Rick Grimes only has two episodes of The Walking Dead left before he… dies? Abandons everyone he’s been hanging out with for the last 1,000-plus days and travels to somewhere with tropical drinks? Becomes a cue cards salesman? No matter what happens, Andrew Lincoln thinks AMC’s long-running zombie series will be better off without him. He should know: he’s been there since scene one.
“What I don’t want to do is stay too long when I think the show will actually benefit from other people taking the reins and forging a new path,” Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly about his exit. “And that’s what I think is happening now. It’s beautiful watching and seeing my dear friends who are incredible actors doing extraordinary things and turning it into a new show. And that is enormously gratifying.” (It’s not like Lincoln has turned into a ghost, either: he’s already dropped by the set to shadow a director, with plans to step behind the camera for a future episode.) (Can zombies turn into ghosts? Discuss.)
Lincoln’s comments echo something Tom Payne (Jesus) said last month, when he, too, made the case for why The Walking Dead can succeed without its leading man. “I think it’s still coming up with great storylines, and this season moves the story into a different direction,” he said. “Because it used to be like: Rick’s the great hero, and then bad stuff happens, and then they leave and go here, and bad stuff happens. Now it’s like: everyone is settled in their communities, so now they have something to protect in a different way, and they’re really trying to build a society… I think there’s always stories to tell.”
Rick’s final episode airs on November 4.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)