‘Walking Dead’ Actor Chandler Riggs Is As Surprised As Everyone Else About Andrew Lincoln’s Departure

The Walking Dead is going through a lot of big changes next season. Not only is there a new showrunner in Angela Kang, but the series may be losing two of its biggest stars in Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan. Of course, the series is no stranger to either type of event. Kang will be the fourth person to take the helm of the zombie apocalypse drama, and AMC has practically turned killing fan favorites into a season finale tradition.

But the departures of Lincoln and Cohan are a bit different from the norm in that it was the actors themselves who decided to leave. What would prompt a star to walk away from the #1 rated show on television? In Lauren Cohan’s case, it was career related. As far as Andrew Lincoln, it’s family.

Good Day Sacramento talked to another The Walking Dead departee in Chandler Riggs, who played Lincoln’s son, Carl Grimes, on the show until an errant bite killed him halfway through season 8. Was he shocked to learn Lincoln would soon be following him off the show?

“Of course, yeah,” Riggs said. “Andy has been on the show for so long and he’s had to leave his family every single year, so I was surprised but at the same time it’s going to be good for him to get back to his family and raise his kids.”

For those fooled by his convincing Georgia twang, Lincoln is actually British and lives in the UK when The Walking Dead isn’t in production. That’s a lot of travelling and time away from the family. The decision to leave seems even more obvious in hindsight considering Lincoln spent the lead up to season 8 talking about ‘completion’ and an ‘end point’ for Rick Grimes, one that only made more sense after the death of Carl.

“Searching for his wife and his son were the two engines that kept this man alive at the beginning of the show, eight years,” Lincon said. “To lose the second engine that fueled him, at this point, certainly did feel to me personally, not just the end of a chapter but a book, really.”

As for Chandler Riggs, he hasn’t talked to Lincoln since the big news was leaked, but he’s confident a change will work out well for his former dad.

“It wasn’t fun having to leave the show,” Riggs admitted. “But it’s really great to do other things and branch out.”

(via Good Day Sacramento)