It's been nearly two years since Chandler Riggs starred in an episode of The Walking Dead, but the longtime Carl Grimes actor hasn't escaped the "Coral" nickname. The moniker became a widely circulated meme after Season 3 episode "Killer Within," where Carl was forced to shoot mother Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) to prevent her from reanimating when she died giving birth to Carl's half-sister Judith. A grief stricken Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) bemoaned the loss, and his pronunciation of "Carl" — Lincoln is English — populated the good-natured nickname, embraced by both Lincoln and the wider fanbase who still refer to Riggs as "Coral."
"It’s kinda died down over the years, but yeah, whenever I’m at conventions, I hear someone yell, 'Coral' on the regular, so it definitely has not stopped," Riggs told Geek Tyrant when promoting new movie Inherit the Viper, a crime-thriller where Riggs co-stars alongside Josh Hartnett and Bruce Dern.
Riggs hasn't shed the "Coral" nickname, but he did shed Carl's long hair when his role in Viper meant he had to sport a mullet during filming. The unfashionable hairstyle, Riggs added, was the "hardest part" of his role as mixed-up teen Cooper.
"Getting into the mullet, you know I had super long hair from The Walking Dead before, and it was right before I did the film, so you know, when I got to the hair and makeup trailer and they said, 'we’re thinking of doing a mullet,' I was like, 'oh boy, this is gonna look awful,'" he said. "And yeah, it looked pretty bad for like two weeks. So I’m pretty glad to have moved on from that."
"Spending so much time with him over the years, I’m pretty sure he spent more time with me than he did with his actual kids. But yeah, he taught me so much over the years, not intentionally, but just by being on the set, and just by doing the things that he does," Riggs said of Lincoln. "It was always so inspiring to see him come to set. He knew every single word of every single scene we were shooting for the whole week, down to each word in the stage direction."
Riggs continued, "He knew exactly everyone else’s lines. He knew the script inside and out, and seeing the dedication he put into that role, and seeing how well it paid off, especially now, going back and watching the show, it’s just so incredibly inspiring. I’m just so lucky to have been able to have spent so much time on the set with him."
TWD Season 10 returns with new episodes Feb. 23 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.