Meet “TRICK GRIMES”
At first glance your heart might plummet to your stomach. You might think to yourself, “It can’t be him, right? There’s no way! IS THAT ANDY LINCOLN?! IS RICK GRIMES REAL?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!’ These are all thoughts I had when I saw Rick Grimes cosplayer Trent Roberts at Walker Stalker Nashville. Though I can assure you, after careful inspection, he is in fact NOT Rick Grimes. But he’s pretty damn close.
First, tell me a little background on you. What is your day job? How did you get into cosplaying as our favorite python wielding badass?
I live in the Dallas area but [am] originally from Louisiana. My “real” job is Regional Sales Manager for a Whiskey company so I stay very busy with a lot of travel. That’s why I have to be selective on how many events I can do as a cosplayer. As for how this started, I have been a fan of the show since day one. From the age of about 20 or so I’ve always had a beard and longer hair. Every once in a while I would change up and shave but it wouldn’t last long, so I’ve looked like Rick way before there was a Rick. Starting about season 3 I started having people notice and comment on my resemblance. Then early in 2016 my sons wanted to go to a comic con in Dallas and suggested I dress as Rick and they ended up regretting the suggestion. We started getting stopped for pics in the parking lot and once we entered we couldn’t walk more than 10 feet at a time before getting stopped for another picture. It didn’t help that my youngest son dressed as Carl. He quickly got tired of hearing “Ccooorrallll”. This is where someone mentioned to me that I should go to a Walker Stalker Con. I had never heard of it but went home and looked at future dates.
How many Walker Stalker conventions have you attended?
The first one was Dallas last year and then Atlanta last October. Nashville was my first working WSC. I did attend Dallas FanExpo twice and another smaller con or two in the Dallas area. Megacon the week before was my very first con to work. I will be attending A-kon this weekend but not cosplaying because I want my boys to be able to enjoy themselves even though they realize even in regular clothes I will probably still get stopped some. Oh and I forgot one of the most fun things I’ve done with this, the cruise.
Do you have any memorable moments from this past weekend’s convention in Nashville?
Too many. Even though I am working some of these now I still have a hard time thinking of myself as a professional cosplayer. This is for fun and to give fans a great experience. I guess a couple of times this weekend we had fans with either physical or mental disabilities and to see their faces light up makes it all worthwhile. Also, it’s funny how many of the fans that I have to actually convince I am not Andrew.
What’s been the best part of attending WSC?
The fans. I didn’t realize how close knit a family this was. I have started seeing the same people now at multiple events and started forming friendships. I also have to say that through this I have had the pleasure to meet many of the stars of the show and they have all been incredibly nice.
Which ones did you meet and what was their reaction to you? Have you met the elusive Andy Lincoln yet?
I’ve met Steven Yeun, Scott Wilson, Greg Nicotero, Michael Rooker, Michael Cudlitz, Chandler Riggs. In Nashville, Irone came up to me hugged me and complimented me on my resemblance as did Chad Coleman who I happened to run into in the restroom of all places. I was lucky enough to get to ask Andrew a question at his panel in Atlanta. Norman was on stage and saw me first and said to him “he looks just like you” and then Andrew asked if I could fill in for him at work on Monday. It was nice to get the acknowledgement. I have also met a couple of the saviors and they have said the resemblance is uncanny. Norman passed me on the walkway as we were boarding for the cruise and even he did a double take when he saw me then even in street clothes. Gave me a thumbs up.
Kia and I were majorly creeping on you in Nashville because you look SO much like Rick. All the way down to the swagger. As someone who has met Andy in person, the swagger is an integral part to being Andy/Rick. Is the swagger learned or is that just you being you?
I’ve had people say I even walk like him but that is just my normal walk. For most of my life I have worn cowboy boots almost daily, so I’m sure that is part of the natural walk. I’ll admit though that once the jacket and gun belt go on it probably amplifies it a bit.
So, be honest, is it weird when people stare you down (*ahem* kind of like we did?😳)?
Sometimes. I’m still wrapping my head around all this. It is weird to me the way people act towards me and I’m not even the guy. I just look like the guy. The one thing I want to make very clear to everyone, I am not the celebrity here. Even when fans know I’m not him they get all emotional around me or are afraid to approach me. Please don’t do that. I’m just a regular guy who happens to look like someone famous. That doesn’t make me famous. I have been around enough cons now to see that there are too many professional cosplayers who think they are celebrities and have the attitude to go with it. That’s not why I’m doing this. I enjoy cutting up and having fun with everyone and I hope that if nothing else people will know me as the fun, nice Rick cosplayer.
How difficult was it to acquire the Rick Grimes wardrobe (including his famous murder coat)?
I’m kind of a perfectionist about this. If I’m going to do it I have to be true to the character. There are a lot of Rick coat options out there but I wanted to make sure the collar was the right color and pocket zippers were at the right angle. I also had a few comments early on that my wardrobe was to new and clean so I took the jacket with me to my deer lease and drug it down the gravel roads behind my 4 wheeler. I also would freeze frame the show to see exactly where there were rips or fraying on his shirts and pants in order to duplicate as accurately as possible. The only other two significant expenses were the gun belt and Colt Python. I ordered the exact Tex Shoemaker holster that he uses in the show and again made sure I had all the accessories on the belt exactly as he does. The Python was a CO2 pistol that I modified the grip and replaced with actual Colt grips. It looks and feels just like the real thing now. The beat up boots, jeans and tshirt were obviously easy.
Do you have a favorite wardrobe item?
The gun belt. I grew up watching westerns and reading Louis Lamour books and always said I should have been born in the 1800’s. When I put that on I just feel like the sheriff getting ready for a gun fight.
Do you ever get stopped when you’re out and about because people think you’re Andy Lincoln?
Everyday. Especially because I do spend a lot of time in airports due to my real job. It always happens when I’m walking through and out of the corner of my eye I see people sitting at gates tapping the person next to them and pointing at me. Or, I walk by a group and over my shoulder I hear ” OMG that was…..”. It was just funny to my friends and family but now it’s kind of like, can we not go anywhere with you that someone doesn’t come over. We were at Universal Orlando for spring break and my sons wanted pics with they people in the Bart and Homer Simpson costumes. Now I’m on vacation in shorts, flip flops, tshirt and sunglasses. When my boys were finished and we were about to walk away we hear Homer say “excuse me but can we get a picture with Rick”. I’ve been to Senoia) about 3 times now and have had interactions with people there who have been face to face with Andrew, sometimes on a regular basis. They have approached me and started a conversation as if I’m him. I’ve had to stop them and identify myself.
What do you love most about cosplaying as Rick Grimes?
Having the opportunity to due some charitable work due to this resemblance is great. I have committed to due an event for a children’s charity in Vancouver this October and hopefully this will open doors for more. Talking to fans and hearing that I may be the closest they ever get to meeting Rick is another motivation to make sure they have a memorable experience when they meet me.