Before he began fighting zombles, Andrew Lincoln famously fought his emotions on screen.
The star of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which has just started Season 4 on Sundays, first gained international notice as the wedding recorder who pined for the bride (Keira Knightley) of his best friend (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in “Love Actually.” The multi-plotted, star-packed and long-popular romantic comedy gets a newly remastered 10th-anniversary DVD and Blu-ray release Tuesday (Oct. 15), and Lincoln has only the fondest memories of making the movie.
“I’ve always said that zombie years are like dog years,” he muses to Zap2it. “I think you age seven years to the one, so it probably feels like four lifetimes since I did that job, but it was extraordinary. I can distinguish vividly between the roles I’m happy to get, and the ones where I jump up and down with joy when my agent calls with the news … and that was one of the first in my career where I jumped up and down.”
Lincoln has arguably the most famous scene in “Love Actually,” written and directed by Richard Curtis, as his character Mark ultimately shows up at Juliet’s (Knightley) door and silently professes the love his “wasted heart” holds for her via a series of handwritten signs. “I thought it was an exquisite script,” Lincoln recalls, “but when I read the scene with the cards, I just said, ‘That’s an iconic moment in cinema. If you get that right, that’s it.'”
That certainly was “it” for Curtis, as Lincoln learned on the “Love Actually” set: “Halfway through filming it, Richard’s partner Emma (Sigmund Freud’s great-granddaughter) came over and whispered in my ear, ‘You know, you’re playing Richard.’ I said, ‘What?’ And she said, ‘Yeah. This is the closest to Richard that he’s ever written.’ That made it a double honor, because Richard is such a wonderful, extraordinary human being.”
Curtis has written for Hugh Grant several times, not only in “Love Actually” (in which the actor played England’s prime minister) but also “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill.” Lincoln reasons of Curtis, “It’s so hard to do what he does so well, and to do it with the quality and the wit that he has. It’s magnificent.”
To call Lincoln “visible” this month is an understatement, since he’s in another television series, too. On Friday, Oct. 25, Cinemax starts running “Strike Back: Origins,” the original British season of the action show that preceded the episodes already shown in the U.S. — and also came just before Lincoln landed his “Walking Dead” role as Rick Grimes.
“I’ve been working for 20 years now,” he reflects, “and a lot of it obviously has been the film, TV and theater I’ve done back in England. For me, it’s incredibly exciting for people to see other sides of my work, in things that I’m pleased with or that I’ve enjoyed doing.”