Rick Grimes is in for the fight of his life at the start of The Walking Dead Season 5, with Andrew Lincoln delivering another great performance and proving, once again, why this is Rick's show. In just the first episode, there's enough action, gore, and emotion to fill an entire season and Andrew Lincoln talks about his experience filming the Season 5 premiere. We also discuss why this season frightens him and I find out what's on his "Rick Grimes" playlist:

The scale of this episode really made it feel like you were making a movie. Can you share your experience first reading the script and filming some of those massive action scenes?

"Every department is really on the top of their game. This season, they up the ante. There's something in every single episode that's so filmic and so grand. The first episode is a bloodthirsty, terrifying battle, but there are moments of joy, hope, incredible emotion. Certainly, when we had the table read for the first episode, everyone was so thrilled and so terrified. That episode was like waging a war and was almost as if there was no hiatus. Within three days, everybody was wrecked, and had cuts and bruises. I thought that we must be doing something right, because everything hurts [laughs]."

This season must be quite exciting for you, because Rick's path is constantly changing and he was more passive for most of Season 4. How does this compare to the farming and pig raising you were doing at the start of Season 4?

"It isn't hyperbole when I say that I'm more excited about this season than I’ve ever been. I think you're right and identify something very true. The storytelling, writing, and ambition from the writer's room was extraordinary, servicing such a big ensemble of characters. I think the storytelling has been really brave this season and frightening as well. After five seasons, it's exciting to be frightened again, with where we're trying to push this show. It's a unique experience and I love playing this character."

When we've spoken during the start of the past seasons, you've mentioned that you've read specific books to help prepare. Did you read or watch anything that was an inspiration for playing Rick in Season 5?

"I watched The Godfather trilogy again, because I'm interested in seeing the evolution of Michael Corleone and that magnificent performance by Al Pacino. I also read a wonderful book, called Redeployment, by Phil Klay. It's a collection of short stories written by a marine, who writes like Conrad. He's an amazing writer and that will inform some of the choices I made later in the season."

During past seasons, you've mentioned what's on your playlist to get you ready to play Rick Grimes each day. What's on your playlist this season?

"There's a young English artist, Jai Paul, that I've been digging and I've been listening to the new Arctic Monkeys album, which is amazing. I've also been listening to The Stones, and John Lennon has been really important for me, especially the Yoko Ono band album that's very introspective. I've also been listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, and I've been saying that I could probably encapsulate the two halves of Season 5 with two Beatles songs. The first half of the season is Helter Skelter and the second half, believe it or not, is A Day in the Life. Good luck with working that out [laughs]! And, of course, The Prodigy's Invaders Must Die and Smack My Bitch Up. Because, Jonathan, we are in the zombie apocalypse and that always gets the blood going."


The Walking Dead Season 5 kicks off October 12th with the first of sixteen episodes. We'll have even more coverage of the new season all week, but you can read this interview in its entirety and check out our early review of the Season 5 premiere by picking up the second issue of DEADLY - Horror & Sci-Fi Magazine.