'The Walking Dead' actor says he found out about Sunday's big reveal before season 7

Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”

Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” brought Negan and the Saviors to Alexandria, but the biggest talking point of the evening was Rick’s reveal to Michonne about the paternity of his daughter Judith.

When Michonne became angered that Rick was giving into the Saviors every whim, Rick said that this was a way of life the group needed to accept now, just as he accepted that the daughter he’s raising isn’t actually his. Biologically, Judith is the daughter of his long dead wife Lori and friend Shane.

Rick carl judith the walking deadGene Page/AMCRick with his kids Judith and Carl when they first entered Alexandria in season five.
Shane rick loriAMCRick tells Michonne that he has known that the daughter he’s been protecting and caring for belongs to Lori and his friend Shane.

Actor Andrew Lincoln said on the series’ aftershow “Talking Dead” that he learned they would be handling the Judith reveal long before season seven from current showrunner Scott Gimple.

“I got a phone call from Scott Gimple way before we started filming and he told me about the reveal of Rick and Judith and it blew my mind only because I understood, it made sense of what was happening,” said Lincoln.

“The choice he [Rick] made with the Saviors, it was a very, very interesting and brilliant way of echoing that heroism that he’d shown with his own child — that he had sucked it up and he just said, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter,” he added. “I love her. She’s my daughter. Even if she’s not mine, she’s still my daughter. I thought that was a brilliant way of explaining what Rick was enduring and capable of enduring.”

Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly they have been working on nailing that scene because afterwards they knew that it would mean that this is something Rick would have been carrying with him every day.

“It was a very, very key point that [shworunner Scott M. Gimple] told me before I even got script 1 [this season]. We talked about it in the hiatus because it is very, very key,” said Lincoln. “It’s a great, great secret that he’s been holding on to for a long, long time. It’s also a very smart way of understanding why he’s behaving in this way, because he’s been behaving that way with regards to his child since the outbreak, since he got the news.”

You can read Lincoln’s full interview with EW here.

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