Saying goodbye to a job can be both a pleasure and a pain, depending on the circumstances. For The Walking Dead's Chandler Riggs, his character Carl's impending death in the midseason premiere fits squarely into both categories. On the one hand, moving on from the show will allow his career to blossom, but on the other, it means leaving the people he spent his formative years with. Speaking with CinemaBlend and other outlets on a conference call ahead of the midseason premiere, Riggs shared the one thing that he won't miss about The Walking Dead after he's gone.
I won't miss having to go through any more death dinners and watch the other characters and cast members that I'm really a part of go. But you know, I actually loved my time on the show. I don't regret any of it ever, and it was definitely the best experience I could have asked for. I'm okay with being off the show.
Chandler Riggs was ten years old when he started working on The Walking Dead, and he turned 18 during the Season 8 production. Out of everything he experienced during that time, it's honestly no shock that the element he's glad to put behind him involves the cast and crew's death dinners, which are held every time a cast member gets killed off. Wakes and funerals were some of my least favorite thing in the world when I was a kid, so I can't imagine I would have been overjoyed to experience multiple funeral-ish celebrations a year, especially for people I knew well. After all, The Walking Dead does not skimp on killing off main characters, which should be obvious, considering the topic at hand.
In Season 1 alone, The Walking Dead killed off Amy, Jim, Ed and Jacqui, not to mention Dr. Jenner and other short-term characters. And Season 2 took out Sophia, Dale and Shane, among others. That's a lot of death dinners to attend for a kid who probably shouldn't be aware of anything even called a death dinner. And considering just how close he's gotten with all of the survivors that have stuck around over the years, it makes perfect sense for Chandler Riggs to not want to ever deal with these on a regular basis again. I bet he'll show up for a future death dinner or two, though.
During the conference call, Chandler Riggs also spoke about his own death dinner a bit, hinting that it wasn't quite as emotionally tormenting as others have been.
It's super-depressing and not fun to do at all, but it makes people feel a lot better. It's definitely a sad night, but I think me having more of a positive outlook on it, knowing that I was going to move to L.A. and do other movies and things like that, I think that really kind of helped the morale of the cast and the crew.
Hopefully it helped that Riggs' death was introduced and then executed during different halves of the season, which might have given everyone more time than normal to get used to Carl's impending doom. As opposed to the way some characters get killed off suddenly and super-early in a given season, which offers zero comfort.
All in all, it really says something about Chandler Riggs' time on The Walking Dead that he only had one major grip about his eight-year span on the show. To be expected, perhaps, he was far more talkative about the things he loved about working on the AMC drama, such as his big papa Andrew Lincoln, and why leaving is bittersweet.
Being on the show was such a great experience. It was so awesome and I loved working with everyone in the cast and the crew; the writers, everybody. It was a really, really awesome experience. It's really unfortunate to have to leave, but it's great, because now I get to go and do film and other TV shows and a bunch of stuff that I haven't gotten to do before, and stuff that I'm really excited for. So it's very bittersweet.
Will Walking Dead fans see more characters than just Carl getting killed off in the back half of Season 8? Well, there's still quite a bit of wartime to go, so I'm better on a yes. Find out when The Walking Dead's midseason premiere airs on AMC on Sunday, February 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET. And to find out when other death-filled shows will be popping up in primetime, head to our midseason premiere schedule.