Former The Walking Dead actor Chandler Riggs claims he was shocked at the exit of his on-screen father, Andrew Lincoln. After appearing on the AMC zombie apocalypse series since its very first season, Riggs was surprisingly killed off in The Walking Dead's most recent run, as his character, Carl Grimes, succumbed to a routine zombie bite. Riggs' exit came with no small amount of controversy. Not only were fans upset at the decision to write out a key character but Riggs' own father took to Twitter to criticize AMC's decision to kill off Carl, heavily suggesting that the actor had no desire to leave the show.
Unfortunately, The Walking Dead's exit drama didn't stop there and shortly after the conclusion of season 8, reports began to emerge claiming that the show's lead actor, Andrew Lincoln, had decided to leave his role as Rick Grimes. Neither AMC nor Lincoln himself have officially confirmed the news but fellow actor Norman Reedus posted an ominous looking farewell on social media and a frequent director on The Walking Dead directly addressed the news online before quickly deleting his post.
Speaking at the Fandemic fan convention, Chandler Riggs says he was shocked at the reports of Lincoln quitting The Walking Dead but can understand the reasons behind his decision. Asked by Good Day Sacramento's Kevin Hernandez if he was shocked by the news, Riggs replied:
"Of course, yeah. I mean Andy has been on the show so long and he's had to leave his family every single year, so I was surprised but at the same time it's gonna be good for him to get back to his family and raise his kids... I haven't actually [talked to him about it], I haven't talked to him in months but, yeah."
While it's clear that Riggs doesn't have any insider knowledge with regards to Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead, his suggestion that spending more time at home is the most likely reason for the actor to depart is certainly in line with what many fans assumed to be the case. Despite his gravelly American tones in The Walking Dead, Lincoln was born in the United Kingdom and, as Riggs states, is forced to leave his family for long periods in order to film on TWD.
In the same interview, Riggs also makes some interesting comments regarding his own departure from The Walking Dead. The young actor hints at a certain level of fear at the prospect of leaving the role that made him famous and once again implies that the decision to kill off Carl is something that he had no input over, claiming "it wasn't fun having to leave the show."
If Carl's death seemed like a bad idea to some fans at the time, the reports of Andrew Lincoln's impending exit make the decision look even more foolish in hindsight. While losing Rick Grimes would always have been a huge blow for The Walking Dead, the impact could've been softened by shifting focus onto Rick's son, with Carl Grimes still a hugely important and popular character in the comic books to this day. However, with Carl already gone and Rick seemingly set to follow, there's a strong argument to be made that The Walking Dead simply cannot continue successfully.
The Walking Dead season 9 is set to premiere later this year.
Source: Good Day Sacramento