The Walking Dead cast and crew had the difficult task of honoring their leading man properly when he exited the show during production of its ninth season.
Whereas the show typical hosts what are referred to as "Death Dinners" for actors making their departure, Andrew Lincoln got an entire party as the world prepares to say goodbye to his Rick Grimes character. During an interview with ComicBook.com in promotion of Aug. 21's release of The Walking Dead Season Eight on blu-ray and DVD, Jerry actor Cooper Andrews opened up about the actor's send off.
"We did. I hope that's not a secret, but we did," Andrews said. "It was a nice pool party. We got to see cast imitating other cast! But it was just a nice farewell and a big 'thank you' day for him."
As much fun as they had, it was tough to see Lincoln go. "It was rough, that last day," Andrews said. "That last day was rough."
Still, Andrews is quick to point put that there is no way to replace Lincoln as a co-star, friend or presence on set. Having worked as a boom pole operator on the AMC show in its earlier season, Andrews also has experience with Lincoln as a member of the show's crew.
"From the crew side, I'm going to explain it," Andrews said. "From the crew side, he's the guy that would run up from where we're shooting to the 100 yards or 50 yards to where the props table is. And he would prop himself up, and then come back, instead of waiting for them to come to him. He was proactive, he was the one that got the day moving."
"He's the kind of actor that the first day, is super-happy to have as his number-one. So that means, for any new cast that comes in, we welcome them as he would. He just gave us all an example that we have to set. And as far as the story goes, I really feel like the characters are kind of in that same light, that they're all doing what ... with him being gone from the set, these characters are trying to do, or trying to honor, what he's done," Andrews added.
While Lincoln and his Rick will be absent from the show moving forward, other cast members have promised that their work is far from done and show has plenty of story left to tell.
Fear the Walking Dead returns for the back half of its fourth season on Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!