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Andrew Lincoln Says He’s ‘Going to Take a Break’ After ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9

San Diego Comic-Con 2018: Answering a fan question, Lincoln said he doesn’t know what the future might hold for his career

Andrew Lincoln is leaving “The Walking Dead” and the role of Rick Grimes after the end of Season 9, but that doesn’t mean he plans to step into another character right away.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Lincoln addressed fan questions about his departure from the show during AMC’s panel on”The Walking Dead,” in which it showed a trailer for Season 9. When one fan asked what was next for Lincoln, the actor responded, “I’m going to take a break for a while.”

The fan question also asked what sort of role he might want to take on next.

“I really don’t know,” he said, noting that he’s been playing Rick Grimes for nearly a decade. “There are a couple things I’m thinking about doing, but I’m so in love with Rick Grimes and this show that I don’t know if I can put him down yet.”

He also joked that, once he’s done with “The Walking Dead,” he would be “going to bed for three months.”

Lincoln used the panel as a chance to thank fans for their support for “The Walking Dead” over the years, and to praise his fellow cast and crew on the show.

“I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show, you people, and this has been the most extraordinary, amazing, beautiful experience of my career, largely because of you guys and the relationship we have here with you, and with you, in this room, and also in rooms across America and the rest of the world,” Lincoln said. “So I do want to thank you.”

He also said he thought that Season 9 represented some of the best “The Walking Dead” has to offer.

“I’m really, really, really excited about this season,” he said later. “I think there are two episodes that for me are my favorite episodes since the pilot. So I also just want to commend all of these amazing actors and everybody, the rest of the cast — I think they’re doing the greatest work I’ve ever seen. This has always been an ensemble, and it will continue to be an ensemble, and no one is bigger than the story, and the story this year is unbelievable.”

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