Chandler Riggs Admits It Was Pretty Hard Leaving The Walking Dead

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One of the most shocking deaths in Walking Dead history came in the season 8 midseason premiere, when Carl Grimes succumbs to being bitten by a walker. Fans were both heartbroken over his demise and furious that he’d been written out, as the character survives right through to the end of the comic book run, even reaching old age. As such, folks were looking forward to seeing that arc play out in real-life through actor Chandler Riggs on screen.

There was some controversy back in the day, then, with petitions calling for his death to be undone and the actor’s own father blasting the show’s bosses on social media. Riggs himself, though, is full of positive feelings about his time on The Walking Dead and doesn’t regret anything. That said, while speaking virtually at Wizard World 2020, he did admit that it was a “pretty hard” experience having to leave the series when he did.

“Honestly, being on that show, it was just an irreplaceable experience. It was really all I had known, and it was pretty hard leaving because it wasn’t as expected as I was hoping,” Riggs said. “But regardless, I feel like being off the show now, it’s opened up so many more avenues, and I’ve gotten to play so many other characters that I wasn’t used to playing because I had just played one character for eight years.”

As the actor alludes to above, Riggs wasn’t given much time to prepare for his exit, only being told that he was on his way out during rehearsals on season 8, episode 6, which is where Carl contracts his walker bite – though we don’t discover this until episode 8.

When reflecting on his TWD career, however, Riggs considers himself “super, super lucky” to have been a part of the franchise at all and still feels connected despite no longer appearing on the show.

“I just feel super, super lucky to be a part of everything Walking Dead,” Riggs added. “I’m happy to have been a part of it, to still be a part of it and have people show up and be excited about it, so it’s really, really cool. I thank the fans for keeping me a part of it. It’s really cool, and an experience I will always be grateful for.”

With Andrew Lincoln getting his own movie trilogy as Rick, it’s possible that Riggs could return in some shape or form, probably via some sort of hallucination, in one of the films. In the meantime, The Walking Dead returns to AMC for its delayed season 10 finale later this year.

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