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Chandler Riggs on Andrew Lincoln’s Departure: “I’ve always looked up to him. He’s such an inspiring person.”

Walker Stalker Con/Heather Millsap

The cast of The Walking Dead descended upon the Orange County Convention Center this past weekend for Walker Stalker Convention Orlando. Several cast members (both past and present) were in attendance to mingle and interact with fans of the hit AMC series throughout the course of the weekend’s activities.

On Sunday, The Walking Dead alum Chandler Riggs (who played Carl Grimes) took to the panel stage where he answered questions from moderator Brandon Davis as well as from his fans about his time on the series, his unexpected departure and the recent news that his on-screen dad, Andrew Lincoln, would also be leaving in the upcoming season.

First, on a light-hearted note, Chandler reminisced about his time spent on set. When asked which cast member was most likely to crack up laughing during filming, Chandler answered that it would most likely be him in the early seasons. Eventually, however, everyone found their groove and became a well-oiled machine, but that doesn’t mean they still didn’t have tons of fun. Chandler recalled a game that he and Alanna Masterson (who plays Tara Chambler on the series) used to play. The game was called “Vulcan” and, basically, no matter where you were and no matter what scene you were filming, if the other person pinched you on the shoulder, you needed to kneel. Check out Chandler’s explanation below.

Of course, fans wanted to know about his departure from the series. Chandler’s character, Carl, died in the mid-season 8 premiere after suffering a walker bite to his abdomen. His death is a huge departure from the source material graphic novels and was a completely unexpected turn of events on the series. Despite the surprise twist of events, Chandler still called his exit “a nice send off” and said he was really proud of his performance in those final episodes, as he should be. Watch below to hear his full explanation of his final days on set.

Lastly, the topic on every Walking Dead fan’s mind is, of course, series star Andrew Lincoln exiting during the upcoming ninth season. Chandler was asked when he found out about the news and, surprisingly, he did not know about Lincoln’s exit ahead of time. He read the news online, just like the rest of the fandom, however, he wasn’t completely surprised by it. Chandler talks about how Lincoln would spend seven months away from his family and his home in order to film the series. Nine years of that separation most certainly takes a toll on a person.

Chandler, however, sees Andrew Lincoln as an inspiration and told a heartwarming story about how Lincoln’s dedication impacted his life choices. Chandler says he was having a bit of a tough time balancing The Walking Dead filming as well as attending public school during the day. While he was figuring out his path, he said he thought about Andrew Lincoln, how he sacrifices time with his family and his dedication to the series. Chandler said, “I’ve always looked up to him. He’s such an inspiring person.”

Check out the full video of Chandler’s kind words about Andrew Lincoln below.

Chandler Riggs will be joining Walker Stalker Convention next in Atlanta for a massive The Walking Dead reunion. For more information on the convention and how you can meet Chandler and the rest of The Walking Dead cast, visit www.walkerstalkercon.com.

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A karaoke junkie, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?). Denise currently resides in New York and is honored to be a part of the Fan Fest News team!