The cast and creators of The Walking Dead hint at what’s in store for Season 6.
The cast and creators of The Walking Dead hint at what’s in store for Season 6.
The cast and crew of The Walking Dead discuss the journey that each of their characters have taken throughout Season 5.
“Season 6 for a good while now, humans have been the bigger threat. At the start of our next season, that will change. I said the show reinvents itself every 8 eps, and we’re doing it again, friendos. Now that these characters know they have what it takes to survive, what are they going to do with that power? How will they choose to live? Beyond answering those questions, we’re currently putting into motion some of our most ambitious stuff yet, and things are going to get very big, loud and scary.”
SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains storyline and character spoilers for the “Conquer” episode of The Walking Dead.
Blasting his romantic rival, saving a town full of people by threatening them, having a walker explode in his face, and reuniting with his first post-apocalypse pal, Morgan… it was a very eventful Season 5 ender for The Walking Dead head survivor Rick Grimes.
Rick portrayer Andy Lincoln — he who should be receiving nomination love every time awards season rolls around — talks to Yahoo TV about the finale, the season he calls one of his favorites, the gross zombie melt that smacked him in the face, the memorable Rick Grimes finale line he was thrilled to utter, and his thoughts on whether or not Mr. Grimes is ready to loosen the reins of the Ricktatorship long enough to get his swerve on with the ladies.
Where does this season rank for you among all the other TWD seasons?
I remember reading it, just going, “What on earth?” And then, you know, the lovely thing was then [Executive Producer] Greg [Nicotero] called me up and said, “It’s going to be an hour and a half.” I said, “Thank, God.” I mean, there’s so much going on. For me, this was one of the most enjoyable seasons. Certainly for a while, I mean, it was just so… it just kept ahead of the curve, you know? It just kept changing, and I thought [showrunner] Scott [Gimple] and the writers managed to spin so many plates at the same time with brilliant storylines. I was talking to Greg because we did some press in London today, and he said the same thing. I said we were energized, the crew and cast, when we finished the season, because it had been such an exciting story.
Rick’s line, “How many of you do I have to kill to save your lives?,” what did you think when you read it? It sounds like the craziest line, but it was so perfect and got across what he was really trying to do and make these people realize about surviving. And then, of course, he gets his answer right away with having to kill Pete.
Well, there’s a story behind it. As is always the case with 16 episodes, the train’s running, and you’re building the track as you go, and the train’s catching up and catching up, and almost overtaking you. And this was the case here… the speech changed within the last couple of days [before filming], and that line… I remember being in Scott Gimple’s trailer. He was on set. And he said, “I’ve got an idea”… and then he sort of wrote that with maybe 24 hours to go. And he gave it to me, and I read it out loud and I went, “Oh!” And I kept going back to that line. I went, “That’s amazing! Thank you!” It was like Christmas. It was like a Christmas, where you just go, “Yes!” Because you’re absolutely right. It summed up all of Rick’s frustration and yet his sort of restraint, because he’s choosing not to do it. But also, it’s just a damn cool line.
The star of AMC’s zombie epic The Walking Dead opens up about the show’s Season 5 finale and what to expect next season from Rick and Co.
Andrew Lincoln is at home in London, sipping tea that his wife has just brought him. It’s the morning after The Walking Dead’s fifth-season finale, when viewers watched him, as ex-sheriff Rick Grimes, come head-to-head against the leadership of Alexandria. The walled-off community is so wildly unprepared for the inevitable threats of their world that it has actually started driving poor Rick insane.
“You know, I was thinking, ‘How many of you do I have to kill to save your lives?’” Rick growls at the Alexandrians, his face covered in blood (for the second day in a row). Just 24 hours earlier, Rick had confronted Pete, Jessie’s abusive husband, and sparked an all-out brawl in the streets. Half-crazed, Rick drew a gun on Deanna, Alexandria’s leader, and pointed it wildly at the crowd that had gathered to watch—a move that almost got him exiled for good.
But in last night’s season finale, “Conquer,” Rick emerged triumphant: He put a bullet through Pete’s head and convinced Deanna and the Alexandrians to shut up, listen, and do as he says. “You’re gonna change,” he tells them. Welcome back to the Ricktatorship.
Andrew Lincoln hopped on the phone with The Daily Beast to talk about whether Rick’s feelings for Jessie are real, how Rick is morphing into his old nemesis Shane, and his momentous reunion with Morgan, his oldest post-apocalypse friend.
