The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, spoke to Sunday Tribune's SMtv reporter, Buhle Mbonambi about the fourth season of the show and more.
The awesomely gruesome The Walking Dead is back for another season. Buhle Mbonambi called Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, in New York
The Walking Dead (TWD), which airs on Fox on Mondays at 10pm, is one of the most watched shows in the world, with more than 16 million people in the US alone having watched the first episode of the fourth season. New episodes of TWD are aired in South Africa less than 24 hours after airing in the US.
Andrew Lincoln plays the main character, Rick Grimes, a police officer who was shot in the line of duty and fell into a coma only to wake up and find himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. He travels to Atlanta, Georgia searching for his wife Lori and son Carl.
He becomes a leader of the survivors, fending off zombies and other scary enemies. Three seasons later, he has found his family – but there have been some drastic changes.
Andrew and I exchange niceties in Afrikaans. “Goeie more,” he says. I blank out. Surprised. It turns out his mother is South African. After some gory humour about being bitten by a shark in Durban (he was just joking) we talk about TWD.
The third season was very heavy. Rick lost Lori and then Andrea and both deaths hit him rather hard. How has this changed him?
He’s realised he doesn’t want all this brutality around his children. It’s been war and Rick has seen Carl become almost a psychopath – he’s had to kill walkers, and had to kill his mother, Lori, after she got attacked by walkers. So because of that, he’s become very cold. So Rick feels like he has failed as a parent and, trust me, that’s a crappy feeling. (Laughs). So he’s had to rethink his strategy. He has to choose between being a leader and a father. He’s going to have to learn to put his children first. It’s very hard though. Everyone has pent-up frustrations. Everyone wishes life could be normal again.
Is Rick now finding it more necessary to focus on Carl and look out for his family than before?
I think Rick’s relationship with Carl and Judith is very important this season – especially with Carl. He’s growing up and he’s grown up faster than the average boy, so Rick feels like he should pay more attention to his son; to actually try and have a proper father and son relationship.
Is the Governor still the biggest threat to the survivors?
Yeah, he is. He escaped at the end of last season, so with nobody knowing where he is, it’s always going to be a big threat. I haven’t seen David (Morrissey, who plays the Governor) on set, but I’ve heard that he’s been spotted. However, there’s another bigger threat while the Governor is missing in action. I’m sure you’ve seen how many people are dying every episode.
Does the popularity of the show around the world surprise you?
It does surprise me. It’s like every time I heard the ratings after each episode, I thought someone was pulling my leg. But what it points to is that people are now actually back to watching TV together as families. There are so many options to watch on TV these days, but the Nielsen TV ratings system only counts the viewership during the live broadcast, so having more than 10 million people tuning in is a big deal. Growing up, we watched TV as a family. Shows like M*A*S*H were such hits because families watched them together and couldn’t wait for the next episode. I think the same can be said about The Walking Dead.
The show has a new show-runner. What has the transition from Glen Mazzara to Scott Gimple been like?
It’s been great. The great thing about The Walking Dead is that the production crew has basically stayed the same for the four seasons we have been on air. And that’s why I think the show hasn’t been rocked by the changes. The continuity is still there for most of us. Scott has been with the show from the second season, so once again, there’s no major change – he just got promoted (laughs). In all seriousness, Scott has written some of the best episodes on the show before becoming the show-runner.
So we can expect a major death this season too?
Oh, definitely. We do those the best – and, no, I won’t say who it is. (Laughs).
Here's a sneak peak to tonight's episode on Fox at 10pm :
Synopsis: Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyreese set off to find a new car. In the process of clearing brush away from the front door of an auto shop, Tyreese forcefully breaks open wires blocking the door and walkers attack the group through the bush. Tyreese intentionally lets himself be overtaken by a walker, but he is saved by Daryl and Bob. Rick takes Carol along on a supply run and they come upon a house where they discover two survivors, a couple named Sam and Anna. After Carol patches Sam's wounds, the two request to join them at the prison, despite the viral outbreak. Rick decides to let them join, telling them to stay put until Carol and he finish.