatest atmosphere I’ve ever been involved in on any set.” And it’s amazing. Sarah [Wayne Callies] said the same thing as well. It really is this extraordinary family. Only in my job can I keep killing my friend. This is the third time I’ve killed Jon. Well, it’s actually the second time, but I like to think of the other one as a family killing, via my son. Only in this crazy job can I still keep bringing people back form the dead in my imagination — and shoot them again.
Thanks to Kelly for the scan.
The title of Sunday’s mid-season finale of the “The Walking Dead,” “Made to Suffer,” certainly implies nothing good for Rick Grimes and the survivors. The group is divided now into two forces — the ones who remained behind at the prison with the newly named infant Judith and the strike team that headed to Woodbury to rescue Glenn and Maggie from the Governor. Written by Robert Kirkman, the episode will be the last new chapter audiences will see of the hit AMC zombie series until it returns from a weeks-long hiatus in mid-February. Before heading back to Georgia where production wraps on Season 3 today, show runner Glen Mazzara took time to assess the storyline so far and to offer some hints about what lies ahead. Caution, spoilers ahead.
HC: I’m curious, what are your thoughts on the first half of the season? Are you happy with the way the episodes have unfolded and the fan reaction to the storyline?
GM: Oh yeah! It’s a dream come true. It’s fun to think that it’s something that people are carrying around in their lives and talking about with their friends and their family every week.
HC: Can you describe the decision-making that went into losing Lori and T-Dog in Episode 4?
GM: We really wanted to show that this prison was dangerous. I have always said that this prison is unsafe, and the prison will continue to be unsafe. In the mid-season finale you’ll see that part of the prison is in ruins and people can access the prison. We’ve alluded to this, but you can see that there was a fire and that’s how all the zombies get in. Unless they reconstruct that part of the prison it will always be unsafe. We always want to have a sense of danger, a sense of threat. The second thing about killing off those characters is that it puts Rick’s sanity into question. He obviously faces that trauma and starts hallucinating and everything at a time when he’s going up against a very formidable foe, the Governor.
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Sorry, Norman Reedus, but Andrew Lincoln has started a new bromance on The Walking Dead set.
On TV, Andy’s Rick is about to lay down the law on The Governor (David Morrissey) for his Woodbury group’s abduction of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). We’ll see The Ricktator vs. The Governor start to play out on the Sunday, December 2, Season 3, Episode 8 midseason finale, “Made to Suffer.” But in real life, the two British men playing Southern boys are almost too friendly.“Andy Lincoln has got a massive crush on me,” David Morrissey told MTV, laughing. “God, he stalks me. I have to avoid him all the time!”
Heck, where do we sign up for a good stalking from Andy Lincoln? MTV asked Andy if it was true and he laughed and said yes. “We’ve played loads of golf. It’s very nice to have a Brit on set.”
That’s cute. But the Rick/Daryl – Andy/Norman bromance is still the best. Go bond with Merle, Gov!
I have added 281 HD screencaps from episode 7.