Walker Stalker Con is the biggest The Walking Dead fan event in the world, and its biggest show is in Atlanta. Andrew Lincoln was featured in a sold-out panel on the final day of this year's Atlanta event. I was there on behalf of moviepilot.com, and here is a list of ten things I learned about Andrew Lincoln:
For Halloween this year, Andrew donned a mask and was able to peacefully trick or treat with his family without being recognized. He also kicked the purportedly undefeated John Bernthal's ass at ping pong.
Entrance to Lincoln's panel at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta required purchase of a five dollar ticket, and the event was sold out; rumor has it there were an estimated 4500 tickets sold. The presumably $22,500 in proceeds will be donated to a charity of Andrew's choosing.
Which charity? No one will ever know, as Andrew Lincoln would like to make the donation anonymously. He is an incredibly humble and generous person, and uses his position of influence to help others in a manner eliciting the minimum - if any at all - accolades for himself as possible.
3. Walking Dead Romance
Although Season 5 set the stage for a possible love match between Rick Grimes and Alexandrian Jessie, Lincoln has previously discussed the idea of a romance between his character and Michonne. He expounded on that a bit at the panel, explaining that that Rick and Michonne are two warriors, and that it would be great to see them hook up.
He also pointed out that the timeline of The Walking Dead has the characters a couple of years into the apocalypse, and after so much time dedicated largely to war, it's time to think about other things...like love...and probably sex.
4. Actors and Characters No Longer With the Show
It has been widely reported that The Walking Dead is an amazing production to work on, particularly because of the intimate relationships among actors and crew. When asked about people no longer with the production, Lincoln stated that, "you meet people, and you lose people, but they are always with you."
While it is not always possible to remain physically with the people who have made an impact on your life, and on who you are as a person or a character, the essence of those people remains part of you regardless of where either of you is geographically.
5. Uncomfortable Things
During this panel, there were many sincere praises lobbed at Lincoln, and understandably so. He is, by all accounts, an incredible actor and an incredible human being. One of the things that is so endearing to so many people is his humility. He is a genuinely humble person. As such, he becomes noticeably uncomfortable when complimented.
This is not to say he rejects praise, or renounces or criticizes anyone speaking kindly of him, he simply becomes visibly subdued, and maybe a bit fidgety when it's happening. Any time someone - whether it be an audience member or a moderator or surprise guest panelist David Morrissey (The Governor) - complimented him, Lincoln averted his gaze graciously, and often shifted focus away from himself in a decisively endearing manner.
Andrew is additionally very uncomfortable biting anyone's throat out, as was required of his character in Season 4.
6. Rick Grimes Influences
When Lincoln first learned that he got the part of Rick Grimes, he was told to watch the film High Noon, and to focus on Gary Cooper's part. In High Noon, Cooper plays an old west, small town Marshall. His character is faced with a difficult situation, one he does not want, but is not able to turn from due to interior driving forces.
Cooper as Will Kane is smooth, intelligent, quick-thinking, but also a bit of a lunatic, at times unable to be rational or to control his temper. He's a REAL favorite with the ladies, too - CLASSIC Rick Grimes.
Andrew Lincoln thinks Norman Reedus is very strange, and "officially out there with the space cadets." They have a complicated relationship, it seems.
One day Andrew gets to work, and someone on set asks what the deal with his car is. Andrew has no idea what the person is talking about. Turns out, Reedus had put a Daryl Dixon license plate on the front of Lincoln's car...four weeks earlier. It should be noted that Andrew did not say whether he took the plate off after it was pointed out to him...
Like I said: complicated.
8. Fun Facts
- Andrew Lincoln is somewhat of a Luddite. He is not familiar with main stream technology or internet culture. He still uses a flip phone.
- Andrew Lincoln does not watch The Walking Dead. He and David Morrissey discussed this a bit, and how difficult it is to watch an episode they worked on months ago, and to get caught up in that part of the story, only to have to go to work the next day and delve into a completely different part of who they are as characters. Lincoln made it very clear, though, that he is a huge fan of the show, and that he and other actors respond to receiving scripts for new episodes in much the same manner as the world does when a new episode is broadcast.
- Andrew Lincoln is baffled by Si Robertson. He finds it fascinating how there is absolutely no way whatsoever to predict what Robertson will say or do next.
9. Season 6 Behind the Scenes
According to Lincoln, Season 6 is the "most bold and ambitious season yet." He lauds the crew, stating they have put in a particularly incredible amount of work and effort into the show for this season. This reinforces everything else I've heard about Season 6, in that production has been exhausting - everyone is genuinely pushing the limits of physical and creative boundaries.
10. Season 6 Insights
During the convention, there was a very strict moratorium on members of the press and on participants asking questions about Season 6. However, Lincoln managed to bring the subject around to new information a couple of times.
The first time was in regard to Rick Grimes having a new catch phrase: "Whuh?" Lincoln demonstrated this new phrase, sounding much less like Gary Cooper, and much more like a very stoned frat brother. It's sort of a combination of "What?" and "Huh?"
The second time was when discussing others' influences on character arcs. For example, Rick's character has been heavily influenced by Shane (John Bernthal), becoming the leader who would do "whatever it takes" to keep the group safe. Lincoln stated a more pronounced character arc would develop with Carl, Rick Grimes's son, and alluded to the Governor.
Is Carl - the boy hero who so innocently and adorably ate a giant can of pudding on a rooftop in Season 4 - going to become a diabolical megalomaniac?
All we can do is keep watching.
Image credits: Anonymous mask (aliexpress.com); Money tree (wsj.com); Zombie Warrior (designbyhumans.com); Dead Beth (sheknows.com); Throat biting (cinemorgue.wikia.com); Gary Cooper (cuttingthebs.wordpress.com); Space Cadet (mtv.co.uk); Si Robertson (how-rich.org); Naked dude (manners.nl); Mr. Burns (alleydog.com); Desperate Glenn (thewalkingdeadgospel.com).