When Andrew Lincoln was first revealed to be leaving the show he’s helped lead for a decade, speculation was that the actor wanted to spend more time with the family he left abroad in order to shoot The Walking Dead. Family is important — the zombie trailblazer always emphasizes as much — although it can always affect your decision-making. Whether in real life or when shooting a TV show, zombies and kids rarely mix well.
So it was no surprise when Lincoln confirmed as much during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying that his family took precedence over the ramshackle squad of survivors he’s led for years. Georgia is a long way from England.
“I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older,” said Lincoln. “It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.”
With only half a season left of Lincoln’s Rick Grimes, fans are left to speculate about his exit, while others wonder what projects the actor will take on now that he’s been freed from the hugely popular AMC franchise. Changes are on the horizon, what with the actor’s upcoming moves — likely British ones — and The Walking Dead fans will have to live without their cast’s scruffy father figure as he focuses on his home life.
The Walking Dead Season 9 premieres Oct. 7 on AMC.