The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln still hasn't watched an episode of the zombie drama despite spending eight years as its leading man. Before the Rick Grimes actor stepped away from the hit television show five episodes into its ninth season, Lincoln openly admitted he doesn't watch The Walking Dead "at all," saying in a 2017 interview, "I'm allergic to my own face." That admission came ahead of the show's eighth season, once intended to mark Lincoln's departure from the series before he signed on for early episodes of The Walking Dead Season 9 that spun Rick off into the franchise's first feature film trilogy.
When Lincoln reprises the Rick Grimes role on the big screen, the British actor likely won't be among the cinema audience: Walking Dead chief content officer and film trilogy master planner Scott Gimple says Lincoln still hasn't caught up with the flagship television show because of an aversion to watching himself on screen.
"No, he has not watched it," Gimple said during a virtual Comic-Con panel for upcoming spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which does not feature Rick but does reveal more about the people who took him from The Walking Dead.
Gimple added, "I will say, one time I was doing a DVD commentary with him on an episode he wasn't in, 'The Grove.' Five minutes into it, I was like, 'You're not watching this, are you?' He's like, 'No, no I'm not.'"
Ahead of its fourth season return in 2013, Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly why he was never part of The Walking Dead's sizable audience: "The original reason is the fact that I don't actually enjoy looking at myself."
Asked if it's because he's too critical of his own performance, Lincoln explained, "Yes. And also because of the directorial choices that possibly, because I've done it, make you go, 'Oh, there's a take that blah-blah-blah.' But mainly because I did it for a while, I watched it, and it's a self-conscious thing of watching myself and going, 'Oh I like it when I do that. That's kind of cool.' And then, 'Oh, I don't like it when I do that.' And that defeats the object of what I want to do as an actor, which is to try and be in the role and not be self-conscious."
"I watch great actors, great actors that I admire beyond all things and I see them replicate, and it's very hard not to," Lincoln said. "I don't want to do that. I just want to leave myself alone as much as I can. It breaks the spell, it breaks the magic somewhat."
Explaining why he doesn't watch episodes where he doesn't appear, Lincoln said he prefers to "step back from it all."
"The fun bit for me is doing it," he said. "I love that. That's the exciting thing for me."
In an update on Lincoln's Rick Grimes return, producer and screenwriter Gimple told ComicBook.com over Comic-Con weekend Lincoln is "itching to get back" to the Walking Dead Universe and the star is "super involved" and "very, very interested" in the movie project.
The Walking Dead next airs its Season 10 finale Sunday, October 4 on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.