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Why Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln threw Sarah Callies off the set

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Jun 25, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

One of the most brutal deaths in the third season of The Walking Dead led to one of the most heartbreaking scenes from star Andrew Lincoln — and the only way he could do it justice was by tossing a co-star off the set.

Remember that tear-jerking scene where Rick learns that Lori has died while giving birth? Lincoln worked really hard to make Rick’s breakdown (and mental break) believable, and said he couldn’t completely commit to the scene with co-star Sarah Wayne Callies on set (since, you know, her character is already dead). So he made sure she didn’t come to work that day.

Here’s how Lincoln explained the process to TV Line:

“Because she [had already been killed off]. A lot of it is about feeling relaxed enough to make mistakes, or to look like a fool, or to dare to go to a place that I wouldn’t necessarily go to. Maybe I was a bit self-conscious with Sarah being there and not wanting to turn that scene into a spectator’s sport. I admire her so much as an actress, and I was so upset about losing her as [a costar] that I just wanted to do it justice — do her justice.”

Lincoln is a pretty badass actor, and his commitment to the craft is inspired. You don’t see a lot of folks putting that much raw emotion into something that many people just label as a “genre” show and leave it at that. As anyone who has seen the scene can attest, the commitment paid off.

Here’s hoping the guy wins an Emmy, because he deserves it.

(Via TV Line)