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The Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln & Greg Nicotero interview

Written by Admin on February 29 2016

DENOFGEEK.COM – The Walking Dead star and director talk about what’s coming in season 6, the future of Alexandria, and the raging grief of Rick Grimes…

Spoilers for anyone not up to date with The Walking Dead.

I’ve long extolled the virtues of Andrew Lincoln’s character in The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes, as one who immediately invoked sympathy. From Rick’s unwanted initial push to group leader, through to the tragic loss of his wife, his bitey, bearded rage and recent relapse into a one-man killing spree that inspired even the most timid of Alexandrians to take up arms and mush some zombie brains, it’s impossible not to feel for him. You may question Rick’s decisions over the years, but you certainly can’t question Andrew Lincoln’s fiercely committed performance.

Joining Lincoln on this season 6B round-table interview was Greg Nicotero, best known for creating bloody murder (literally) since his early days as an effects artist on Day Of The Dead and The Evil Dead II. Nicotero continued his collaboration with Sam Raimi right through to the recent Oz The Great And Powerful, while working alongside pretty much every great horror director over the decades, including Wes Craven and John Carpenter. Since then he’s become one of The Walking Dead’s best directors, starting the mid-season premiere off in spectacular style, blending tension, character work, gore and RPGs into a seamless mix.

Here’s what two of The Walking Dead’s leading men had to say about recent episodes No Way Out and The Next World, the future of Alexandria, and Rick Grimes’ raging grief…

The mid-season premiere was just fantastic, especially as it contained pretty much everything that’s great about the show in just one episode. Despite everything that happened in it, the dividing moment in our house came after Carl’s accident, when Rick decided to leave his side and inflict his own brand of rage on the zombie horde – my wife screamed obscenities at Rick for being selfish, whereas I was much more of the ‘unleash’ mentality. Where did you fall on that character moment? Did you both agree that Rick made the right choice?
Greg Nicotero: That sounds like an Andy Lincoln question!

Andrew Lincoln: Well, I obviously fell into the Rick camp because I had to do it. I know what you mean, but I do think that there is something about Rick and I’ve always sort of identified – he’s like a shark, he keeps moving forward, he has to be occupied. Maybe that’s a male trait, I don’t know, but I think if he gets too emotionally engaged by something or realises that he’s powerless, that is the ultimate… He had to hand over his son to somebody he didn’t know to try and save his life and I think it was unbearable and I think the trauma of what had just happened in the scene where the whole Anderson family bite it, quite literally! That was the only way he could process this trauma and it just got shaped into this fury. It’s also deeply cool to go on a rampage! When that is principally why I’m employed on this show, as a zombie slayer.

GN: And I don’t think there was any intent in his mind that anyone else would join him, he just goes! And we spent the first half of the season showing the Alexandrians and Rick’s group and the fact that there’s a perception that they’re not aligned and the thing that I talk about very often in the show is that it’s one thing to live day-to-day, it’s another thing to look at society and moving forward to next week/next month/next year. You can’t exist without other people and the whole end of the first half of this season was about that, was about making this group of people appear to be one unit.

So when we shot that slashing and the quick cutting at the end it literally morphs them from all these different people into one unit and that unit is now Alexandria and then from this moment on they will be bound together and their dedication to survive and move forward against whatever now future obstacles will appear.

Will that give it a more hopeful tone?
GN: I think so. I mean I think it’s probably the closest we have to a happy ending when Carl squeezes Rick’s hand – we don’t really have a lot of happy endings on our show – even though my ten year old daughter thought Carl was a zombie!

AL: No! [laughing] I’m glad to see your day job isn’t affecting your children!

GN: She exclaimed “He’s a Walker!” and I was like “Yeah the next scene is Carl bites Rick and he’s dead and then the show’s over!”

AL: That’s absolutely brilliant!

GN: But no it’s a happy ending and it’s hope.

AL: That’s right and that’s why it’s implicit in the speech, he says that’s the feeling for the first time, at the end of the battle for Alexandria, that he’s felt hope, since it began. I think it’s certainly a watershed moment in his leadership, he’s certainly going ‘Well wait a minute, I want you to see the new world’ that’s how hopeful it is, it’s a beautiful phrase and I think that’s certainly what we’re going to see. A lot of the show has been them looking inwards and the group dynamic and Alexandria and how can they assimilate, now we’re looking outside the walls and like you say the shots got bigger and wider and more expansive as this season goes on and I think in one direction we certainly see hope and then in the other direction we see something very, very bad coming…

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‘The Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln Talks Richonne, Jessie, Jesus, and the ‘Bleak’ Season Finale

Written by Admin on February 28 2016

YAHOO.COMWarning: Storyline and character spoilers ahead for “The Next World” episode of The Walking Dead.

