Andrew Lincoln Confirms Return Of Rick's Beard & Talks Season 6 Threats

When I heard I had to the chance to speak with Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, I wanted to see what questions other fans like myself wanted answered.

After polling Twitter, several people responded and wanted to know if Rick Grimes would grow his beard back.

You asked, Andrew Lincoln answered.


CB: I'll tell you what, that season premiere has a cliffhanger which could've been a season finale, no doubt.

AL: It's funny you say that because when I first read it, I talked to Scott Gimple about it, and said, 'This feels like an end of season.' And he said, 'That's kind of what it is but we're shifting it around. It's like a season finale opener." The jeopardy that we face at the end, in the last 30 seconds of that episode, is like an arrow that shoots through the next nine episodes and it is ballistic what goes down.

I can't wait! I need episode two!

You're not the first and you certainly won't be the last. It's neat, man. I think Scott and the writers continue to do this incredible conjuring trick, making each episode, and you just want more and more and more, and they make cliffhangers and everything so beautifully.

I went ahead and polled our Twitter followers for a question to ask you and the big resounding response was, "Is the beard coming back?"

Oh! Very good! Yes, it is! There will be a beard of sorts. I'm not talking the full-throttle ZZ Top beard I was sporting last year - but I certainly think that you may be seeing Rick more circa prison. End of season 2ish. More the general. I want to get back to the general look. Facial hair but certainly not unruly facial hair.

I feel like the beard can be a good indication of where Rick is at mentally.

Yeah, well, I'm not so sure. Even shaven he's still pretty unstable. Come on! No, I think that there's... Scott has always said he wanted to sort of gage his mental condition by length of facial hair but I'm not so sure that's quite true. I think it's very much a direct pick-up from the last season, even though, as you know having seen the first episode, we play with time. It's a week. That's what we're looking at since the shooting incident. You meet a man who is very, very adamant, "I'm not gonna risk my family's safety for anybody." If people can't come with us, we're gonna cut you. You're weak in the shaft. You've got to keep up or you're not gonna make it. I think that there are some compromising scenes in the first episode with how he's trying to educate these people in the world. He's not willing to have a situation that we had last season where people mess up and we almost lost people because of the walkers and there are big threats out there this season. Bigger than we've ever faced.

Bigger than the massive walker horde?

Yep! Oh, yeah. This is a very, very full-tilt season. Since we're almost in the last four now, you realize how big it is. The pace of it is so intense. Rhythmically it's been interesting doing it over six years. This time, I've realized we come out punching this season and w e don't let up for a good seven, eight episodes. Even then, looking at the other episodes that we're shooting now, they're all huge in their own way. They're all unique. Very, very good story telling from the guys.

Do you think you'll ever find a way to top killing somebody so creatively as you did when you had to bite Joe's throat out?

[Laughs] You know, I doubt it. That was pretty... I remember when I read that episode and I said, "There's a line in the sand, isn't there Scott? About the amount of violence we're allowed to show?" I said, "Are we overstepping it do you think with the neck bite?" And he said, "No, I don't because this is a man who would do anything to protect his son." When we did it, it made complete sense. I think we're now into an area of the story that I don't quite know yet because we're not one hundred percent sure, where we're going face some very, very formidable and scary and dangerous folk. I'm not gonna say any more than that but I'm sure that knowing the show and knowing the writing of the show that Rick will have to face a few other moments of jeopardy because that's what we do. And when he's put in a corner like that, you know, he's willing to do pretty much anything. All I would say is, hold that thought.


See also: Andrew Lincoln Campaigned To Have Rick Grimes Lose His Hand


We can't say for sure, but, "We're going face some very, very formidable and scary and dangerous folk," sounds a whole lot like Negan and the Saviors, especially considering Lincoln and crew are currently filming the late episodes of season 6. Based on the pace of the show in equivalence to its comic book counterpart, Negan and his band of crazies are on par to come into play around that time.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 11 at 9 PM EST on AMC.