Andrew Lincoln stars as Rick Grimes in the AMC hit show The Walking Dead. Fans of the show have come to know and love Rick Grimes, the leader of a band of survivors. While his leadership skills certainly have something to do with the audience’s affection for Rick Grimes, there are so many other reasons to love him. There’s also his loyalty to his family, which we saw in the very first episode. Rick wakes up to a zombie-ridden world, but is more concerned with finding Lori and Carl than he is about his own well-being. He forgives his wife’s infidelities and is currently raising a baby he believes is the product of said infidelities. Oh, he also called Daryl Dixon his brother – his brother, you guys! It’s the best bromance on television. Long story short, Rick Grimes is an all-round good-ish guy. He’s not only someone who can survive the zombie plague, but he is also someone who can make a life for himself in this world. How could you not love this guy?
Though fans of the post-apocalyptic show have come to know and love Rick Grimes, fans haven’t been privy to learning about Andrew Lincoln in the same way. Sure, they know that Andrew Lincoln is a great actor who can grow an awesome beard, but there is more to Lincoln than his beard growing skills. We want fans to love Andrew Lincoln just as much as they love Rick Grimes. So, below are 15 facts about Lincoln that will make you love him, dare we say it, as much as you love the character he portrays on The Walking Dead.
15. His Last Name Is Really Clutterbuck
Andrew Lincoln is a good name, right? It’s manly and strong. It sounds like the name of someone who is a Hollywood star or an American president. No, but for real, doesn’t President Andrew Lincoln have a nice ring to it? Being that Andrew Lincoln wasn’t born in the United States, he can never actually run for president, but we’re still convinced that it sounds very presidential.
Andrew Lincoln’s name was not always so Hollywood or so presidential. He was born Andrew James Clutterbuck. Yes, his last name is Clutterbuck. While in college, he decided his stage name would be Andrew Lincoln because Andrew Clutterbuck is just… well, it’s not great. Lincoln has said that his last name sounded like a poor character in a Charles Dickens novel, which is a pretty accurate connection. You have to love a guy who can have a sense of humor about his not-so-great last name.
14. He Started Acting To Get Girls
This fact is a tiny bit hilarious, but here it is: Andrew Lincoln started acting to get girls. Apparently, Andrew Lincoln had never stood in front of a mirror before this decision, because, if he had, he would have known that getting girls would be easy peasy for him. I mean, look at those baby blue eyes and that head of hair. He could be a plumber and still do well in the getting girls department. No offense to any plumbers out there. You keep doing you!
While he was in high school, Andrew Lincoln played rugby but was encouraged by teachers to take up acting. His teachers probably saw Lincoln’s dreamy blue eyes and were like, “You’re destined to be a Hollywood Hunk. You must act!” Lincoln ended up dropping rugby and going the acting route, apparently thinking actors get more girls than rugby players. Lincoln then tried out for his school’s production of Oliver! and landed the role of The Artful Dodger. And the rest is history.
13. He’s British
If you were in the minority of fans who didn’t know, now you do know that Andrew Lincoln is actually British. Yes, an actor from across the pond plays television most famous southerner. Many fans already know this little nugget of information, but we included it to cover all our bases.
The fact that Lincoln is able to nail the southern accent so well is a little mind-boggling. That also means that Andrew Lincoln has two sexy accents up his sleeve. He can be British Andrew Lincoln or Southern Andrew Lincoln. Yeah, and that guy thought he needed help getting girls. Okay, Andrew Lincoln.
While many have praised Lincoln’s accent, his pronunciation of Carl (which sounds more like “coral”) had inspired memes and a bit of an online following. You know what they say, you’re no one until you’re a meme.
