‘The Walking Dead’: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Andrew Lincoln

Kimberly Potts
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Andrew Lincoln (Photo: Getty Images)

To celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of  The Walking Dead, Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the series’ Season 8 premiere in October.

You know all there is to know about Rick Grimes, his on-screen persona, but how much do you really know about the off-screen life of The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln, if that is his real name (hint: it isn’t). Read on for the scoop on that and 19 more things you should know about TWD’s leading man.

1. We know him as Andrew, or Andy, Lincoln, but he was born Andrew James Clutterbuck on September 14, 1973. “I always joke that there was another Clutterbuck in Equity,” Lincoln told The Washington Post. “And people go ‘What?’ No, it was my first agent who said, ‘Oh, come on, you’ve got to change that, it’s ridiculous. Sounds like a Hobbit.’ But in one sense it’s brilliant because it means that along the road, I have a separate identity, which is brilliant to my family and has been very good for privacy. On the other hand, I’m fiercely proud of my name and everything in my life in England is Clutterbuck.

“If we ever meet,” he told the reporter, “I’ll show you my credit card, which is Clutterbuck.”

2. He’s married to Gael Anderson, whose father Ian is the lead singer of Jethro Tull. Andy and Gael met on the set of the British series Teachers, which he starred in and directed. She was a production assistant who won his heart despite refusing to bring him a cup of tea. “She was a P.A. and was supposed to make a cup of tea. That was her job. She didn’t make me a f**king cup of tea that whole job,” he told Rolling Stone. “But I just saw her silhouette — she had this crazy mullet with spiky — she looked like Sonic the Hedgehog. I saw this crazy looking girl with these beautiful green eyes, and I just went, ‘Who the hell is that?’ I was spellbound.”

Andrew Lincoln and Gael Anderson pictured on their wedding day (Photo: Ben Dome, Pacificccoastnews.com )

And yes, Lincoln’s father-in-law is a Walking Dead fan. “It’s quite hard for me to watch,” Ian Anderson told WCBS radio. “Andy’s one of the family. It’s like my wife, she can’t watch me on stage, it’s just too weird. The idea that you’re at a concert, and just a few hours later, you’re gonna slip naked between the sheets with someone you’re watching on stage… It’s quite hard to detach yourself from someone that you know in the family capacity and then somehow divorce yourself from that when you watch them do their shtick. I can’t quite shake the idea that Officer Rick Grimes is in Cornwall on a brief holiday with my daughter, and he will be sleeping with her tonight.”

Andy and Gael were married in 2006, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s daughter Apple, then 2, as a flower girl at the wedding. The Lincolns have two children of their own, daughter Matilda and son Arthur.

3. During the first season of TWD, then-showrunner Frank Darabont told Lincoln to speak with his Rick Grimes Southern accent at all times, even during down time on the set. At the end of the season, some of crew didn’t even know Lincoln is British.

4. Among the 100 actors he beat out for the role of Rick Grimes: Jonny Lee Miller, Thomas Jane, Stuart Townsend, Jamie Bamber, Mark Pellegrino, and Ethan Embry (who guest-starred as Rick’s Alexandria nemesis Carter in the Season 6 premiere). Lincoln has joked that he got the role because he looked like a zombie on his audition tape… his son had been born shortly before, and he hadn’t slept in several days before filming his initial audition.

Lennie James as Morgan, Ethan Embry as Carter, and Andrew Lincoln as Rick in ‘The Walking Dead’ (Photo: AMC)

5. He has an idea for how Rick Grimes should die in the AMC series, and it involves him being the cure for zombiedom.

6. Shiva the tiger saved Rick and Carl’s lives in the Season 7 finale. Andy Lincoln once dressed up like a tiger himself, in the 2004 British TV movie Whose Baby?, in which his character finds out he has a child he didn’t know about and he has to fight for his parental rights. His co-star, and the mother of his character’s child in the film: Hotel Rwanda Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo.

Andrew Lincoln as Barry Flint in ‘Whose Baby?’ (Photo: REX)

7. Rick Grimes is an intense guy; Lincoln describes himself as more laidback. He likes to wear flip flops on The Walking Dead set, which he says TWD creator Robert Kirkman hates. “He takes pictures of my flip-flops and keeps sending them to me, like, ‘What are you doing? Rick Grimes is not a flip-flop kind of guy,’” Lincoln told Rolling Stone.

