Jeffrey Dean Morgan Says Chandler Riggs “Knocked It Out Of The Park”

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Ever since Negan finally arrived on The Walking Dead in the Season 6 premiere, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan has garnered nothing but praise for his performance. But it was his co-star Chandler Riggs who’s recently earned the lion’s share of the praise.

Riggs has played Carl Grimes on The Walking Dead for seven years now. We’ve literally watched him grow up on national television. Carl’s had a few standout moments on the show, most notably when he was forced to kill his own mother before she could become infected.

Arguably though, nothing Riggs has done so far on the show can compare to his interaction with Morgan as Negan.

Fatherly Advice

Negan and Carl on The Walking Dead
Image Credit: AMC

Morgan himself has nothing but kind words for his young co-star.

“Well, he was great. He’s a pro. He’s been on this show for seven years and he’s grown up on this thing,” says Morgan. “You know who was super excited about shooting these scenes was Chandler Riggs!

It was a big moment for Carl, this whole episode, and Chandler was very excited.

And I remember talking to [Andrew Lincoln]. I called Andy when the episode came up to get any advice that he might have, because I had never really worked with Chandler a lot and he’d been working with Chandler for his whole life. Andy gave me some great advice and we went in and we did it and Chandler was so excited, and I was so excited to be living these moments as well.”

An Impressive Performance

Actors are rarely vocal with criticisms about their co-stars, so a cynic might say Morgan is “just being kind.” But much like his character, Negan, Morgan’s words seem to be genuine.

“I was so impressed with him as a young actor,” says Morgan. “I think it’s the finest work he’s done on the show, period. [When I was] sitting across from him doing that scene and he’s unwrapping his head and, man, he was right there, and I was very, very impressed with him.

I remember I went home and I called Andy and I go, “Your kid just knocked it out of the park.” He killed it. That’s all you can ask and all you can hope for.”

If the show continues to follow the storyline from the comics, we should see much more interaction between Negan and Carl in the future. At least we hope so — Riggs’ portrayal of Carl keeps us tuning in. 

What do you think has made Chandler Riggs acting so good lately? Does the interplay between Carl and Negan hold your attention? 

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