A deadset generation-crosser
Stars are puzzled by its appeal, write and
FTER two seasons of zombie drama The Walking Dead, Chandler Riggs’ character Carl Grimes was ready to shake off being ‘‘the sheriff’s kid’’ and show viewers what he was made of.
That included taking the sheriff’s hat his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) wore and claiming it as his own.
‘‘It shows that I’m grown up, it’s something to part me from season one, when I’m a little kid,’’ the 13-year-old actor says during a set visit in Los Angeles to discuss season three, being fast-tracked to Australia on FX.
Despite the realism the actors encounter every day on set (the effects team recently won an Emmy for Best Prosthetics) Riggs says it takes a lot to horrify him.
‘‘I play a lot of zombie-killing video games . . . there’s a lot of decapitations in games like that so I’m kind of used to it.’’
The apocalyptic drama, based on a series of graphic novels, has a broad appeal in Australia and the US, which puzzles some of the adult cast.
‘‘This is something cross-generational, which is unique, that I’m kind of perplexed about, everybody watches it,’’ Lincoln says.
It certainly surprised Sarah Wayne Callies, who plays Lori, Lincoln’s onscreen wife.
‘‘I thought this was going to be a really great cult hit that maybe if we were lucky a million people would watch and we could be proud of it,’’ she says.
Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea, says the generational spread of viewers is unusual.
‘‘I’m always amazed when I come across older people, elderly people, who say, ‘I love your little spitfire character’.’’
Season two ended with the group who’d come together losing touch with Andrea, one of its core members.
Holden says it’s difficult for her character because Andrea doesn’t know if the group went off without her or tried to search for her.
‘‘That was her family, she had a lot of love for them and I think she’s also concerned for them and hope they made it out OK,’’ she says.
All the cast are tight-lipped about where the story’s going but the small band of survivors that are still together are headed towards an unlikely but practical safe house – a prison.
Lincoln loves the fact that Rick calls it home.
‘‘He’s a good leader in that he is continually trying to look to the horizon and I think he realises that this could potentially be the answer.’’
But while the prison might be safe, Steven Yeun (Glenn) says it’s not the most comfortable of surroundings.
‘‘It’s miserable, cold and claustrophobic – it’s gnarly,’’ he says.
Yeun is enjoying the relationship Glenn is developing with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), but says it’s hard for the two to get lovey-dovey in their situation.
‘‘You not only have to deal with the travails of being in a relationship, but you also have to worry about the rats, and living and eating and very basic things.’’
So how would the cast themselves react to the zombie apocalypse?
‘‘I would be terrible . . . I’mnot very practical. I can cook,’’ says Lincoln. ‘‘Zombies terrify me,’’ Callies says. ‘‘I might just drop dead of a heart attack the first time I saw one. Holden thinks she would do better. ‘‘I’ve learnt some things from Andrea. I certainly know how to fire a gun.’’
Andrew Lincoln, Madison Lintz, Melissa Suzanne McBride, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs, Robert Singleton, Steven Yeun, Laurie Holden Jeffrey DeMunn, Norman Reedus and Jon Bernthal.