the walking dead

What The Walking Dead’s Cast Thinks of the Ricktatorship

Photo: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead returned Sunday night for its sixth season of mayhem. We recently gave you a play-by-play reminder of what has gone down and who has died; now, thanks to the show’s Ultimate Fan Premiere at Madison Square Garden, we know how the people in front of the camera feel about their characters’ situations. Here, the cast and producers discuss their view of life in the Ricktatorship.

Fan favorite Lennie James says it’s all about the beard.
“Rick is just too hairy,” James explained. “I’m not digging the beard at all. When I first met him, he was clean-shaven, and I knew which bits I was slapping. Now, who knows? This must be confusing for Morgan!”

As for the Ricktatorship, the actor thinks Morgan needs Rick in his life, no matter what. “Rick is the only person left on the planet who actually knows him,” James said. “Morgan has lost everyone, so I think Rick kind of represents family to him. When he initially goes to find him, he wants to fight for their friendship. Now, Morgan has a different way of doing things, but despite what Rick might be going through, Morgan wants to stand with him.”

Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd thinks Morgan might be Rick’s savior (or, at least his “watcher”).
Hurd wants to turn the tables on the Morgan/Rick bromance. She pointed out that Grimes tried to save Morgan after he lost his family and became a “sociopath.” Now, it’s time for Morgan to return the favor. After witnessing the Ricktator kill someone in cold blood, she said, “Morgan is wondering what’s happened to Rick’s humanity. He understands what it’s like to be in a dark place, but Morgan does handle things differently. You get the sense that Morgan is always kind of watching Rick.” So, Morgan and his stick-fighting skills will have Rick under surveillance. That sounds ominous. Or promising?

Feral Daryl is Team Ricktatorship.
Norman Reedus said that Daryl hasn’t connected with Morgan yet. So, if any of the Rick vs. Morgan power-struggle rumors are to be believed, then Feral Daryl is Team Rick. The actor told us, “I think Daryl will always stand with Rick. I feel like those two characters are linked through the entire series. Daryl is a loyal guy, and he and Rick have been through a lot together. Rick understands Daryl’s point of view.”

Andrew Lincoln flat-out says that his take-charge character will mellow out mid-season.
The blogosphere might be going crazy with rumors about Rick losing his humanity, but Lincoln isn’t too worried. He acknowledged that he is “willing to do anything to save his family.” But, here’s the deal: “If you come with him and stand alongside him, then he considers you part of his family. But, if you stand in opposition of him, then you’re a problem. And, I don’t think he feels like he has the luxury of time with so many imminent threats. So, if you’re not on his side, then you’re in his way. And, this season, I feel like Rick is really a man of action, certainly the first half of the season.”

Huh? The first half of the season? Does this foretell the end of the Ricktatorship? The actor confirmed that he “lightens up quite a bit during the second half of the season. He evolves into a much more tolerant, more democratic leader.”

What’s the takeaway?
The Ricktatorship is still very much in control. But, Hurd implied that Morgan’s return will throw some wrenches in Grimes’s plans for world (or just Alexandria) domination. The usual suspects still support him, and the fearless Rick Grimes is open to a democracy, but you have to wait until mid-season for that.

What the Cast of TWD Thinks of the Ricktatorship