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What Roles Has Andrew Lincoln Taken Since Leaving The Walking Dead?

Andrew Lincoln spent more than a decade playing the role of Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." If the zombie-fighting former sheriff stays Lincoln's best-known role, it's at least partly because of the lengths producers went to find him. In an interview with AMC, Robert Kirkman, creator of the original "The Walking Dead" comic series and producer of the TV show, said that the choice was clear in casting Lincoln as Rick. "We saw 80 different actors before we found someone that, you know, was perfect," he explained. "And that guy was Andrew Lincoln."

When Lincoln left the show in 2018, it was reportedly to spend more time with his young family (via EW). He now apparently — along with members of that same young family — regrets that decision. And of course, the hints of his return were never all that subtle, as his appearance in the series finale and much-publicized spin-off plans both indicate. Still, Lincoln's departure from "The Walking Dead" hasn't left him without work. Quite the opposite, in fact. Lincoln has been busy.

He played a devoted husband in Penguin Bloom

Andrew Lincoln's first gig after leaving "The Walking Dead" came in 2020 when he appeared in the Australian drama film "Penguin Bloom." Though it only received a limited theatrical release in North America, it made its box office debut in Australia at number one in its first weekend.

Based on the novel of the same name, "Penguin Bloom" tells the story of Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts), who suffers a near-fatal fall that leaves her partially paralyzed. When an injured magpie comes into her life, Sam names it Penguin. She cares for it and is inspired to not let her paralysis define her. Lincoln played Sam's supportive photographer husband, Cameron.

Intended as an inspirational story, "Penguin Bloom" received mixed reviews, though the performances by both Watts and Lincoln were praised as bright spots for the film. "As the 'trying his best' husband, Lincoln does well," wrote Digital Spy's Gabriella Geisinger, "and the tension in their marriage isn't overwrought."

He played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol

Also in 2020, Lincoln appeared as none other than Ebenezer Scrooge in a filmed stage production of "A Christmas Carol" at London's storied Old Vic theater. Shot during the height of the pandemic, this version of the Old Vic's annual production of Dickens' classic was part of the theater's "In Camera" initiative, which mounted socially distant productions broadcast online (via LondonTheatre1.com).

"Under normal circumstances, I would be in the audience this Christmas watching this production, because I've seen two out of three of the last years' productions," Lincoln said in a video interview. "It's this magical, beautiful, theatrical production, in my opinion. And I've become a complete fanboy for these productions."

Of course, Lincoln isn't exactly a stranger to Christmas stories. One of his first recognizable roles, well before he donned his sheriff's hat and started shooting zombies, was as the lovelorn Mark in the Christmas ensemble comedy-drama, "Love Actually." Though Lincoln expressed concerns that his character's actions -– confessing his undying love to his best friend's wife (Keira Knightley) –- might come off as a bit stalkerish, director Richard Curtis insisted the actor's openhearted performance prevented it from being creepy.

He appeared in Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

Playing a dedicated family man does seem to suit Andrew Lincoln. If that wasn't made clear by Rick Grimes' loyalty to his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) in the first couple seasons of "The Walking Dead," or by his performance in "Penguin Bloom," then it surely is by his appearance in "Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities."

The acclaimed horror and fantasy director's gothic anthology series premiered on Netflix in October of 2022 and is characteristically full of cautionary tales that frequently end with their protagonist gruesomely killed or horrifyingly transformed. Except, that is, for the series' final episode, the one that features Lincoln, and the only one that ends on anything like a hopeful note.

The episode is called "The Murmuring," and in it, Lincoln co-stars with Essie Davis, playing a couple of married ornithologists grieving the death of their daughter. Lincoln's Edgar spends most of the episode increasingly frustrated with his wife Nancy (Davis) for her refusal to talk about their child's passing. But it is Nancy's encounters with the wailing ghosts of a mother and son that finally force her to face her grief, and result in several powerful scenes between Davis and Lincoln.