Exclusive: The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs on life after death, and who he wants to survive most

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Jun 28, 2018, 2:51 PM EDT

Life's been good for Chandler Riggs since he left the land of the (un)dead last season — but just because he's off The Walking Dead — that doesn't mean he's not still paying attention. 

The actor, who played Carl Grimes on AMC's The Walking Dead, has been keeping busy since his character met an untimely — and somewhat unexpected — end near the eighth season. Last night at the Saturn Awards in Burbank, California, Riggs told SYFY WIRE about how he's been occupying his free time. 

"Auditions, and I produce music as well," said Riggs, adding, "I’ve done some shows here and there. Staying very busy."

Though Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman thinks that Carl's death opens up some exciting possibilities for the series, audiences had literally watched Riggs grow up over the past eight years. His (now former) castmates even wore eyepatches to commemorate his final scene as Carl. Despite the close-knit relationship with the cast, when we asked if he misses playing the young zombie-slayer, he said he does "here and there."

"I mean, it’s great to kind of be off the show and then be able to do other things, but I definitely still miss being on it." 

Even though Riggs is now part of an ever-growing roster of dearly departed characters, he remains a devoted fan of the long-running series, which returns for its ninth season this fall. When we asked who he's hoping comes out on top, he didn't hesitate to mention his VIP pick. "Oh man… I’m rooting for Michonne, I’m rooting for Michonne."

Of course, Riggs is speaking strictly as a fan here. We even asked if he could give us any inside intel on why he picked Danai Gurira's sword-wielding badass, to which he replied simply, "Oh, I wish, I wish."

Ultimately, it sounds like Riggs is happy with the direction his career is headed. Not to mention he no longer has to wear an eyepatch when reporting for work every day, saying simply, "It’s nice to have two eyes."