‘Walking Dead’ Star Andrew Lincoln Talks About The ‘Ricktatorship’

If you’ve been watching AMC’s hit The Walking Dead, you know that with just two episodes into season 3, the cast of beloved characters has changed dramatically. Perhaps no character has changed more dramatically than group leader Rick Grimes, who has seemingly cast aside his humanity in favor of hardcore survival tactics.

Andrew Lincoln, the actor who plays Grimes in the AMC hit, recently talked about the dark direction of his character during a conference call with reporters.

Lincoln on Rick’s “ruthless” new direction:

“I think [Rick’s] humanity is pretty intact but I think his ruthlessness or his decision making has very much moved into the Shane point of view … [Rick] is the most isolated within his group and in his relationship with everybody in the group, especially his wife. I don’t think he’s the most stable. I wanted to play almost a Pavlovian reaction to [the prisoners]. Certainly in Season 1 and Season 2, I don’t think he would’ve been so quick to make that judgment call.”

Showrunner and executive producer Glen Mazzara echoed similar sentiments about Rick’s development:

“Rick’s mission is to protect his core group, that’s it. It’s his family and the people who made it off the farm with him. That’s what he cares about. He doesn’t care about doing the right thing, he doesn’t care about other survivors. He is simply focused on the people who made it through the winter with him.”

Lincoln on the future of Rick’s relationship with Lori:

“Sarah [Wayne Callies, who plays Lori] and I have always [played] that these people, they love each other at a cellular level. They’ve been sweethearts, they’re each other’s first and last love. Now that they’ve found a place that potentially could be the citadel where they can start over for the future… for his wife, for everybody else, for the baby, they have to heal.”

On character overlap between Rick and season 3’s antagonist, the long-awaited Governor:

“Perhaps The Governor is an evolution of Rick or a mirror to Rick a little bit further down the line. I always think the thing with Rick is that every death costs. Every death changes him which is one of the great things about playing him. I think The Governor has maybe made peace with that, he doesn’t carry the responsibility and the guilt so much as Rick, so maybe that’s where they’d diverge.”

Finally, on the debut of Michonne:

“Michonne is extraordinary. I’ve seen a sequence [from a later episode] once it’s been edited with their magic work in post. This samurai sword wielding woman taking out zombies… I’ve never seen anything like it. This world we inhabit is wild and it’s kind of crazy but somehow it works.”

You can catch Andrew Lincoln’s full interview at Zap2it, and another with executive producer Glen Mazzara here. Are you a fan of The Walking Dead? What do you think is in store for Rick Grimes?