12. He Stays In Southern Dialect All Day
Andrew Lincoln seems to have his southern accent down pat, but that’s not to say he doesn’t work at it every day. In fact, when Lincoln is filming his scenes in Atlanta, he stays in dialect all day long. Yes, Andrew Lincoln walks around doing his southern accent all day long. Let that sink in for a moment. While he’s getting his coffee, while he in the bathroom, while he’s tying he’s shoes, Andrew Lincoln is doing his southern accent. Imagine the level of commitment to his craft for him to stay in dialect from the moment he leaves the house every day. In an interview with GQ Lincoln explained, “As soon as I leave the house, I’m in dialect. For the first couple of weeks, when I was trying it out, it’s like you’re learning a new language. I wasn’t as confident. But then [you realize] no one gives a shit anyways.”
It appears that Lincoln’s training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art has certainly paid off. As one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, the school boasts many notable alumni including Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ralph Fiennes, just to name a few. It’s safe to say that Lincoln is in great company.
11. He Cooks And Hosts Cast Dinners
We don’t want to say anyone is the perfect man or anything… but Andrew Lincoln is the perfect man. Not only is he successful, hardworking and humble, but the man can also cook. It’s not like he plays around in the kitchen either. He legitimately makes delicious meals. Just think about how lucky his wife is. Gael Anderson, we’re all extremely jealous of you.
While filming in Atlanta, the handsome chef hosts dinner parties for the cast quite often. If you need a moment to go cry over the fact that you’ve never been invited to one of Andrew Lincoln’s dinner parties, feel free. We totally get it. In interviews, Steve Yeun has said that he’s especially fond of Lincoln’s spaghetti Bolognese. Yep, Rick and Glenn sat down and munched on some spaghetti Bolognese together.
10. He Doesn’t Use A Trainer
Andrew Lincoln is just naturally fit and toned. No big deal.
In an interview, Lincoln revealed that he doesn’t use a trainer by stating, “On Friday I did an 18-hour day. I was up at quarter to six in the morning and got home at half past midnight. The day before we’d been outdoors all day. It was 90 to 95, and the humidity was up. So I don’t need a trainer. I’ve got a zombie apocalypse to keep me fit.” That does makes sense. Lincoln works in the Georgia heat for grueling hours. While some people do hot yoga, Lincoln basically gets the same experience by just showing up for work. With the added physicality of his role, being Rick Grimes can be a workout in and of itself.
Unfortunately, Lincoln is almost always wearing a shirt in his scenes. The above still is from a rare shirtless Rick scene in which Jessie Anderson greets Rick with a basket of supplies. The two engaged in a quasi-romance, which was cut short by her death.
9. He Doesn’t Do Technology
Perhaps Andrew Lincoln and Rick Grimes have more in common than we previously realized. Neither of the men really “do” technology. Rick Grimes doesn’t do technology simply because he can’t. There is no way for him to text Carl or to post a selfie to Instagram. Andrew Lincoln, on the other hand, doesn’t do technology by choice. Lincoln doesn’t even have an iPhone. He’s still rocking a flip phone. In an interview with The Guardian, Lincoln revealed, “I don’t have a smartphone or apps or anything and people ask me why. I say: ‘My wife is my app.’ She’s magnificent. She’s in the most honorable profession in the world – she’s a full-time mum.” You have to love Lincoln for appreciating the work his wife does as a stay-at-home mother. Gael Anderson, we’re really, really jealous of you.
On the subject of social media, Lincoln stated, “I’ve got nothing to say and I’m just too busy. But I don’t get it – people taking photos of their own food? That’s very odd behavior.” We get it, but we would also totally be down to look at pictures of Lincoln’s spaghetti Bolognese. Just sayin’.
8. He Thought His “Love Actually” Character Was A Stalker
Before his role on The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln was most known for his role in Love Actually. If you are unfamiliar with Love Actually, it’s a romantic comedy that came out in 2003 and almost every single working British actor is in the film. There’s Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightly, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Hugh Grant, and, of course, Andrew Lincoln. The film follows several intersecting love stories around Valentine’s Day.
