EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Andrew Lincoln, who plays lawman-turned-zombie killer Rick Grimes in AMC’s The Walking Dead. This comes after the agency inked his Walking Dead co-star Norman Reedus, and shortly after the fourth-season premiere drew a record-breaking 16 million viewers. Lincoln, who prior to the series was best known for Love Actually, continues to be repped in the UK by Markham, Frogatt and Irwin, and attorney Geoffry Oblath.
Michael Ausiello is Editor-in-Chief of TVLine.
If there were an Emmy category for rawness, Andrew Lincoln wouldn’t just be under consideration for a nomination, he’d be the frontrunner for the win. The work the actor did on AMC’s The Walking Dead this past season as grieving Sheriff Rick Grimes felt so real that, at times, it was difficult to watch. (He didn’t even watch himself!) Here, the 39-year-old Englishman opens up about how he approached his widowed character’s breakdown and whether he thinks Emmy voters will be able to overcome their genre bias to give him and his hit cable series a chance.
AwardsLine: It was such an intense season for you. How did you recover and wind down after playing all of that rage and desolation?
Andrew Lincoln: It is a brutal and dark place you have to inhabit, but I’m very good at disengaging. And there’s no better way to unplug than having children. Changing diapers is one of the most leveling things that has ever happened to me. Realizing that my children are the center of the universe and not me is probably one of the greatest ways to acclimatize.
AwardsLine: Your former leading lady, Sarah Wayne Callies (who plays Lori, his TV wife), told me last fall, “When Andrew goes down the rabbit hole, he goes all the way down.” What did she mean exactly?
Lincoln: I love acting. I just love it. It’s in my bones. I remember when I was a kid, I watched an interview with Dennis Hopper talking about Jimmy Dean on the set of Rebel Without A Cause. Jimmy said to him, “If you’ve got to cry in a scene, you’ve got to cry. Make it real.” And that’s all that I believe in.