The Walking Dead features some actors with exceptional range and a phenomenal on-screen presence, and they’re the backbone of the show’s drama when zombies aren’t keeping everyone tense. And while the past season and a half has remained quite entertaining thanks to the ongoing excellent performances of series mainstays, there’s no doubt been a hole left in the heart of the show since the mysterious disappearance of Rick Grimes, who was presumed dead after destroying a bridge to stop a zombie horde but was actually air-lifted out by a mysterious helicopter.
For the first 9 seasons of The Walking Dead, Rick was the unequivocal main character of the show, and from the very first episode of season 1, actor Andrew Lincoln expertly depicted him as a man of immense honor that encapsulated what a hero should be. But as the character endured years of hardship and trauma, he began a descent into bouts of madness and despair, forcing added layers to Lincoln’s performance that began to showcase his true talents as an actor. Rick fell apart and rebuilt time and time again, allowing Lincoln to perfect his craft and cement the hardened survivor as one of television’s most memorable personalities.
Despite all of his incredible acting, though, Lincoln has always had an aversion to watching himself on The Walking Dead because he feels that it makes him too self-conscious. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly back in 2013, he stated:
The original reason is the fact that I don’t actually enjoy looking at myself. I watch great actors, great actors that I admire beyond all things and I see them replicate, and it’s very hard not to. I don’t want to do that. I just want to leave myself alone as much as I can. It breaks the spell, it breaks the magic somewhat.
More recently, ex-showrunner Scott Gimple claimed that he still won’t watch it, saying:
No, he has not watched it. I will say, one time I was doing a DVD commentary with him on an episode he wasn’t in, ‘The Grove.’ Five minutes into it, I was like, ‘You’re not watching this, are you?’ He’s like, ‘No, no I’m not.’
It would’ve thrilled audiences to see more of Lincoln as Rick on the show, but the British actor began to miss his family across the sea and was therefore written off the series in season 9 with the aforementioned disappearance. He’s expected to return in the future, however, in a trilogy of films based on Rick’s whereabouts, presumably to give some genuine closure for the character.
While it appears that we may not see Rick on The Walking Dead again anytime soon, the show’s season 10 finale airs on October 4th and is certain to be dramatic enough to help you forget about missing your favorite character for at least a little while.