Rewatch “The Next World” often, Walking Dead fans, because it might be the last time we see Rick Grimes allowed to revel in his new hopefulness for awhile. TWD star Andrew Lincoln tells Yahoo TV the realities of the real world will, of course, rear their ugly heads in the final six episodes of Season 6. And though he hopes he and new girlfriend Michonne will get the chance for at least a few more “lovey scenes,” he teases that a slew of new faces and new threats will take up much of Rick and company’s time, leading to a season finale he calls “bleak.”

Lincoln also tells us how he reacted to the script that made him and Michonne the series’ new supercouple, how we’ll find out Carl’s reaction to the new pairing in a surprising way, and teases some cameo appearances throughout the rest of Season 6.

There is a lot to love in “The Next World,” but I think the best thing is the Rick that we see in this episode, the playful, hopeful Rick that we’ve never gotten to see in the entire series.
Yeah, I agree. When we read it… it’s funny, because we were riffing about it two days ago, and Greg [Nicotero] reminded me that we had had this conversation, he and Norman and I, over an Indian meal. I said, “We need a Butch and Sundance kind of episode. Where these guys are just hanging out.” We pitched it to Scott [Gimple], and Scott said, “I think we may have a point in the back eight [episodes] where this could possibly happen.“ Then Angela Kang, who is such a magnificent writer, got on the case and just dialed into it, this incredibly different flavor of the show. It was a bit unsettling, but quite exciting being on set playing with these characters and messing around and just kicking back with these people. It was a lot of fun. And that is not an expression I’ve used that often in six years about The Walking Dead [stories].

What was the most fun part for you of filming the episode?
It was thrilling to, obviously, have the scenes at the end with Danai [Gurira] and move into this new relationship, this new space with this familiar old friend. That was very exciting and strange and just new. I suppose the most fun bits were every single scene with Norman Reedus. There are a lot of outtakes on that episode. I think there’s a lot of messing around and improvising, and Norman makes me laugh. When I’ve done comedy shows before, I’m pretty bad about laughing. It’s a weak spot, but it’s something I’ve worked on, Kim. Norman Reedus is like a chicken… when he sees blood, he pecks. When he sees me starting to [laugh], he’s terrible. He’s absolutely ruthless.

One of my favorite lines is when he goes, “Let’s put him up a tree,” about Jesus. I just think is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. That’s the thing I love about Rick and Daryl. Rick looks at Daryl sometimes like, “What? You’re an alien. You’re talking absolute gibberish.” That was one of those. They both felt comfortable with each other, and are used to each other, which is what I dug about the episode. It felt like this is an ordinary day, when they’re just hanging. Like this wasn’t an unusual day, apart from what we see at the end with Jesus. It’s astonishing, because it was the first time in six years that we were allowed to just play. Also, this kind of brotherly relationship. In any other circumstances, if there weren’t zombies on the earth, I’d be arresting this sucker. Yet, we’re forced together. What’s that wonderful movie with Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro?

Oh, Midnight Run?
Midnight Run! It’s kind of that. It’s people that really shouldn’t be in the same space, forced to live with each other, and making it work and finding their own little soft spots and weak spots, and just messing around. It was great.

It was also just such great timing after Rick having this realization at the end of the midseason premiere, this new hopefulness. And so much of the humor in this episode comes from the fact that Rick is in this different mindset, and Daryl is just pissed off at the world right now.
Yeah, I think you’re right. I’ve said it before that it’s an endurance test, watching this show sometimes. It’s an endurance test being in the show, but for [viewers] as well. It’s painful, and you deserve some lightness. And also, what are we fighting for if not romance and laughter and all the good stuff? That’s why I think it was, it’s diametrically opposed to the last episode, but then, why not? I think it was a very brave call from Scott and the writer’s room and a surprise, which is no bad thing.

It made me think of Tyreese, and how he had gotten to the point where he questioned if it was worth continuing to fight to survive if it meant giving up his humanity. This episode, as you said, shows us that there are reasons to keep fighting, and that sometimes the survivors actually get to be reminded of those reasons.
That was one of the most exciting things about playing in that space, is that this is, it’s a man with hope for the first time. It’s a community with hope for the first time. It’s almost like you can mark the morning after the battle for Alexandria as the beginning of history. It’s like day one of the new civilization. That’s when we start believing that there is hope for a real chance at rebuilding. I think that that is, of course, going to get smashed very quickly. [Laughs.] You know the way we roll. I do hope there are some other glimpses of this new sensitive, funny, gentle, and more playful Rick.

How big of a factor is Jesus in all of that? There were real stakes involved with the truck and all those supplies, but Rick also seemed to, especially once he had determined that Jesus wasn’t going to kill him and Daryl, enjoy the adventure with the three of them.
Yeah, I think so. I think that Jesus was really clever, and there’s an argument. The episode is an argument going on all the way through. It’s the law of averages, man. We’re going to run into some people. We’re going to get some food. It’s going to work out. It’s time. I think Rick has had a complete turnaround. He says, “I was wrong,” at the end of (the midseason premiere). This is the beginning of a man that really, truly believes in expansion and growth and building a community. He knows that we need people to survive. I think he’s positioning himself very much in a place that is deciding to trust first. Of course, his instinct, his Spidey sense, tells him that (Jesus) isn’t a direct threat. Rick’s a cop, and he’s a very intuitive man anyway. He’s met a lot of bad people in this new world. He value judges Jesus very quickly as not being that kind of threat. And Daryl is the opposite, all the way through the episode. I’m not sure if Rick would have taken Jesus back if he hadn’t been so badly injured. I think there is still a great deal left unknown about this guy, and he hasn’t particularly ingratiated himself to Rick or Michonne by walking into the middle of us, in the middle of the night, naked.

