- “The Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln is leaving the show after nine seasons.
- In a heartfelt letter to the press, Lincoln outlined his journey on the show. He’s starred on more than 100 episodes.
- Lincoln estimated killing over 400 zombies during his time on the show and apologised for the time he “bit a man’s throat out” on season five, though he said it tasted like chicken.
- INSIDER was among the outlets to receive a copy and thought fans of the show would enjoy reading Lincoln’s words. You can view the full letter below.
Andrew Lincoln is saying goodbye to “The Walking Dead.” Before his final two episodes as Sheriff Rick Grimes air on AMC, the network sent out a farewell package to press marking Lincoln’s departure from the series.
INSIDER was among the outlets to receive a copy of the cover sheet to Lincoln’s final episode of “The Walking Dead,” “What Comes After,” which will air Sunday, November 4. The episode is directed by executive producer and visual effects makeup supervisor, Greg Nicotero, and is written by former showrunner Scott M. Gimple and longtime show writer Matthew Negrete.
The kit came along with a photo of Lincoln. On the back, is a long, one-page letter from the actor outlining nine years on the zombie drama. In honour of Lincoln’s departure, it only felt right to share the letter with his fans as well.
“It’s been the most exciting, challenging and satisfying role of my career – and for the best part of a decade, the greatest adventure of my professional life,” wrote Lincoln. “This season feels like the show I fell in love with all those years ago, and the world we were always heading toward when we wrapped the pilot episode.”
In the letter, Lincoln estimates having killed over 400 zombies (his rough count) and needing his iconic cowboy boots resoled a dozen times from normal wear and tear. He also makes light of some larger moments on the show, noting he “lost a girl… that didn’t go well,” most likely in reference to the disappearance of Carol’s daughter in season two.
He also references his co-star Norman Reedus’ “extraordinarily luscious hair.” The two stars were known for having quite the prank war on set over the years.
Lincoln ended his letter with a nod to one of several weapons Rick uses on the show.
“Until our paths cross again. Keep Calm and Carry a Red Machete,” Lincoln wrote.
He memorably uses it on season five to take down cannibal leader, Gareth.
You can read Lincoln’s letter in full below.
For coming with us on this journey.
For the nine years of fear, heartache, anger and, let’s face it, guts you’ve shown by making it through these 115 episodes and counting. And for services to journalism that go way beyond any civilised levels of human endurance.
For understanding that despite the high volume of undead, this is actually an ongoing story about what it is to be alive. A story of hope, family and friendship. People with nothing in common discovering that they have everything in common. United in their search for humanity and a place to call home. A story that has perhaps even more relevance now than it did when we began.
It’s been the most exciting, challenging and satisfying role of my career-and for the best part of a decade, the greatest adventure of my professional life. This season feels like the show I fell in love with all those years ago, and the world we were always heading toward when we wrapped the pilot episode.
By my own rough count, I’ve killed over 400 zombies during the apocalypse. Lost a horse, found a horse. Lose a girl… that didn’t go well. Ate a dog once. Wore a meat poncho twice. Escaped from a bunch of hipster cannibals. Not to mention I’ve been shot twice, baseball batted, stabbed three times, bit a man’s throat out (I’m sorry-that was weird-that was weird-and tasted like chicken), and had my cowboy boots resoled… 12 times.
We began as an indie movie, and years later became a three-letter acronym (wtf?). And along the way, we’ve had the unique pleasure of meeting zombie enthusiasts all over our beautiful blue planet. From Tokyo to Trinidad, people have been united by their love of this story of survival… and Norman Reedus’ extraordinarily luscious hair.
It’s been a wild ride, shaped by the relationship the show and the fans of the show, and in no small part you good people of the press.
I look forward to following your coverage of the show and my friends in Atlanta for seasons to come-what they have planned is quite incredible.
So thank you.
For all of it.
For the good, the bad… and of course, we wouldn’t be a free press… without the ugly.
Until our paths cross again.
Keep Calm and Carry a Red Machete…
“What Comes After” will air on AMC Sunday, November 4 at 9 p.m. The synopsis for the episode reads, “Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the future he and Carl envisioned.”
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