Walking Dead Star Reveals How Intense Andrew Lincoln Really Was On Set

The Walking Dead Rick Grimes Andrew Lincoln AMC
(Image credit: Jackson Lee Davis / AMC)

Andrew Lincoln was on The Walking Dead for a long time before leaving, and that means he got to hang out with a lot of co-stars. One of them has revealed just how intense Lincoln really was on the set, and his answer may (or may not) surprise you.

As fans will likely recall, Andrew J. West played Gareth on The Walking Dead, the leader of Terminus, which was a group that turned out to be cannibals. West’s character was introduced at the end of Season 4 before his storyline went full-blown in Season 5. So, he spent some quality time with Andrew Lincoln.

Andrew J. West revealed what his up-close-and-personal experience with Andrew Lincoln entailed. As you can imagine, for a show where lives often hang in the balance, and the fight for survival can hinge on a single decision, being on The Walking Dead is intense. About his time co-starring with Lincoln, West told Talk Dead to Me:

He is so method. He is, look, he’s the nicest, warmest, most welcoming dude in the world. I love him to death. I had such a great time working with him. He takes his job so seriously and I loved it. But, I will say I probably still have welts on the side of my body from when he was whacking away at me with a rubber machete during the church scene. I think six years later I’m still healing from that. The guy, he’s so committed to what he’s doing and he’s so intense.

Rubber machetes never sounded more painful. Of course, there is a lot that goes into making a scene from The Walking Dead realistic. Just ask Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Morton after that crazy scene they did together. As for Andrew Lincoln, it turns out that there was a ritual he did to get into intense scenes beforehand, according to Andrew J. West, who explained:

He would have this, like… but he had this sort of like routine he would go through when we would do like a really intense scene to get himself pumped up. It was almost like some sort of bizarre raindance and sort of like grunts and moans and I never even heard his real accent until I went to the wrap party. He’d stay in his accent. We’d go to lunch hour and it would occur to me like an hour in, ‘You’re still talking like Rick talks.’

It sounds like Andrew Lincoln got deeply into character. So much so that Lincoln, who is British, kept Rick’s accent going even when cameras were not rolling on The Walking Dead. The method acting did not stop there, which makes you wonder if Thomas Jane would have done the same when playing the role on the series he was once desired for. On Lincoln’s method maneuvering, Andrew J. West shared:

When we did that church scene, my death scene. The way they shot that was they gave Andy a machete that was made out of rubber – hard rubber OK? They wrapped my entire body in padding and you know they were like, ‘Look we want this to look really real so just go for it.’ And that was all Andy Lincoln needed. He got the greenlight and he just whaled away on me… I was fine, but it was terrifying to say the least.

Andrew Lincoln’s dedication sounds pretty legendary, and it undoubtedly left an impression on Andrew J. West, who was not on The Walking Dead for the longest time. West’s Gareth met his end at Rick’s hand via that aforementioned machete. While actors are supposed to fake pain and anguish, West’s was sort of real when it came to his death scene.

Rick Grimes had to dispose of the cannibal, Gareth, and by the time they came toe-to-toe for the last time, Rick had had it. Apparently, Andrew Lincoln’s intensity was quite palatable as he portrayed Rick’s fury upon Gareth. After all of the horrible things that Gareth had done, Rick had reached his boiling point on The Walking Dead, and Lincoln’s performance followed suit.

After nine seasons, Lincoln left the zombie drama in 2018. His time as Rick Grimes is still far from over, though. To many fans’ surprise, Rick survived his time on The Walking Dead and Lincoln will reprise his role as the fan-favorite for a spate of upcoming Rick-centric movies.

You can only imagine what he will be doing as he continues to stay in Rick’s skin moving forward. Andrew Lincoln joins a lot of famous actors in taking a method approach to their performance, and it seems to have worked out well for him.

The Walking Dead’s Season 10 finale has not aired yet. The much-anticipated installment is expected later this year. In the meantime, enjoy the wait with this summer’s premieres. To catch Andrew Lincoln in past episodes (including that one with the rubber machete), you can check out previous seasons of the zombie drama on Netflix, along with lots of newly arriving 2020 content.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.