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Andrew Lincoln tells you what is coming up next on The Walking Dead

Written by Admin on December 01 2015

EW.COM – [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, “Start to Finish.”]

If you thought the midseason finale of The Walking Dead was brutal, star Andrew Lincoln has a message for you: That’s nothing compared to what is coming up next. Fasten your proverbial seatbelts, people, because the road out of Alexandria is about to become a lot bumpier (no doubt thanks to that Sam pipsqueak).

We caught up with Rick Grimes himself to get his take on Sunday’s midseason finale, and he was kind enough to offer plenty of insight into a few key scenes from the season 6 halfway point. But he also couldn’t help but gush about what is coming next, although it sounds like fans should brace themselves for more losses to come as the show wades into “deeper, darker waters.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, here we are at the halfway point with eight episodes down and eight left to go in season 6.
ANDREW LINCOLN: The back half is by far the most frantic we’ve ever done, and I think it’s one of the most rewarding — the acting, and everybody, and the story, and just where we go is phenomenal. So it’s sort of a double-edged sword — you’re kind of exhausted and beaten and made it to the finishing line but at the same time you’re like “What next?” It’s exciting. It’s very exciting.

Every once in a while you have an episode that is just action overload. The season 3 premiere at the prison was like that, as was the season 5 escape from Terminus. This was sort of like that as well with the zombies busting through the gate right at the start. What are filming episodes such as this like when you have that non-stop tension and energy?
When we shot it, I thought [director] Mike Satrazemis did a phenomenal job. It was kind of like an impossible episode — we read it and we just thought, “How on earth?” Particularly that first act, where the wall comes down and everybody is spread in different areas and swarmed. Just the logistics of trying to shoot that sequence alone. And also, we spoke about it as well, everyone in Jessie’s house — that single story alone could’ve filled up a whole hour of the show, so I thought Mike did an incredible juggling job of trying to squeeze in the logistics of shooting it.

If you thought that was intense… episode 9 — and I’ve been saying it since we shot it — episode 9 is… well, if you thought that was intense, just wait. I think it’s on par with any of those, and it may be the most ambitious, and the most epic and just insane, emotional, action-overload we’ve ever attempted. When we shot it, it was pretty much all night shoots, and everybody went mad in that episode, and I can’t wait to see the results, because it was bananas. We were all covered in blood and screaming, and it was like nothing I’d ever witnessed before. So you thought 8 was intense? Wait for 9.

What are you saying, sir? I just assumed you guys were going to calmly stroll right through the walkers in your zombie guts ponchos and everything would be just fine and you all would go live happily ever after. Are you saying that’s not going to happen?
[Laughs] It’s all left so well, isn’t it? And merry Christmas, everybody! We’ll see you in three months! it’s going to be fine! Rest assured, it’s not looking good for the Alexandrian crew. Yes, there will be blood.

That was a pretty interesting place to end the episode right there, with Sam calling to his mom as you guys start to move to freedom and throwing the whole thing into doubt.
You know the show as well as I do — that’s pretty much the way we roll. There’s a glimmer of hope, and then it’s smashed to smithereens. Where we’re headed is somewhere very new and different and exciting, but before we get there, there’s going to be a little bit of spillage. It’s going to be tough. It’s just the way it’s got to be. I do have to say that my favorite [before the opening credits] teaser in a long, long time was in episode 8: the ants teaser. I remember reading that, I didn’t see it, but I always loved it. I just thought it was such a crazy, strange, odd, and weird teaser.

I saw the camera starting to pan from the quiet of Sam’s room towards the window and I thought we were going to see the walkers approaching, but instead it was those damn ants.
Oh, I know, it’s so strange! I loved it. I remember reading it and just going “I love this.” I just think it’s really perfect. It’s terrifying and engulfing, just that powerlessness.

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EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Lincoln Talks Negan, Rick’s Relationship With Morgan and More

Written by Admin on October 12 2015

COMICBOOK.COM – AMC’s The Walking Dead returns tonight, and has been squirreled away at New York Comic Con all weekend long to get as much coverage of this and other fan-favorite shows all weekend long.

Part of that mission included a trip to Madison Square Garden on Friday night for the fan premiere of The Walking Dead’s season six premiere, which will air tonight on AMC.

We spoke with a number of actors and producers associated with the show, including Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on the series.

“Every show needs a great baddie, and we haven’t one for a while, have we?” He said when we asked him about Negan coming up. “So it might be quite nice to have one on the horizon.”

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