Andrew Lincoln woos already ardent fans at Walker Stalker

The actor best known as sheriff Rick Grimes poked fun at his own rom-com past.

Andrew Lincoln was over a half hour late to his only-half-hour-long panel during Walker Stalker. So the audience was getting a tad worried, not to mention irritated. But by about five seconds into the talk, all was forgiven.

After all, this is the man who first tugged at the heartstrings of women across the world when he held up signs declaring his love for Keira Knightley in 2003’s Love Actually. Now, as Rick Grimes, he comes to 12 million television screens nationwide each week to kick ass, kill zombies (excuse me, walkers), and walk that fine line between justifiably insane and just plain insane.

So, in front of this crowd at least, he can do darn near whatever he wants.

Initially, the panel moderators informed the audience that the time would primarily be a conversation between them and Lincoln. But they quickly dropped that idea, instead letting fans dominate the time—much to their gratification.

The first question came from a woman who softly approached the microphone, murmuring, “Hello, Andy . . . Sorry my voice is shot, I was just yelling at Norman Reedus.”

Lincoln laughed and nodded in understanding, proceeding to tell her, “It’s okay. It takes me a half hour to start work every morning because of all the yelling we have to do at Norman.”

Lincoln embraces the passion of Walking Dead fans, commenting on how lucky he considers himself to have gotten in early on the phenomenon.

He poked fun at his past as an actor specializing in romance and comedy, noting that he has friends who still say, “What the fuck?” when they see him taking out walkers onscreen.

The audience tried especially hard to get some spoilers out of him, but Lincoln is clearly trained in the art of keeping ’em guessing. He teased that in the new season, Rick takes up a new weapon (“Not a gun, not a knife . . . something new”) and that Chandler Riggs, who plays his son Carl, has a moment of incredible acting that’ll go down in the Walking Dead history books. (“It’s time for me to learn from him,” Lincoln said.)

Again: enough to make us feel like we learned something new, but not enough to really give anything away.

I guess we’ll just have to keep watching for that.

As Lincoln said in his final statement of the session, “All I can say is, crazy shit is gonna happen.”