It's been five years and six seasons since Andrew Lincoln first graced our screens as the live action version of Walking Dead comic badass Rick Grimes. Since his first introduction, the character of Rick has grown immensely, both physically (remember that amazing beard?) and also mentally, shedding some of his humanity from earlier seasons and steeling himself for the new harsh post-apocalyptic world.
After seeing Andrew Lincoln become the ultimate Rick Grimes, I now find it near impossible to imagine anyone else in the role, but as our friends over at 1428 Elm pointed out, back in 2010, Lincoln had some stiff competition to beat before becoming Sheriff Grimes.
Take a look at these five other actors who were almost cast as Rick Grimes, and a bonus actor who was also up for the role of Michonne. Let me know in the comments section who you would have preferred:
1. Jamie Bamber - Rick Grimes
Jamie Bamber is most well known for his role as Lee Adama in Battlestar Galactica, though according to a 2010 article, Frank Darabont also had his eye on the talented actor for the role of Rick. You gotta admit – he looks an awful lot like the comic book version of Rick, right? Though Bamber didn't end up as our Rick, you might have recently seen him in The Smoke or NCIS.
2. Stuart Townsend - Rick Grimes
Along with Jamie Bamber, back in 2010 Stuart Townsend's named was also being thrown around for a possible Rick. Townsend is probably most recognizable for his roles as Lestat in Queen of the Damned, Dorian Grey in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Charlize Theron's husband in their marriage from 2001 until 2010. While Townsend never ended up making it as our leading man, I gotta say, I think he could have pulled it off well.
3. Ethan Embry - Rick Grimes
While most Walking Dead fans now recognize Ethan Embry as the ill-fated Alexandria resident Carter, once upon a time he was also auditioned for another role on the series! It was following Embry's exit from the TV series, and interview on The Talking Dead that he revealed that he auditioned for the show way back in 2010, and implied that he had tried out for the role as Rick. Embry even looks a tiny bit like Andrew Lincoln, do you think the Grace and Frankie actor would have done a better job?
4. Mark Pellegrino - Rick Grimes
Dexter and Lost actor Mark Pellegrino was another actor rumored to be up for the role back in 2010. Pellegrino's slightly scruffy look definitely looks a little like Rick, but as 1428 Elm pointed out, he definitely seems better suited for slightly more villainous roles than Rick, so the decision to go with Andrew Lincoln could have been for the best.
5. Thomas Jane - Rick Grimes
The Punishers Thomas Jane was actually Frank Darabont's first choice to play Rick Grimes, and to be honest, I kind of think he would have been a total ass kicker in the role. Jane will be familiar to you from his roles in The Mist (which was directed by Frank Darabont), Deep Blue Sea, and the HBO series Hung. Unfortunately, after HBO passed on The Walking Dead and the series found a home with AMC, HBO wouldn't allow Jane to take on the role of Rick, which paved the way for Andrew Lincoln to scoop it up.
Bonus: Rutina Wesley - Michonne
Rutina Wesley may be best known for her long running role as Tara Thornton in vampire series True Blood, but she was also considered for the role of the katana-wielding badass, Michonne. However, eventually Danai Gurira won the role, I think we can all agree that while Rutina Wesley is great, Danai Gurira is the ultimate Michonne.
The mid-season finale of 'The Walking Dead' airs on Sunday, November 29th on AMC.