‘The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs Reflects on Final Episode

Former The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs says the experience of having to kill Carl Grimes was “dreadful,” but he’s happy with the “nice sendoff” that ended his eight-year run on the show.

“I think it was timed out pretty well. I mean, in reading the script, it was really weird because I never thought it was gonna happen until a couple minutes before I found out,” the 19-year-old actor said at Walker Stalker Con Orlando Sunday.

“And yeah, it was really bizarre, and I was like, ‘Man, I have to say all this really depressing stuff, this is not gonna be fun.’ But I did it, and it ended up great, and I’m super happy with my performance. But yeah, the whole experience was just really — it was dreadful to go through, but it was good, it was a nice sendoff.”

Riggs’ time on the series ended midway through Season Eight, where Carl shot himself before he could succumb to an incurable walker bite. The young actor recounted earlier this year he only learned of Carl’s looming fate just before shooting episode 8x06, the episode that sees Carl attacked and subsequently bitten during a scrap with a handful of walkers.

“We got the script for episode six, when [the bite] was supposed to happen. We were doing rehearsals for it and then, after the rehearsals, [executive producer and then-showrunner] Scott Gimple brought me in and then told me. He said, ‘That’s why you kind of act weird after you trip, because [the bite] happens,’” Riggs said.

Riggs has since booked roles in sci-fi Only — where he’ll appear alongside former Walking Dead co-stars Jayson Warner Smith and Joshua Mikel, who played Saviors Gavin and Jared, respectively — and crime drama Inherit the Viper, where he stars alongside Josh Hartnett and Bruce Dern.

Having since relocated to Los Angeles, Riggs is now pursuing a career in music, creating and releasing electronic music under the name of ‘Eclipse.’

“I’m doing that and acting, it's quite a lot to juggle but it’s a lot of fun,” Riggs told KTLA 5 of his musical aspirations, adding it’s “really what I’m passionate about and love to do.”

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Riggs’ onscreen dad, Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln, and Maggie Rhee actress Lauren Cohan are the next major departures from the show in Season Nine.

The Walking Dead Season Nine premieres Sunday, October 7 on AMC.