Andrew Lincoln is having second thoughts about his decision to exit The Walking Dead at the time that he did.

Andrew Lincoln left The Walking Dead behind last fall when the longtime star of the show exited in episode 5 of the current season. It seems the actor might be slightly regretting that, however, as his good pal Norman Reedus has revealed that Lincoln told him he feels he left the series at the wrong time after seeing how good the season turned out.

Ahead of this week’s grand finale, Reedus spoke to EW about how much he’s enjoyed making the show this year and how pumped the whole crew is about how it’s turned out. In doing so, the actor quoted something Lincoln had told him in a recent catch-up, saying:

“It’s funny because I talked to Andy the other day. And he was like, ‘Man, I picked the wrong time to leave the show because it’s so f—ing good right now.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, you did, dude. You picked the wrong time.’”

Luckily for Lincoln, though he didn’t get to be part of the latter half of season 9, he isn’t done with the world of The Walking Dead for good. He’ll soon return as Rick Grimes for the first of what’s expected to be a trilogy of TV movies that’ll explore what happened to the character after he was helicopter-ed away by Jadis.

Switching back to season 9, Reedus went on to praise new showrunner Angela Kang’s approach to steering the ship, explaining how the renewed sense of guidance for the show has helped reinvigorate the cast and crew.

“I love the risks that she’s taken. I love what Angela’s doing to the show. She’s very punk rock, Angela Kang. She jumps in. There’s a confidence with our crew and with our cast and with our storytelling that we’ve earned over the years. If you’re going to take risks, now’s the time to take them, and they’re all paying off. After nine years, you have to reinvent yourself a little bit. I just want to make the show that we want to make, and it feels like that’s what we’re doing. You can feel it in the crew. You can feel it in the cast. You can feel it in the scripts. It’s the show that we want to make.”

Fans have definitely responded to the season in much the same way, with the ninth run generally being judged as the best in years. The last two episodes, for instance, have been seriously devastating, what with the flashback to Michonne’s encounter with those creepy kids and the Whisperers’ brutal massacre of 10 of the survivors.

Hopefully, it’ll all end on a high when The Walking Dead 9×16 “The Storm” airs on AMC this Sunday, March 31st.


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