During a post-mortem interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Walking Dead” lead Andrew Lincoln opened up about what went into the big moments from the season opener. Spoilers ahead for the episode, which you can read a recap of over on Spinoff, which saw Rick Grimes make the first of many grisly choices this season.
For those of you that did tune in last night, you know that the episode welcomed and bid farewell to Ethan Embry, the ’90s teen movie fan favorite who enjoyed the entire life cycle of a “Walking Dead” castmember (life, bite, death) in one episode.
“Ethan was the sweetest,” said Lincoln, whose character Rick had to put a knife in the back of Embry’s character’s head post-bite. “Such a talented amazing guy, welcomed to the show, and then had to take him out again. He said, ‘No, it’s great! I watch it with my son, man! I’m thrilled you’re taking me out! And I get bit, I get the whole zombie experience.’ There was one day on set I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ It was his first day. We killed him on his first day, as we like to do. He had a big hole in his neck and I think he was smoking one of those electronic cigarettes, and I thought it was going to come out of the side of his neck. I think he was Skyping someone or doing FaceTime with someone, and he got all the zombies to do the ‘Thriller’ dance behind him. He was looking at me like, “Are you kidding me? Check this out!” He was completely like a tourist sending all these links back to his son.
“He was a brilliant actor,” continued Lincoln. “It’s that thing I say every time we kill someone off: ‘Do we really have to take this guy down?’ Because he’s amazing, and also he gave voice to the rebellion that was happening in Alexandria, and did it so well, so grounded. I really bought the fact that he was a working man, but someone who wasn’t willing to concede to this maniac Rick.”
Lincoln also revealed that he accidentally punched a hole in the wall of a set right before filming some of the episode’s most intense scenes.
“I didn’t realize that the great design team had put in a false wall. I’m not going to pretend that I have superpowers that I can punch through walls. I was getting psyched for a scene and I just thought I’d hit the wall a couple times. They’re setting up this shot and Greg Nicotero’s directing. He went ‘Andy, Andy,’ and I just pushed and it went all the way through the wall. I went, ‘I’m so sorry. Is that in shot?’ They went, ‘Directly in shot.’ I felt like an idiot. I think they had to re-patch it for the actual take, but I just got a bit overexcited and got carried away with it.”
“The Walking Dead” returns on Sunday on AMC for the second episode of it’s sixth season.
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