Andrew Lincoln, the star of zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead, has opened up about his reasons for quitting the show during its upcoming ninth season.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the star, who plays Rick Grimes in the drama, confirmed that he has wrapped production on the series for the final time, and explained that leaving his family in London to go and film in Georgia for months of the year had become too difficult.
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“I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older,” he said. “It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.”
He went on to say that filming his final scenes had been like “releasing air, finally”, and shared that the Comic Con panel at which he announced his departure had been a hugely emotional experience.
“It was very satisfying, the last two episodes, in particular,” Lincoln added. “But doing a panel and having to talk to [thousands of] people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The s*** got real, is the truth of the matter.”
As for what we can expect from the new season, Lincoln teased that it will focus on Grimes’ strategy for keeping his group alive.
“Rick Grimes has got a long game, and he knows that unless we trade, unless we look after each community, it’s going to fall apart,” teases Lincoln. “And that’s where we meet a fellow band of warriors just as it’s about to kick off. It’s a fragile peace.”
The Walking Dead will return to FOX and NOW TV on 8th October 2018.