8. He played lawyer-turned-chef Egg on the hit ‘90s BBC drama This Life, which was named by the British Film Institute as one of the 100 best British TV series of all time. Future The Office and Sherlock star Martin Freeman guest-starred in one episode, in which his character accidentally drank Egg’s urine from a beer bottle.

9. Another urine-related TV moment for Lincoln: In the History Channel 2009 Apollo 11 moon landing movie Moonshot, he plays astronaut Michael Collins, who was charged with perfecting the suits the astronauts would wear during their mission. In one scene, Collins has to test the apparatus which will allow the spacemen to pee during their mission.

10. During his live TWD audition — the great car scene from the pilot episode with Jon Bernthal — Bernthal’s dog fell asleep and started snoring while Lincoln was delivering dialogue, and he jokes that he took it as a review of his performance. “Jon had already been cast,” Lincoln recalled in The Hollywood Reporter. “I remember doing the big car scene with him and thinking, ‘That was a really great take, and one of them, we really clicked.’ I kept hearing this noise, and I thought it was the car engine. We looked around and realized that one of Jon’s dogs had fallen asleep and was snoring in the middle of my take. I thought, ‘I’m never going to get this job.’”

Andrew Lincoln as Rick and Jon Bernthal as Shane in ‘The Walking Dead’ (Photo: AMC)

11. He says his pal and Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg “gave me a primer in zombie lore” after he landed the role of Rick Grimes.

12. He doesn’t have a smartphone or use apps or social media. He says his wife is his app, as she’s the one who keeps their lives running. “She’s the reason I’m able to do this mad job,” Lincoln told The Guardian. “She has built a life in Atlanta while I’m away filming. I don’t have a smartphone or apps or anything and people ask me why. I say, ‘My wife is my app. She’s magnificent. She’s in the most honorable profession in the world… she’s a full-time mom.”


13. He once chopped the end of his finger off during a live theater production, while quickly yanking off a costume ring. The play, Blue/Orange, also starred Bill Nighy and his Love Actually co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor. Lincoln continued on with the play after the injury. “At one point, I had to say, ‘You!’ and gesture, and a spray of blood went from my hand across the front row of the audience,” he told Metro.co.uk. “It was horrific. All the ladies had their hands over their mouths like they were going to be sick.”

14. He was an official participant in Princess Diana’s funeral. All the charities and organizations she was a patron of were asked to have a representative there, and Lincoln was asked to represent the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a graduate of the prestigious acting school.

The coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, on its journey to Westminster Abbey, London. (Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

15. Lincoln’s father, a civil engineer, wasn’t thrilled with the idea of his son becoming an actor, but agreed to sign off on him pursuing the career if he could get admitted to the top five acting schools in England. He did.

16. The actor ran the London Marathon with his mom, who didn’t start running until she was 60. He was later told by a trainer to stop running so he could bulk up for The Walking Dead, so he lifts weights instead. “That’s the astonishing thing about my career,” he says. “I turned 40, my bones started aching, and it was the weirdest thing: I became a leading-man action hero.”

17. He’s one of the most sought-after celebs at fan conventions, with estimates that he could be making an additional seven figures a year if he participated in more of them. As it is, he usually does just one a year, and donates all his profits from the events to charity.

Andrew Lincoln) poses for a fan selfie (Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for AMC)

18. For his most famous pre-TWD role, in Love Actually, he hand wrote the cards his character Mark holds up for Juliet in the beloved movie’s most iconic scene.

(Credit: Universal Pictures)

19. He has narrated several episodes of the nature documentary TV series Wildest Africa, which is available on Netflix.

20. Like many actors, he doesn’t watch himself. “It’s not just this show; it’s been for the last [19] years or so. I watched a little bit of This Life, and maybe a couple of episodes of Teachers. And now I’m done,” he told Atlanta magazine. “It just doesn’t help. If I watch something, and I like something I do, then I’d try to replicate it. That’s self-consciousness, and I’m trying to put myself out of the equation. I don’t want to be in it. The enjoyment and satisfaction I get is from the doing of it.”

The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres in October on AMC.

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