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The Lost Actor Who Almost Played Rick Grimes In The Walking Dead

While "The Walking Dead" arguably isn't nearly as popular as it was during its early days, the fact that it's managed to last for 11 seasons is an undeniably impressive feat. Based on the popular comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, "The Walking Dead" focuses on the survivors of an ongoing zombie apocalypse and their struggles to remain alive while being threatened by not only the undead but also their fellow humans. The first eight seasons center around Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his family, though the series has always had a large cast of characters.

After Lincoln departed the show early in Season 9, its focus shifted to other long-surviving characters. While it's likely hard for fans to imagine a world in which the role of Rick isn't played by Lincoln, the process of casting can be a long one, filled with possibility. The casting process for "The Walking Dead" was likely no different, and there was actually a point where the role of Rick nearly went to a notable "Lost" actor instead of Lincoln.

Mark Pellegrino apparently auditioned for the role of Rick Grimes

According to Uproxx, Mark Pellegrino, who is probably best known for playing the mysterious Jacob on "Lost," was once in the running to play Rick Grimes on "The Walking Dead." Fans of the comic book series will note that the actor looks a lot like the character as he's drawn. Apparently, Pellegrino wasn't the only actor considered for the role either. Jamie Bamber from "Battlestar Galactica," Stuart Townsend from "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," and Ethan Embry from "Sweet Home Alabama" all auditioned for the role as well. Interestingly enough, Embry did end up appearing on "The Walking Dead" eventually, though in a completely different role: Carter, a construction worker in the Alexandria Safe-Zone.

Again, it's hard to imagine a world in which Andrew Lincoln doesn't play Rick. It's also hard not to wonder if the character would still be on the show had a different actor stepped into the role given that he was written off because Lincoln wanted to spend more time with his family (via Screen Rant). Of course, that leads to all kinds of other questions, including whether the show would even have been as popular without Lincoln's involvement. It's impossible to say, but it's fun to speculate just how different "The Walking Dead" would have been now if someone else had landed the lead role.