Here’s Andrew Lincoln’s “love” story: Mark (Lincoln) records a video of his best friend Peter’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) wedding to Juliet (Keira Knightly). While Mark and Peter are besties, Mark has always been cold towards Juliet. When the wedding photos don’t come out well, Juliet forces Mark to let her watch the wedding video he recorded. The video is beautiful, but it’s all focused on Juliet. Juliet is like, “Hey, Andrew Lincoln, if you love me then why are you so mean to me?” In the climactic scene of this “love” story, Mark shows up to Peter and Juliet’s door with note cards. He stands there silently (with Christmas music playing) and shows Juliet these note cards that proclaim his undying love. While it’s creepy, it has gone down in the history of romantic comedies as one of the best romantic gestures. It’s just up there with John Cusack holding a boom box over his head.
Recently, Lincoln told The Wrap that his character was a stalker. He even expressed concerns to the director, saying, “That was my question to [director] Richard Curtis, ‘Do you not think we’re sort of borderline stalker territory here?’”
7. He’s Real Life Besties With Jon Bernthal
Andrew Lincoln’s Rick and Jon Bernthal’s Shane were best friends on the show… y’know until Rick found out that Shane slept with Lori and the whole Shane spiraling into insanity thing happened. But, before then the pair were like two peas in a pod. While their The Walking Dead friendship fizzled out with Rick finally killing Shane, their off-screen friendship is still going strong.
Jon Bernthal is one of Andrew Lincoln’s closest friends and he’s quick to call Lincoln on his shit. When Rick started to seem a little more barbaric in the most recent seasons, like that time he bit someone’s throat out, Bernthal totally noticed. He apparently called up Lincoln and told him that Rick’s acting just like Shane.
Jon Bernthal is a far cry from his onscreen character. In interviews, Shane is approachable and hilarious. At one Comic Con, Bernthal was once asked about the paternity of baby Judith, to which he replied, “100% Shane’s baby. That baby’s going to have a big, old busted nose and giant-ass ears, you know what I mean, 100% Shane’s baby.” The crowd went wild, thinking this was a joke, but… uh, it turned out to be true.
6. Apple Martin Was The Flower Girl At His Wedding
Jon Bernthal isn’t the only famous friend Andrew Lincoln has. He’s such good friends with Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin that their daughter, Apple Martin, was the flower girl at Lincoln’s wedding. Though this may seem like one of those really random Hollywood friendships, it makes more sense than one first thinks. Lincoln’s wife, Gael Anderson, is the daughter of Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson. With Anderson coming from a musical family, we totally get what the foursome talk about over Lincoln’s spaghetti Bolognese.
Lincoln has also maintained a friendship with many of the people he trained with at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, though they apparently tease him about his The Walking Dead role. Lincoln’s stated, “And the people I trained with at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts think it is hilarious — I am classically trained and yet I wear cowboy boots and a Stetson and I shoot zombies for a living. I am a zombie-slayer.”
5. He Wasn’t The First Choice To Play Rick Grimes
Now that we are seven seasons into The Walking Dead, it’s hard to imagine any other actor playing Rick Grimes. Andrew Lincoln is basically Rick Grimes in many of the fans’ eyes. However, Andrew Lincoln was not the first choice to play this iconic comic book role. Frank Darabont, who developed the show, had someone else in mind. He originally wanted Thomas Jane to play the role. At the time, Jane starred on HBO’s Hung and was unable to do both roles, so the role went to Andrew Lincoln.
Frank Darabont directed such films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He also directed 2007’s The Mist and basically cast The Walking Dead with The Mist cast. While Jane was unable to join The Walking Dead, Darabont snagged Laurie Holden (Andrea), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale), and Melissa McBride, who were all from The Mist. Basically, if you want to see a TWD S1 reunion, watch 2007’s The Mist.
4. How He Prepared For The Walking Dead
Andrew Lincoln admits that he is not a method actor. In fact, we’re not even too sure how one could be “method” in a show about zombies. However, Lincoln did do a few things to get himself in the mindset of Rick Grimes.
