‘The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln Teases Terrifying New Villain

The Walking Dead gets a terrifying new villain in actress Samantha Morton, who Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln has hailed as a “scary” force to be reckoned with.

“She’s scared the bejeezus out of all the crew, actually,” Lincoln said during New York Comic Con when talk turned to soon-to-arrive new villainess Alpha, leader of the Whisperers. “Someone was doing an impersonation of a scene that she did, and even that scared me... I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s really scary.’”

After encountering Morton on set — Lincoln wrapped on Rick Grimes months ago but returned to set to shadow a director ahead of making his first directorial effort on The Walking Dead — Lincoln said Morton was “so wonderful and loving being here,” adding the actress called Alpha “a role of a lifetime.”

“These kind of roles usually go to men, so that’s why she’s thrilled, and she’s giving it extraordinary attention and care,” Lincoln added. “So I think we’re very, very fortunate to have her.”

Alpha emerges in the post-war era of creator Robert Kirkman’s comic books, now being explored on the show, where Alpha is the ruthless and uncompromising leader of the barbaric Whisperers — a savage, cult-like enemy group who camouflage themselves in the flesh of the undead.

The bald-headed villain will be joined by teenaged daughter Lydia (Cassidy McClincy) and viciously loyal right-hand man Beta (Ryan Durst), who play major roles moving forward once the Whisperers encroach on the more peaceful life established by Rick Grimes and the other communities.

New showrunner Angela Kang noted Morton has been working with a dialect coach and learning a “brand new accent that she didn’t know at all,” and has embraced the grimy outerwear famously sported by her comic book counterpart.

“Our cast don’t care about being glamorous — they want to be real. They want it to be dirty, they want it to be hard, and she embraces that,” Kang said.

“She’s that kind of actor. I think the actors that are in the cast, they’ve really had a good time playing with her, because they can feel that commitment of, ‘I’m in it for the ride.’”

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Longtime comic book readers have an idea of what to expect from the anticipated arrival of the bad guys, but Kang said previously the series will characteristically “remix” the comic book story when bringing the fan-favorite villains to screen. If you’re unfamiliar with the Whisperers, Kang noted, “it’s better to learn as you go along.”

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.