So Rick proved his point last night about the Alexandrians needing to toughen up and fortify themselves, but Rick also went a little off the deep end there. Some people feel like he was becoming Shane 2.0. Did you think of Shane at all when playing Crazy Rick?
You know, funnily enough, I emailed Jon [Bernthal] a couple of times while I was filming this season, just because I felt, “You’ve been in my thoughts a lot.” And I think that there were definitely echoes of Shane in the Sophia episode [Season 2, Episode 7, “Pretty Much Dead Already”] when he feels like he’s not being heard. In [Season 5] Episode 15, I felt so much of Shane within Rick—that emotional kind of wildness, and also just the fact that he feels like he’s banging his head against the wall and people aren’t listening.
Shane called it, too, in the second season. He said, “You aren’t fit to lead these people. You can’t lead the way you are now. You can’t keep them alive.” I certainly thought of that. [Rick] has had to turn into that man, or at least have part of that man in him. I wanted to physically walk like him a little bit as well. I was thinking about Jon all season, certainly toward the end of it.
Did Shane have a distinctive walk?
Yeah, I wanted to be more sort of hunched over. He kind of tucks his head low, like a boxer, Jon. I kept talking to Scott about that. I kept saying, “Shane! Shane! This is an echo of Shane!”
What is it like for you to play those scenes where there’s just blood pouring down your face and you’re screaming, losing your mind in front of all these people?
It was wild… it was kinda crazy. But also, it’s the combination of a lot of things that have pushed him there. He was trying to be restrained for the sake of all of his family and the Alexandrians. He wanted to do right, he wanted it to work out. But he feels responsible for the loss of Noah, for not being on the supply run, and for keeping his guard down. Then he finds out that Deanna knew about the abuse [that Pete inflicted on Jessie], yet didn’t do anything. And then of course, he’s emotionally charged and physically exhausted from the fight with Pete. That unlocks it.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from “Conquer,” the season-five finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead.]
The Ricktatorship is back.
AMC’s The Walking Dead wrapped its fifth season in somewhat lackluster fashion with the expected return of a fan favorite and two character deaths that set the stage for a new world order within the walls of Alexandria.
Sunday’s finale also formally introduced a new human threat in the form of the Wolves, a group whose booby trap nearly claimed the lives of Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand). The duo cheated death, however, when Morgan (Lennie James) appeared from out of nowhere to save the day and fight off a throng of walkers. The three then came home to Alexandria — unfortunately, the timing was less than ideal as the first thing they saw was Morgan’s long-lost friend Rick (Andrew Lincoln) executing Pete in front of a crowd of onlookers at Alexandria’s meeting gone bad.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Andrew Lincoln to break down the events of the finale and get an early glance at season six.
The big focus of season five was to see if these people are too far gone in terms of their humanity and if they can fit back in to what a new world looks like. Do you think Rick is too far gone?
I think he’s certainly damaged. This season, since getting to Alexandria, it’s very much about Rick thinking about whether he has to change for this world or if the world has to change for him. I think we really got lucky with the gates being opened. But I think it’s going to take Rick some time for him to assimilate. Deanna (Tova Feldshuh) has realized that she’s almost catching up to where Rick is. It’s a difficult one. I defend my character, and I don’t see him as too far gone; I see him as realistic in tems of his own experience of the world.
Season five explored whether or not these survivors were too far gone. What’s the theme of season six?
I’m going to find that out when I fly out to L.A. in two weeks and walk into the writers room with [showrunner] Scott Gimple. He’ll close the door, and I’ll find out if I’m going to die this year. Hopefully that won’t happen! Then I’ll find out the theme of the season — hopefully he won’t say Rick’s death.
[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s “Conquer” season finale of The Walking Dead.]
When it comes to The Walking Dead, Rick is back where he belongs—in control. After taking down a zombie who made it within the walls, delivering a passionate speech, and then putting a bullet in Pete’s brain at Deanna’s request, Rick finally made the Alexandrians see the light in Sunday’s season finale when it comes to what is necessary to protect themselves from dangers both human and otherwise. We spoke to star Andrew Lincoln to get his take on Rick’s big speech (“It was a call to arms, but it was a restrained call to arms”), getting zombie blood poured on him in freezing cold weather, and a possible future love connection with Jessie.
EW: Let’s start with the very end. Rick certainly likes to give speeches or make bold proclamations at the very end of seasons. I’ve noticed this about him—his timing is impeccable. When the end of the season rolls around he always has something very important to say.
