TVLine's Performer of the Week: Andrew Lincoln

A new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Andrew Lincoln

THE SHOW | The Walking Dead (AMC)

THE EPISODE | “Killer Within”

THE AIRDATE | November 4, 2012

RELATED | The Walking Dead‘s Sarah Wayne Callies Talks Her Biggest Regret, Being ‘Barred’ From the Set and More!

THE PERFORMANCE | After Lori’s farewell to her son, we weren’t sure how much more we could take — which was just about the state that Rick was in, too, when Carl and Maggie came trudging out of the prison with the new baby.

Lincoln’s eyes at first — and only briefly — registered incomprehension: Why did they have a newborn… and why weren’t they with Lori? Then, as the awful truth came crashing down on our hero, his portrayer acted that agony, bit by dreadful bit, with every inch of his body.

First, Rick dropped his axe; it was as if his hand had ceased to remember how to hold onto it. Then, his mind rejecting what, deep down, he knew was true, he tried to pass Maggie to set off in search of Lori. Finally, he looked at Carl, no longer at all the little boy he’d seemed to be only hours earlier. Then and only then, he couldn’t deny it anymore. Destroyed from the inside out, he collapsed, Lincoln letting loose the wail that, just about then, we were all feeling.

RELATED | Walking Dead Boss Reveals What Would’ve Happened Between Rick and Lori

HONORABLE MENTIONS | Sarah Paulson for that gut-wrenching aversion therapy sequence in Wednesday’s American Horror Story: Asylum, and Sarah Wayne Callies for Lori’s tearful farewell to son Carl on The Walking Dead.

Which performance knocked your socks off this past week? 

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  1. David says:

    I knew it! ;)

  2. Lena120 says:

    Oh heck’s yeah! Andrew was amazing on this week’s Walking Dead. Those last few minutes belonged to him. That should be his Emmy episode submission right there.

  3. Ryan says:

    WHATSHISFACE! Ten points for moi. He was fantastic, though. Gut-wrenching. I agree with your runner-ups, too. I can understand hating Lori but there’s no way you can hate SWC. And Sarah Paulson! I forgot about her! Insta-Emmy-nomination.

  4. Carrie says:

    Sarah Paulson. That scene was absolutely gut-wrenching to watch

  5. Sam says:

    STILL not over his reaction. Sigh.

    • Omar says:

      I still can’t bring myself to delete it from my Tivo box. Moving piece of acting and Lincoln deserves every TV award under the sun.

  6. Amber says:

    Andrew Lincoln deserves serious accolades for his portrayal of Rick. He is one of the very few actors in my lifetime that pulls off the role so well I often forget he is not, in fact, the leader of a survival group during a zombie apocalypse. And then I see him in other shows and movies and it takes me time to re-adjust to him as anything else. He just seems to flawlessly merge into that character, even though I’m sure it isn’t the easiest role for him to play. Amazing, truly, to watch.

    • ruandvin says:

      i completely agree Amber!!! I just watched Love Actually (again…lol) and it’s just really difficult for me to believe it’s the same actor. His IS Rick Grimes!

  7. Spoiler Junkie says:

    Completely agree about Andrew Lincoln’s performance. Not to mention Sarah Wayne Callies’ amazing and heartbreaking last scene. Had me in tears throughout.

  8. Courteous Vampire says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I laughed when Lincoln started crying. The way he shaked, and bent over to Carl and said NOOOOO.

    I mean, the scene itself was heartbreaking. The fact that he knew Carl had to put her down was gut wrenching. But the execution, just made me laugh. To be honest, I’ve never thought Lincoln was all that good of an actor. Go back and watch the serious scenes from Season 2 with Lori. His acting comes off as Hammy and silly.

    But I give him credit for putting in his all, loved how he walked over and collapsed on the floor.

    • Jess says:

      That’s kind of why I liked it though. Yes it was akward and rough looking but I can’t help but think that’s exactly what it would look like if someone lost their loved one in horrific way. I mean seriously, actors choreograph it too much because they still want to look good on camera. Nobody and I mean nobody cries pretty in real life.

    • Alan says:

      have you ever seen someone just let go and start crying not caring what anyone thought of them or how they looked, thats what lincoln captured in that episode. there are far too many times that i just dont buy an actors crying and it takes me out of the scene but this time i almost forgot i was even watching an actor play a part, he was amazing

      • Courteous Vampire says:

        I have actually. Worked a couple years as an EMT. And yes, people can absolutely lose it. But just the way Lincoln did it, made me chuckle. I had the opposite problem of you, his acting kind of took me out of it. I guess I just didn’t fully buy the performance. *shrugs*

        • Omar says:

          He is easily the best actor I’ve seen in a very long while, and this is from a registered TV addict. His portrayal of human emotions is what makes him a great actor. He saw his son forced to become a man in those few seconds and couldn’t believe he wasn’t there to take care of his primary duty, to protect his family and do what had to be done (U remember the scene where he had to shoot the little girl?). This was quite believable and I dont tear up easily.

