‘Walking Dead’ Star Chandler Riggs Responds to ‘Overwhelming’ Fan Support

“I didn’t know that this many people connected to him, like, on such an extreme level,” actor tells TheWrap

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead”)

Well, everyone, it happened: our favorite sheriff’s hat-wearing teen in the zombie apocalypse died. It’s safe to say fans were heartbroken at his death, so much so that it overwhelmed Chandler Riggs himself.

I didn’t know that this many people connected to him like on such an extreme level,” Riggs said in an interview with TheWrap after the midseason premiere, in which Carl Grimes dies from a zombie bite he suffered earlier in the season. 

“It was really overwhelming and fascinating to see how many people … loved the character and how excited they were to see how the story was going to end. And see how the character was going to impact the rest of the series,” Riggs said, adding that he suspects the groundswell of fan support comes in part from his character’s relatability. 

“He’s a very relatable character, and he’s not too outspoken,” Riggs said when asked why fans might gravitate towards the Alexandrian. “He’s more wise, kind of quiet, he really knows what he’s doing.”

But Riggs thinks that the biggest reason fans relate to Carl is that they were able to watch him grow from a little kid begging Rick (Andrew Lincoln) to let him use a gun to a well-spoken teenager trying to convince his dad that a better life is attainable.

“I think a lot of people really connect with him [because] … a lot of people watching the show grew up with him,” Riggs said. “I think that gave them even more of a special connection to Carl.”

So what’s next for Riggs?

For starters, he’s been DJing under the name Eclipse.

I really love doing [music],” Riggs said. He added that he’s been producing music for about a year-and-a-half now after one of his best friends taught him the basics, but “it’s so much fun actually being able to put it out now and being able to, like, own it and everything.”

“I‘m definitely going to continue doing other acting jobs as well, and I’ve already done two other films, but DJing is definitely something I really enjoy doing,” he said. 

“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.