March 21, 2019 Interview – Matt Lintz of The Walking Dead
When AMC first premiered The Walking Dead on Halloween of 2010, no one could have foreseen a series that would extend to nearly a ten year mark and compile 129 plus episodes. Furthermore, no one could have ever predicted it would become a pop culture phenomenon that would capitulate it to record-breaking ratings. Well, it is now 9 years later and The Walking Dead is still standing with some familiar faces from the beginning, as well as some new ones from more recent times. One character who has come into their own in the 9th season of the series is Hilltop’s Henry, someone who has gone from a young boy learning his way to a young man capable of protecting others and help for the greater good.
Initially portrayed by Mascen Lintz, after the 6 year time jump in The Walking Dead’s storyline, an elder Henry was needed, thus ushering in Mascen’s real life brother for the role, Matt Lintz. Now pretty well acquainted with Matt’s portrayal of a more mature Henry, fans are starting to fall in love with the character as his role becomes more pronounced in the world of The Walking Dead.
Excited for the opportunity to become a key player on The Walking Dead, Matt recently sat down to chat about his experience thus far as part of the team, his preparation for the role, building a friendship with Norman Reedus, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in entertainment starring in film and television since a very young age. Now a decade into your young career, how would you describe working as an actor?
Matt Lintz – Well, it’s definitely very different from any other job; definitely a lot of ups and downs. Acting has given me the blessing of being able to travel around the world to see new places, cultures, and people; so it’s definitely a blessing. Getting to work with gifted and experienced actors has really helped me throughout the years and has helped me improve.
Cryptic Rock – It sounds like it has been a really fun experience for you. As mentioned, you have done feature films, as well as parts on television. How would you compare your experience working in television opposed to features?
Matt Lintz – Well the main thing that comes to mind is, that with features, you have one set director. This is while in television, each episode usually has a different director. Both are very unique in their own ways and I love doing both!
Cryptic Rock – It is good to have a mix of both. Speaking of television, you recently took a leading role as a more mature version of Henry on AMC’s The Walking Dead. What has your experience been like thus far as part of the series?
Matt Lintz – Oh, it has been amazing. The cast and crew have been so welcoming to me. Being able to build a character like Henry with such an amazing cast has made life much easier. Coming in half way through the season, I was a little nervous on how I would fit in, but with the show being such a well-oiled machine, they welcomed me with open arms!
Cryptic Rock – That is good to hear. What is very interesting is you actually took over the role from your younger brother Macsen. That said, the transition has been rather flawless. Did Macsen talk to you about the role at all prior to you taking over? Perhaps give you some insight to it?
Matt Lintz – You know what’s interesting is that I wasn’t gonna do the role if Macsen didn’t want me to, but he was all for me taking on older Henry! His maturity at such a young age is so cool to see. We definitely talked about the role a bit, but I made sure I watched Season 8 intently and studied Henry at a younger age so I could decide what I wanted to do with Henry 6 years later.
Cryptic Rock – It shows that you did study Henry’s younger self, because you do a fine job with the character. We are introduced to the elder version of Henry after the return from the mid-season finale. Now more than a handful of episodes into the second half of Season 9, we see Henry is a caring, matured young man. What has it been like for you to develop the character further?
Matt Lintz – For me, when developing Henry it was important to show that he has changed over the 6 year time jump. Over 6 years, Henry has gotten a lot better with his bo staff, and I did a lot of training prior to shooting to make sure that the audience could see that. Shooting the show as the same character my brother played has been so cool to me and has made it so much more enjoyable as well. Six years is definitely a long time in the apocalypse and I think Henry has changed quite a bit.
Cryptic Rock – Yes, he certainly has changed and grown a lot. Your character has also been spending a good deal of time with Daryl as a bit of a mentor. What has it been like working opposite Norman Reedus?
Matt Lintz – Norman is amazing not only as an actor, but just as amazing as a person. Most of my scenes being with him so far in the show have not only led to Henry and Daryl building a relationship, but also with Norman and I as well.
Cryptic Rock – That is really cool to hear that. It is also interesting to watch Henry and Daryl connect. In the last few episodes of The Walking Dead, we saw Henry really take a new spotlight as you start get to know the mysterious Whisperer named Lydia. Seeing that yourself and Cassady McClincy are new cast members on The Walking Dead, what was it like shooting scenes with her?
Matt Lintz – The first time I met her she was a ball of energy and the scenes her and I have shared have been amazing. We honestly just had a lot of chemistry straight from the start and I think you can see that. Episode 10 is where Henry and Lydia get to know each other somewhat to an extent and its where they really start to build a relationship; which has led to a sort of Romeo and Juliet scenario. She and I have a blast on set.
Cryptic Rock – It does look like you two have a chemistry. Lydia seems to have some good in her heart, but there is still a lot unknown about her true intentions. Without giving anything away, do you think fans will be surprised to see what happens next in regards to Lydia’s character development?
Matt Lintz – Like you said, I don’t want to give anything away, but she for sure has good in her heart and I think Henry can sense that from when he firsts meets her. Being a part of such a barbaric group such as The Whisperers has caused her to trust no one really, but after her conversations with Henry, as well as when she sees Hilltop, I think she realizes there is still at least some good in the world.
Cryptic Rock – It seems to be that way. Well, it will be fun to see where Season 9 goes from here! Beyond acting, what are some of your other interests? Perhaps a love for music, sports, etc? That said, what is your favorite pastime in between acting and school work?
Matt Lintz – Something I’m very passionate about is weights! I love going to the gym and I’m usually there 6 or 7 days a week. I’ve been lifting about a year and some change and it’s something that has become a way of life for me.
Cryptic Rock – That is a great habit to get into while you are young and continue on with as you get older. Now late in your high school years, is it a challenge to balance academics with your acting schedule?
Matt Lintz – It is so hard to balance acting and school, especially with how much school I have to miss. Sometimes I miss weeks at a time and it’s very challenging to be caught up in school as well as being fully committed to acting. It’s challenging, but not impossible. (Smiles)
Cryptic Rock – Exactly, if you keep yourself focused, it will fall into place. Last question. If you are a fan of either Horror and Sci-Fi films, what are some of your favorites?
Matt Lintz – I love those genres! I’m more of fan of modern Horror films such as The Conjuring and Annabelle series. I haven’t really gotten into the old classics, such as Friday the 13th (1980), but it’s definitely on my list!