        • Jess says:

          Hey CV, what you feel is what you feel. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. For me thought, it worked. Maybe because I was so emotionally spent from everything else that happened.

        • MelindaB says:

          Well, at least you’re courteous about it. :)

    • Charlie says:

      I actually liked the fact that his “Noooo” was so completely unglamorous and ugly and undignified, that’s how someone would actually react, not some perfectly crafted “I’m an actor, look how wonderful my sorrow looks” kind of reaction; that’s actually what made it just perfect acting.

  9. Barb says:

    I 100% agree with this choice. Amazing, heart-wrenching scene. Well Done!!

  10. Ed says:

    I completely agree, Andrew was fantastic in that last scene.

  11. John says:

    I loved Sarah’s (Lori) performance more than Rick’s, though he was awesome as well.

  12. John says:

    And Sarah Paulson was brilliant in AHS as well. Completely agree with these choices.

  13. Alan says:

    to me there was really only 4 choices this week: sarah wayne callies, chandler riggs, lauren cohan and andrew lincoln. the right one won. all 4 put in performances that in a mainstream show we would never, ever hear the end of and deserve emmy noms

    • Aleksa says:

      I agree with the inclusion of Lauren Cohan. She was great.

    • Em says:

      I agree! Those four Walking Dead cast member were amazing this week, but Lauren Cohan was the MVP for me. The minute she walked out with the baby and her bottom lip just started trembling trying to find the words to tell Rick what happened…just wow!

      • Jess says:

        What got me was the baby cry. Rick and the others are all in the courtyart trying to figure out what to do when all the sudden, out of the quite, you here a baby cry. You could tell by the look on everyone’s face at that moment…they all knew exactly what that ment. Me…it felt like someone punched me in the heart.

  14. omabin says:

    i agree with Alan. All four performances in the episode were incredible, but yeah, andrew lincoln was something else. He broke me in those last scenes, I can’t bring myself to watch them again. He should have had an emmy nomination before, so i don’t think he will have it this year, but he is one of the best actors out there, that’s for sure. He’s on Damien’s level (and I absolutely love Damien Lewis)

    • Susie says:

      Like you, I can’t watch it again – I want to, but hearing Rick scream Laurie when the walkers first get in the yard, I know what’s coming. I felt they were getting passed the difficult times they were having – was evident in the “eye-play” going on during Herschel’s first walk. There was alot of open space between them but I could feel it closing up.

  15. Wrstlgirl says:

    Reading this brought the tears back. I’ve watched that ending over and over again. Lincoln was brilliant!

  16. Ruby says:

    Agreed. I also thought Evan Peters was kind of amazing on AHS this week…when he went from questioning himself to grabbing that girl’s throat it was terrifying. That kid needs lots of kudos for his performance on that show…he’s wonderful.

  17. fiona says:

    my mom who has never watched twd was crying by the end of this episode.

    it was the saddest most gut wrenching epi in the series

  18. jim says:

    I would give the cast of american horror story every award under the sun if I could. They are all truly gifted actors. Particularly lily rabe (who I’m amazed didn’t win last week as the newly posessed sister), Sarah paulson, evan peters, James cromwell, and obviously lange

  19. karen o says:

    I thought the star of that episode was Chandler Riggs. His performance was as mature and genuine as all the adult actors and he’s a kid. Really good work.

  20. Babybop says:

    His reaction was so real, I kind of forgot that this is a fictional show…

  21. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I had a feeling this would be your choice. And it’s a great one. His anguish seemed so real I started to tear up. I like that you guys are adding in honorable mentions now.

  22. Anna says:

    I was thinking this after watching that episode. I had the clear thought of Andrew Lincoln should be the performer of the week. Can’t believe i was right. He so deserved it, that entire episode was wrenching, but that scene nearly brought me to tears.

  23. anbev says:

    Andrew Lincoln was fantastic in this. So tragic and heartbreaking. He always does good work and I hope he gets some recognition when it is awards time – even if this is a genre show.

  24. Anonymoose says:

    I dunno, it felt a little off to me. Particularly his “Awww nooo” while looking at Carl, which for me sounded like he was thinking “Why not Carl?”. There was a little of… something, I can’t think of the word for it. Like how a villain would taunt his captive, a little sarcastic, “Aww noo, did your plan fail?” Might’ve been intentional, but I connected more with Lori than with Rick. I think Maggie did a great job supporting the scene though.

  25. Justin Noye says:

    How cool was it that at the end of the episode and the credits were rolling absolute silence!! No credit rolling music or anything, just complete silence!!! It was like getting slap in the face and they were saying “yea that just happened”.

  26. ge ge says:

    Rick losing Lori. For me it was like it is in life. I knew what was coming but there was no way to prepare and no where to hide. I don’t like that stuff but I knew the characters too well to leave, it was completely confronting, very real and very difficult. My guess is Andrew Lincoln has lost someone close. Can’t imagine what it was like on set