Chandler Riggs: Carl Isn't a Psychopath

'With all these fences around him, he might be able to find his humanity,' says 'The Walking Dead' actor

Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs as Rick and Carl Grimes on The Walking Dead
Frans Schellekens/Redferns
Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs as Rick and Carl Grimes on 'The Walking Dead'
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Last week, in anticipation of The Walking Dead's fourth season premiere, Rolling Stone published exclusive interviews with six cast and crew members, including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and David Morrissey. But we were just getting started. Check back tomorrow and everyday this week for more conversations with your favorite characters, including Maggie, Michonne and today, Carl.

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How old were you when you got this gig?
My first day on set, I was 10, but I turned 11 while we were filming the first season.

When you started, were there things that your parents thought was inappropriate?
Not so much. I play a lot of Call of Duty and Halo, so zombie stuff was actually really cool to watch. The makeup was amazing. I know it's all pretend. The producers and everyone like that were really serious with all the killings and there's a guy on the set that we can talk to about it if we need to. There's lots of support from everyone.

Your relationship with Andrew Lincoln is a centerpiece of the show. How has your relationship developed off-screen?
Throughout the years, he's just been an awesome guy to work with. He's been my mentor. Along with Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies, they've helped me so much.

What was it like having Jon and Sarah killed off?
It was really hard. When anyone gets killed off it's really sad because once they get killed off you never really see them again. It's actually kind of helpful because in the scenes, I can use that sadness if I need to cry.

It seems like Carl is becoming a bit of a sociopath. How do you feel about playing that?
I can see what he's thinking, and I actually don't see the craziness in him. When all the fans gave me a hard time about Carl killing that kid in the woods, apparently no one listened to that whole monologue I said to Rick explaining why I killed him. So I really don't see him as a psychopath. Another thing is Carl had to adapt to the environment around him. Rick, he kills people all the time.  You've got to grow up some time. That's kind of what season four comes back to. With all these fences around him, Carl might be able to find his humanity.