Photo: Gene Page/AMC
Everyone’s obsessing over the exit of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes on AMC’s The Walking Dead, down to the very last detail, because that’s what happens when an iconic character exits stage left after eight seasons.
Lincoln filmed his last shots as Rick Grimes on June 26. Entertainment Weekly was present for his last day of shooting and revealed that “Rick will walk through a pile of bodies—many nameless to Walking Dead fans; some, not so nameless.”
In between takes, Lincoln paced around and sang the lyrics out loud to Annie Lennox’s No More I Love You’s as he listened on his iPhone earbuds. He then exchanged hugs with his co-stars, including Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan. “I’m scared, man,” Lincoln said. “I’m nervous. F—. It’s over, man. This is it. It’s over.”
In an interview with ComicBook, The Walking Dead’s Chief Content Officer Brandon Davis revealed that there was a long run up to Lincoln’s exists that included many conversations but what it all boiled down to was that it’s about the story. “You find the story and you lean into that,” Davis said. “Andy Lincoln is a storyteller and he did too.”
Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly, “The plain and simple answer is that it was the right time for my family,” speaking of his wife and two kids back in England. “The fact of the matter is, I can shut off my heart for a good distance, and I’ve had to do it for eight years, but I have to come home. It’s a very painful decision, but it’s the right decision.”
And after eight seasons, it was only fitting for Lincoln to go out with a bang, with a farewell dinner from The Walking Dead cast and crew. There was a cake shaped like Rick Grimes’ cowboy boots and a large skeleton arm holding a heart with a note that said “With Love, Your AMC Family.”
Lincoln thanked the cast and crew by saying, “I just want to say I’ve had so much fun on this episode. It’s the most fun I’ve had since the very first one. There is not enough time left on the planet to thank all of you. I love you. Thank you so much for your blood, sweat, and tears.”
The Walking Dead returns for season nine on October 7 at 9/8 C on AMC.