The show famously films in Georgia, but Lincoln is from England. In order to understand the pain of being separated from his wife and children, Andrew asked his wife and children to stay in England for a few weeks. These few weeks that Lincoln spent in Georgia without his family helped him understand Rick’s motivation when he wakes up in the hospital. Like we said earlier, Lincoln is committed AF to the role of Rick Grimes.
Lincoln’s preparation for the audition was genius, but it actually happened accidentally. Just before the audition, Anderson gave birth to their second child. If you know anything about newborn parents, you know that they are sleep deprived. Lincoln claims that this is why he got the role, stating, “I hadn’t slept for three days, I was shell shocked. I had this apocalyptic chic that probably fit the bill. I looked like I’d survived a zombie apocalypse.” There you have it. All you have to do to be a successful actor starring on a hit show is have a baby and not sleep for three days. Easy peasy!
3. He Loves Rick’s Colt Python
Rick Grimes loves his Colt Python. It has been his signature gun since day one. For a good bit on the show, it was the only gun that Rick ever used. At the beginning of season five, however, Rick finds himself in Terminus with his Colt Python buried outside the fence. It is in this episode that Rick finally uses a firearms other than his Colt Python, but that’s mostly because Rick had no choice. His signature gun was confiscated by Negan, but in the mid-season finale of season seven, Daryl handed the gun back to Rick, meaning Rick Grimes is back, baby!
Andrew Lincoln seems to love the gun just as much as Rick Grimes. In an interview, he stated, “The Colt Python is like a Rolex: It will never fail you. It makes a real satisfying click as well. It’s become part of my body. I had to wrestle with the props department when they took it back the last time. They said, ‘You will be arrested trying to bring that through customs!’”
2. His Bromance With Norman Reedus
On the show, Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon are very tight. The two have formed an incredible bond throughout the seasons that gives the audience all the feels. If you didn’t sob when Rick and Daryl embraced during the season seven mid-season finale, you need to check your pulse. You may not be alive.
Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus are just as close in real life too. They are so close that Reedus kept Lincoln’s beard clippings in a baggie and claims that he’s going to clone Lincoln. What Reedus really plans on doing with the clippings, we don’t know. The two have also been engaging in a prank war for quite sometime, with Reedus filling Lincoln’s air conditioner with glitter. This resulted in a very sparkly Lincoln.
While the playful side of their friendship is swoon-worthy, they also have a ton of respect for each other. Here is what Reedus had to say about Lincoln’s acting abilities: “When Lori [Rick’s wife] dies, and Maggie comes out with your baby, and you break down? Hands down, that’s one of the best acting moments on our show. Ever. I was in the background, and it was hard to determine if Daryl felt bad for Rick or if Norman felt bad for Andy. I was choking up, going, ‘Man, not my boy Andy.’”
1. The One Line He Refused To Do
In the finale of season four, the group is being held prisoner at Terminus. Things may look grim, but Rick turns to everyone and says, “They’re screwing with the wrong people.” The delivery of this line will give you chills. It was a great finale and season five’s opening did not disappoint. Terminus was, in fact, screwing with the wrong people. In the comics, however, the line is, “They’re f**king with the wrong people.” It is an iconic line, but it isn’t very AMC friendly.
When showrunner Scott Gimple was asked why he changed the iconic line, he explained that he didn’t want season four to end with something bleeped out. Changing this line was a last minute decision, as the script for the episode even have the comic book line. Because of this, Lincoln would only give one take of the “screwing” line. He’s said, “I only gave one take of the actual screwing line because I refused. I just went, ‘No, that’s the way they say it in the script.”
Gimple added that the change still worked since, “Andy Lincoln can say screwing in a way that frightens me.” We have to agree with Gimple there. Also, everyone calls Andrew Lincoln “Andy.” How adorable is that?
After these 15 facts, how could you not totally love Andy Lincoln?