Sunday, November 10, 2013

Walker Stalker Con 2013 Recap: Andrew Lincoln Press Roundtable

As promised - the audio file of the press roundtable with Andrew Lincoln at Walker Stalker Con! :) And below, the full transcript that I created of said file, for those of you who prefer to read rather than listen ;)

1) Jonathan James ( – We had talked before about the fact that you don’t do too many convention appearances because you have a busy schedule and need to spend time with your family. So…what made you say yes to Walker Stalker Con, and why did you want to support the fans of Atlanta…?

AL: This is my second home…and I always wanted to do something for the home side…Also my family have just flown back to England, I have a spare weekend…when I’m not working, my weekends are sacred. And also, the podcasts are fantastic. I did some podcasts in between seasons…I loved having a direct relationship with the fans. And also, everybody else is here as well, and a lot of grateful undead. You know, there’s a lot of people that have died, and it’s quite nice to see everybody as well, so it just felt like the perfect storm, really. Yeah, contractually we do an east coast and a west coast…but I think that it’s very important that we celebrate this city, because I think this city and this state is integral to the success of the show…for so many reasons.

2)   Joe Blackmon ( – One of the best things…I think you’ve done was…after your wife died…Is there something coming up…in this upcoming season where you have another moment like that, where people are just gonna go ‘wow’?

AL: I’m not one of those actors that watches it so…I don’t know. But…certainly there are some incredible emotional moments as always in the show, and this season in particular. There’s a lot of story, there’s a lot of character development in this season….I won’t talk about myself so much, but I will talk about Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Norman Reedus, Steven Yuen, Scott Wilson…wait for Scott Wilson in the next couple of episodes. Everybody is getting their chance to shine, and we have an incredible ensemble of actors here. I’m not one of these people that goes “Yeah, I killed that scene”…it’s just not my style. I try and just give everything I’ve got every day, and do my best every take. And…losing someone as important as Lori was on so many levels…very difficult, but…there’s something I’ve just read, we haven’t shot it yet, and I hope I get it right. But…there’s something very very big looming that makes me nervous, and a nervous actor is always in my opinion a good actor, because it means you care.

3)   Emma Loggins ( – Obviously you have a very passionate fan base. I’m curious what you would say is your most memorable fan experience that you’ve had?

AL: I think it…will always be the first Comic Con. That was like we were in the belly of the beast. It was one of the most wild and sort of extraordinary days of my life. Because you’ve been working on this thing…I’d been so isolated in that first season…in those first three episodes…I mean I was alone for the first two, and we’d only shot that. So it was sort of revealing it to the world, and certainly one of the most fervent, intelligent, and loyal fan bases we could ever wish for – if you get it right. So…when I heard there was a roar of kind of approval…thirty seconds into the first show reel, the first trailer. People responded to it…I don’t know if it was joy…but I think it was more relief than anything else.

4)   Tara Lynne ( – I think it was at Comic Con earlier this year, you mentioned that every choice or action that Rick makes or takes comes with a cost. So I was curious if there was one particular one that you felt was most detrimental, or at least had the biggest effect on his current decision to kind of step back in terms of leadership?

AL: You know it’s interesting, because I think Sophia was a huge…I spoke…with the writer’s room…between one and two, and I said “He has to mess up profoundly badly.” You know what I mean? If you play a hero, you’ve got to see a broken man.  And I said that to Frank Darabont…in the pilot, when he arrives back at home and his family’s not there and he thinks they’re dead…you’ve got to see a man break, because that’s just..a human being. But then you see the fortitude that happens…I speak about 12 Years a Slave…there’s a beautiful moment in it that Chiwetel Ejiofor does during a grave scene that is a very similar moment…that…in amongst the hell, there’s still hope…when you see a man’s strength. I think Sophia was one of those terrible decisions. He should never have left her, he shouldn’t…and that irrevocably changed him, and caused that divide in the group between Shane…the pragmatic…against the humane…and…I think that the shock and the aftereffect of Lori’s death certainly put him into a place where he was isolated for a lot of last season. And dealing with his own grief and his own…madness, for want of a better…I mean, he was very very distressed and disturbed, and I think that that made him loosen the reins on keeping an eye on Carl and Judith. And I think what you’re going to see a lot more this season is a man taking responsibility for that above all else.

5)   Phantom Troublemaker ( – Clearly you are not from the American South, but your portrayal of Rick is much more than just a learned accent. Your actions, and just the way that you do things and think of people – the ‘being humane’ that you spoke of just a minute ago – how did you come to have such a good portrayal of a southern gentleman?

