Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Rick Grimes Points a Gun on The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1

Can you imagine The Ricktator played by anyone but Andrew Lincoln?

Andy just earned his first Critics' Choice TV Awards nomination for playing Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead Season 3 — and it's about dang time — but he wasn't the first choice to play the role.

Frank Darabont, the original showrunner who was unceremoniously ousted during production of Season 2, said he wanted one of the stars of his film The Mist to play Rick — Thomas Jane. But Tom was unavailable, since he was working on the now defunct HBO show Hung.

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Photo: Thomas Jane

“I thought Tom would be awesome for that,” Frank said at a Q&A after a Hero Complex Film Festival screening of The Mist. “I’d still have a job, too,” Tom joked. But Frank was ultimately thrilled to have Andy in the role. "Tom was the natural choice for that and when he became unavailable I went 'Oh, I'm doomed, I'm screwed! I'll never find anybody who's good for this part,'" Frank continued. "And then of course Andy Lincoln came in and read for it and he's brilliant and perfect and I love and adore him."

If you watch The Mist, you'll see a lot of familiar TWD faces — including Laurie Holden (Andrea), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale), and Melissa McBride (Carol). Tom probably would've done a fine job, but we're glad Andy was cast. Funny that the guy from Love Actually actually ended up a perfect fit for a zombie apocalypse show! It was fate.

Source: L.A. Times