"It would have been easy for us to fall apart": Jeffrey Dean Morgan talks about dealing with Andrew Lincoln's exit in 'The Walking Dead'
Jeffrey thinks that the storytelling has been super exciting, and the tone of the show got to change. It's not a reboot, it's a new beginning, he feels.
When there is a big change happening in a show, especially if the change ends up being the departure of the lead actor, it is obvious that the fans will tend to go overboard and assume that it will be ruined. But sometimes it might not always go that way. Though it is not something that happens quite often, the cast and crew of 'The Walking Dead' reveal that they have already had a discussion regarding this scenario with Andrew Lincoln's departure as Rick Grimes.
Quite sad watching The Walking Dead premiere. Under a new show runner there’s still some compelling and promising stuff nine series in, just such a shame it’s all coming from Lauren Cohen and Andrew Lincoln, when their exit is imminent 😞— Ellis Whitehouse (@E_Whitehouse293) October 10, 2018
In an interview with Digital Spy, among the other press present at the New York Comic Con, Jeffrey Dean Morgan spoke proudly of Rick's exit, saying: "The way Angela [Kang, showrunner] and Greg [Nicotero, executive producer] and the writers have used this… because it would have been easy for us to fall apart."
"Don't think that we didn't think that there was a possibility that things could go to shit – because they could have, and I've seen shows go to shit if they lose a Rick Grimes-type character," he continued. "[But] I think that it's been used to its advantage. I really think that the storytelling has been super exciting, and the tone of the show got to change. It's not a reboot, it's a new beginning."
In an interview with Deadline, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd also revealed how losing Andrew felt to him. "His presence will continue to resonate throughout the show, even in his absence. I think that, as you know, on call sheets, no one else will ever become a number one. He will always be our number one," Hurd added.
She even spoke about how her Twitter photo with Andrew and her on their first day of shooting will remain the same and never change. "My Twitter photo, you know, for @GunnerGale, is Andy and me on our first day of shooting. That will remain my Twitter photo because, to me, one of the most essential reasons behind the success of The Walking Dead is who we cast to play Rick Grimes," she continued.
"I can’t imagine anyone else doing it better."