AL: You know, I just…do what’s on the page…and hopefully bring as much…I can only bring myself to it, you know…but there are things you heighten and you lessen when you play a role. I’m just very very fortunate that this is one of the great roles of my career that I’ve been offered,…and they keep writing incredible character development. There is something about being around a crew that is from Atlanta…and shooting in Atlanta…as I said before, I think it’s integral to the success of the show, the fact that we film it here. It informs…you know, like when you learn a different language, or you attempt to…you kind of become a sponge, and that’s sort of what my job is, really. But I’m only doing what’s on the page and just filling in and bringing my own take on that, I suppose. But thank you for saying that…I’m honored to even be asked, from another country, to do such a seminal kind of role…that is so American. It’s funny, I was talking to…my wife…we were in the car yesterday and the kids were watching Pinocchio, and we were listening to Pinocchio, and we were driving…And it was so hopeful and na├»ve and optimistic and wholesome. And she said, “What’s happened to the world? Why has it gone so…everything is about, sort of, consuming…” And I said, “Not in the South. The South still has that old…there’s a respectability, and there’s…a respect between generations, and a politeness, and a formality, that I think a lot of the world has lost. And I love being here because of those very things. And there’s a courteousness. I love the “miss”, when my wife gets called “Miss so-and-so”, or sir…there are certain things in place here that have been lost in a lot of the rest of the world, that I admire still. So maybe it’s just because I dig it, that it…helps you know?

6)   Mark Poynter ( – We were told not to ask about spoilers, but who on the cast is notorious for having loose lips?

AL: Yeah…Holden…she…freely…Laurie Holden said something I think last season that nobody picked up on. It was at a convention I think, and we all were just ripping Laurie for the rest…because she just let…I think it was a death, I think it was somebody’s death…maybe it was last season or the season before…but we remember, just…and it was taped, the whole thing…and she just…but it’s hard, you know, the difficulty with this is that we’re way ahead of you guys already, and we’re desperate to tell you…we keep saying ‘wait, just wait’, because it plays out…but I don’t think that anybody’s really done a big goof…apart from me, I think I’ve said a goof…have I said something? No, I think that’s largely one of the reasons why I don’t do these events so much, because I can’t stop myself from spoiling things. But it becomes like a diplomatic exercise, you become like a politician in this game. Because there’s so much viral kind of information out there, and it goes so quickly, you have to be very very careful. But I’m desperate to tell you…I can’t wait for you to see this season. I just want to see how you respond to it, because I think you’re going to see some of the best performances from a lot of this cast that you’ve ever seen.  I really do.

7)   Rodney Ho (Atlanta Journal Constitution) – You’re on your third show runner, and I want to ask how different has it been?

AL: There’s great continuity in our show. The crew…I would say 85-90% of them have been on the show from the beginning, and I think that is essential to having a work environment that is so focused and so relaxed. And they know the show, they know when we’re hitting the show as performers, because they’ve been looking through the camera lenses and they’ve been doing all of this for four years. As long as we have scripts, everything just runs…in the show. It’s a beast. And I have to commend…all of these amazing producers that we have. And all of the incredible design team that work very very quickly. They get scripts two weeks before we shoot, and they have to build these beautiful sets. What I will say is that it’s been thrilling this season. I think the storytelling has been magnificent. I think that it’s smart this season. I think you’ll benefit from re-watching episodes, because everything that is said is earned or deserves to be there. Every single line from every single character plays out. And that has been extremely satisfying to read as an actor, but to watch other people perform as well. So yeah…I hope you like it.

8)   Jason Bailey (92.9 The Game) – If you had 100% control over your character, and maybe the storyline – up until now, is there anything you would have changed? And if so, what?

AL: That’s a great question. I maybe…I would have loved to…have had a bit more time with my wife. Sarah Wayne Callies is such a great actress, and I loved working with her so much, and I suppose I would have loved to maybe have had more scenes. But the thing is, the beauty of…how that informed my character was that it sent me off into this crazy place that we arrived at and it was brutal and challenging and scary. So it’s difficult in hindsight…if you change that, you change it…because it changes every other aspect. And I’m very, very happy about who this guy is now and where he’s at. Just because it’s been a different experience this year, playing a guy that…almost like he’s holding himself back…he’s like a man in the traps… he’s reining himself in. But…that may not be for long.

As you can probably tell, this was an amazing experience. Andrew Lincoln gave all of us great, thoughtful answers to our questions, and I feel extremely blessed for having been given this opportunity :)
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