ANDREW LINCOLN: Yeah, it fills me with dread that every final script that has happened in the last three or four years, I have to sort of…it’s like a judge and jury. “Let’s just wrap it all up here. No pressure, Andy.” It was an extraordinary final episode. And of course everyone is there. You have to deliver it in front of all of your fellow costars that are still alive, and all the new ones that have arrived—and after seven-and-a-half-months of non-stop filming. So it’s a right of passage. I also look at Norman Reedus and he just laughs at me. He goes, “Yeah. I’d rather you than me, mate.” And he just rocks up and looks sexy. Now I know which part I should have gone for five years ago, you know what I mean?
Plus, he gets the crossbow. That dude gets it all!
Exactly! I texted him—because we send ridiculous texts to each other—and I was signing some fan mail and there was this one photo of me looking suitably deranged in the foreground and Norman just had his crossbow up. And you couldn’t see anything apart from his hair. I said to my wife, “That’s what I love about Norman. He doesn’t care.” All the camera crew just goes, “Could you drop the crossbow, Norman, so we can see your eyes?” And he’s like, “I wouldn’t drop the crossbow. I wanna kill this guy.” That’s what I love about Norman, is that you can’t even see his face on any of these photographs. Brilliant.
We have just one episode left in season 5 of The Walking Dead, and what a season it has been—filled with some of the most action-packed and emotionally resonant installments the series has ever staged. But what are the best episodes ever? I asked the cast (including one person who would not make it through the season alive) to share their picks for their favorite episode ever. See what each selected as their personal numero uno and why below. (NOTE: Season 5 had not begun airing yet when this poll was conducted, so those episodes were exempt.)
“Days Gone Bye” (Pilot episode: season 1)
“The first. It’s always the first, because it’s just extraordinary. Only because I was finding my way, it was Frank [Darabont], and just the scares. I loved it. It was really exciting, and terrifying, and just euphoria. And I think that was just kind of connecting. I will always harken back to riding a horse into downtown Atlanta, being chased by 500 zombies. That doesn’t happen that often in one’s career.”
[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only of you have already watched Sunday’s “Try” episode of The Walking Dead.]
Going on set as a reporter seems glamorous, but here’s the reality: It can also be super tedious. You sit and watch the same shot, filmed over and over, and then watch that same shot filmed over and over again from multiple other angles. What seemed cool the first time may not seem so cool the 30th. This isn’t a complaint, mind you, but rather an illustration of the reality of what most set visits are like. But occasionally you see something truly extraordinary. And I was fortunate enough to be on set last November for the filming of the big climactic fight scene between Rick and Pete that ended season 5’s penultimate episode and aired this evening. And I could have watched 100 more takes and been riveted every single time.
There is a reason fellow cast-members fawn over Andrew Lincoln. The commitment that guy brings not only to every scene, but every rehearsal when cameras are not even rolling, is truly stunning. I was honestly blown away by what I saw as Lincoln went full animal mode for this scene, bursting with physicality while teetering on an emotional ledge. And he stayed in that headspace all throughout filming, even in between takes and new camera set-ups. (Just ask Corey Brill, who plays Pete, and had to listen to Lincoln cursing into his ear just before cameras started rolling.) It was super impressive stuff (and yes, maybe a little bit scary).
I spoke with Lincoln after he filmed the intense sequence to get his take on how he prepares for such a scene, and our chat offers a pretty fascinating window into how the star of the highest-rated show on TV goes about his job.
EW: That was such a physically and emotionally charged scene. How do you get yourself ready for something like that?
ANDREW LINCOLN: It feels like the story’s been heading to this point for a few episodes. When I read the script I knew that there was a big thing that needed to be tackled with pretty much everything that I had—like you say, physically and emotionally. It’s amazing how playing this guy for five years now and also having relationships with a lot of the principal cast that go beyond the story—they’re very deep relationships with crew and cast. I mean you can feel it on set. It was funny because one of the new actresses whose joined us, she came up to me after the day and she said, “I haven’t been on a set like that. That’s a film set you’ve got going on because the crew are silent.” I think the crew is silent because they know that I’ve got to do my job, you what I mean? They know that there’s a big scene. In fact, that scene could have been, and we spoke about it, it could have been the season finale just because of what happened in the context of the story.
Don’t miss the The Walking Dead season five finale this Sunday (March 29th) on AMC!
I’ll start catching up on missing screencaptures from seasons two to five once the show is on hiatus.
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Online since: 10 January 2013