Tele­vi­sion: An­drew Lin­coln: Dead man walk­ing?.............

Walk­ing Dead star An­drew Lin­coln basks in creepy show’s suc­cess, writes Jeff Martin

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

ONE of An­drew Lin­coln’s favourite mo­ments from Walk­ing

Dead came dur­ing his first sea­son on the show.

Here was the British ac­tor shoot­ing his way through a fore­bod­ing ur­ban land­scape now over­run by mur­der­ous zom­bies known as ‘‘walk­ers’’.

‘‘It was one of the great­est week­ends of my ca­reer, you know,’’ he says, his eyes light­ing up.

‘‘We shut down four blocks of down­town At­lanta, and I get to ride into the city on a horse. It was epic.’’

Lin­coln, 40, dis­cussed the show and his ca­reer af­ter a re­cent panel dis­cus­sion at the in­au­gu­ral Walker Stalker Con­ven­tion, in­spired by the AMC show.

‘‘There are cer­tain roles that you jump up and down when you get the gig,’’ he says. Play­ing Ge­or­gia sher­iff’s deputy Rick Grimes was one of them.

‘‘I don’t think I would have been cast in Europe as Rick Grimes, I just don’t,’’ says Lin­coln, who has done com­edy and ro­man­tic roles in his na­tive Eng­land, where he played law school grad Egg in the BBC se­ries This Life.

‘‘I read the script, and I’d never read any­thing quite like it,’’ he re­calls.

‘‘I get to wear boots and ride a horse and shoot peo­ple for a liv­ing? Count me in!’’’

It also comes at a time when sev­eral net­works are in­vest­ing heav­ily in dra­mas.

‘‘This feels like there’s a golden age of sto­ry­telling go­ing on in TV at the mo­ment,’’ Lin­coln says.

The eco­nomics of the tele­vi­sion in­dus­try have al­lowed sev­eral net­works to de­velop orig­i­nal dra­mas, says Jef­frey P. Jones, a fac­ulty mem­ber at the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia and direc­tor of the Pe­abody Awards, which recog­nises ex­cel­lence in elec­tronic me­dia.

‘‘They are pro­duc­ing com­plex sto­ry­telling that is re­ally won­der­ful nar­ra­tives that peo­ple want to watch,’’ Jones says.

‘‘It does seem like a golden age be­cause you’re get­ting not just four net­works pro­duc­ing qual­ity pro­gram­ming but lots and lots of net­works.’’

Last month, The Walk­ing Dead be­gan its fourth sea­son with its big­gest au­di­ence ever.

More than 16 mil­lion peo­ple watched the sea­son’s open­ing episode, which aired in the US on Oc­to­ber 13.

The show is filmed in and around the small town of Senoia, about 56km south of At­lanta. The show’s story line also is set in Ge­or­gia, which meant that Lin­coln had to learn how to sound Southern. When he got the part, he trav­elled to Ge­or­gia be­fore other cast mem­bers to work with di­alect coach Jes­sica Drake.

‘‘She’s amaz­ing, she writes it pho­net­i­cally, and it looks like gib­ber­ish,’’ he says, adding that he would also ask Ge­or­gians to say cer­tain phrases so that he would know what they sound like.

This sea­son, Lin­coln said his char­ac­ter will de­velop a new way of slay­ing zom­bies that doesn’t in­volve guns or knives, though he won’t di­vulge de­tails. He’s come to ad­mire Chan­dler Riggs, the young ac­tor who plays the sher­iff’s son Carl on the show.

‘‘Now it’s time for me to learn from him,’’ Lin­coln says. ‘‘He’s a se­ri­ous ac­tor, this kid.’’

The Walk­ing Dead: Se­ries 4, Mon­days, 8.30pm, FX; Se­ries 1, Tues­days, 9.30pm, SBS2.

An­drew Lin­coln stars in The Walk­ing Dead

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