Yes, that’s exactly right! We are two, count them two episodes into the new season of AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD and I’m already trying to figure out what’s going to happen. So I personally love it when a few interviews with the main players like Andrew Lincoln as Rick and Lauren Cohan as Maggie happen!
Lets waste no time to hear what they have to say about the new season and where they think their characters are going to go!
Season 4 opens with Rick assuming the role of a farmer. Did you do anything to prepare for this new vocation?
Well I just moved to a farm in England, so yeah, it worked out kind of nicely that Rick became a pig farmer. I planted a lot of trees in my orchard and basically did some farming in between seasons. It was unknown to me but it was a kind of method break. I like planting trees — it makes me feel good about myself.
Do you have experience with livestock on your farm?
We’ve got chickens. I do love pigs and I’m trying to ship them home. I’d love to get some Iberian pigs and get them in our field, but my wife doesn’t want them. She wants horses and I’m losing the battle for pig over horse.
What did you know in the off-season about where Rick was headed?
We wanted to certainly address the Carl issue and his responsibilities as a father to both of his children. On the back of Andrea dying and bringing in the people from Woodbury, we talked a lot about maybe dialing him back. It’s funny, because I think this season can be summed up in a question, which is, can we ever come back from the things we’ve done and return to the people we once were? For a lot of the characters this season, that’s interwoven in their story lines.
Rick’s sporting a burlier beard this season — was that your choice?
No, my wife can’t wait to see the end of this beard! It’s not a very popular beard in the Andrew Lincoln household. My son saw a picture of me in Season 1, and Tilly, my daughter asked him, do you know who that is? And my son, who’s three years old thought the bearded man in front of him had given birth to Rick in Season 1. You can laugh but I’ve got the gray hairs to show it. I’m convinced that every zombie year is like a dog year, it adds seven years on.
That’s grandpa Rick out there!
Are you starting to call me Hershel? Donna in make-up just called me Hershel. I sat down in the chair and she hadn’t seen me for a couple weeks and she went, “Hey, Hershel!” This is no joke.
This season Rick has delegated some of his leadership skills to people around him. Is that something you would be uncomfortable doing in your own life?
Oh no, I gave up leadership when I was about 15. I don’t make any decisions any more. That’s why I’m an actor; they just tell me where to be and what to say.
Last year Rick struggled to keep a grip on reality until the very end of the season. Were you excited to go back to playing him more even-keeled this season?
The attraction of playing the role is you change forever when something that traumatic happens to you, so it’s a kind of release and I think it was necessary for him to find a quieter place to exist. And I think that you meet him when they’re trying to establish civilization and it’s a very different flavor, the first episode, because you see the beginnings of what potentially could be a life for everybody. So yeah, it was strange playing a man that’s not constantly battling with himself and the world, but it was different and cool that way; it was new territory.
What was the moment you realized the farming was such a big part of Rick’s storyline for the season?
The moment I walked on set and saw six little piglets covered in s—. And they gave me a pair of gloves. They actually escaped one day and I had to get them back into their pen. I spent one day covered in so much poop from these that nobody sat next to me the whole day. I had crap all around my pants. And I had a crowd of flies around my crotch, like Pig-Pen, from Snoopy.
Do you like it when Rick is particularly grimy or when he’s a little more cleaned up?
I think it’s important that you know that I’ve worn the same shoes for four years. They’ve been resoled six times; they’ve fallen off my feet, so what do you think? I don’t think I’ve given a good performance unless my shoes have fallen off at least twice a season. It makes me think I’m not working hard enough.
Sporting the beard has definitely given Rick a weary look but at the same time there is Maggie. Coming off last season as newly engaged, she and fiancé Glen are still fighting the good fight but, are children in their future?
After last season’s finale, what were you hoping for your character this season?
I was mostly just hoping to see how all the characters fared from that and came out on the other side. How we were coping with whether or not the Governor was still a threat. What I was most looking forward to, which has really materialized, is a lot more character study, and we’ve definitely come into that this season.
What did you know about Maggie’s story arc going into this season?
I knew that we would have the possibility of a pregnancy and I knew that Maggie’s M.O. this year would be, “Live, don’t just survive.” There’s apprehension about whether or not she could have a baby, but I think she definitely would. Even in today’s society, I don’t think anybody is ever ready for a baby — but that doesn’t make it the wrong choice when you have it.
We you pleased that Maggie and Glenn’s relationship is back to a better place this season?
Yeah, definitely. I think it’s important to see people crack and then see which way they go. If something goes bad and you come back from it, then it’s like OK, you really mean it. And it’s been good to portray that kind of relationship and explore that kind of hope in this world.
I’m told you have a habit of bringing your dog on-set a lot. How does he react to the sight of walkers?
He actually doesn’t mind the walkers too much. It’s funny, if you have any alcohol or spray on your clothes, it’s kind of salty and he likes to lick it. So he actually likes the walkers because they are covered in a bunch of different stuff. I brought him down to the set one day, and on the other side of the stage they were doing an explosion. He ran all the way through the set, through the offices, and pushed the doors open — and he’s small, like 35 lbs — and ran straight back to our trailer. That’s like a half-mile! I felt so bad — I was like I’m never bringing him near here again. So now, I always bring him to one side of the camp, and I leave classical music on in the trailer and I put happy doggy cartoons on the TV and I hire a lady to sing to him… I’m kidding.
After three seasons of playing Maggie, have you taken on any aspects of your character?
She’s kind of chilled me out. Maggie’s Southern influence, being here and I think being a little easier on myself. She goes through a lot of strife, and I think that she comes from a really brave, earnest place. But it’s really been the show overall that’s kind of made me a lot more present. Partly because we can’t know what’s coming in the future. And then, of course, picking up some weapons skills and horse riding skills. I can run with two machine guns now.
Maggie and Glenn have the best room at the prison — the guard tower. What’s the best place you’ve ever spent the night?
That’s a good question! When I was a teenager, we used to go to North Carolina with my family, and we’d all pile into like a beach house. We’d rent like two or three next to each other, because I have a humungous family. There would be like thirty of us and you’d just sleep wherever. I always think family get-togethers when everybody just sort of crashes out are pretty much the best. If it’s more than a few days it gets hard, but for just a few days, it’s the most amazing thing ever.
And there you have it, two of our favorite characters from THE WALKING DEAD giving us a little peek into there characters but more of a really cool insight to how they feel about what they do. We couldn’t be more grateful to AMC for letting us read all about it.
THE WALKING DEAD is every Sunday on AMC, be there to get your zombie fix!