The Walking Dead has been one of the scariest shows on television from the very beginning, but ratings have proved that it's the kind of scary that viewers absolutely love. As it turns out, there were some real-life frights way back when the first episode of the series was filming, as Andrew Lincoln apparently scared the crap out of Jon Bernthal. While Rick and Shane were longtime best buddies when the action of The Walking Dead picked up, Lincoln and Bernthal hadn't known each other long. Andrew Lincoln shared what happened to scare Jon Bernthal, saying this:
It was the shootout. It was on the roadside. It was throwing down the roadblock and Jon Bernthal was terrified because I was driving and he knew that I had only spent three weeks in the country and I was still driving on the left side of the road. And I had to break 60 to 70 miles per hour and then put the brakes on. And Jon Bernthal is not a man that gets scared often. And after about the third take he just went, 'Andy, Andy, please slow down.'
Evidently one way to scare the crap out of Jon Bernthal is to put him in the passenger seat while a Brit gets behind the wheel for a high-speed car shoot in Georgia. Andrew Lincoln's comments to EW indicate that even if the two actors didn't know each other terribly well that early in The Walking Dead, Bernthal knew enough about how recently Lincoln had come to the U.S. to be more than a little nervous about riding shotgun with him.
In Jon Bernthal's defense, driving 60+ miles per hour before stopping hard in the middle of the road with anybody other than an experienced stunt driver behind the wheel would be slightly unnerving. A man accustomed to driving on the opposite side of the road in another country is probably not somebody who many of us would want as our driver in this kind of scene. It's not too surprising that Shane is wearing his seatbelt as he and Rick speed to the scene of the shootout. We can bet that Jon Bernthal was on the ball with seatbelt safety during filming.
For a blast from the past back when Shane and Rick were pals and Shane hadn't yet gone crazy, take a look at the scene of Andrew Lincoln scaring Jon Bernthal with his driving:
The pilot feels like a million years ago at this point. This scene is a stark reminder of how far Rick has come over the past seven years, and not just because he didn't manage to shoot the suspect between the eyes right off the bat the way he can with zombies now. One of the most significant character shifts for Rick came when he had to kill Shane, and scenes back before they turned on each other are somewhat bittersweet.
Andrew Lincoln will be back as Rick Grimes when The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres on Sunday, October 22 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Shane is probably gone for good on The Walking Dead by this point, but Jon Bernthal will have a series of his own once The Punisher eventually premieres on Netflix. Be sure to check back with CinemaBlend for the latest in Punisher and Walking Dead news.