Rick Grimes, you are not the father.
It was the “Walking Dead” baby reveal heard ’round the world when in Episode 4 of Season 7, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) confirmed what fans had suspected for years: Shane (Jon Bernthal) is truly the father of Judith Grimes.
Now, with Season 8 set to premiere this October, Judith’s real parents are finally speaking out. HuffPost caught up with former “Walking Dead” actors Sarah Wayne Callies and Jon Bernthal to get their takes on the big reveal, and the pair were actually pretty thoughtful.
Talking with us earlier this year at Aasif Mandvi’s All-Star Deportation Jamboree (held in support of the International Rescue Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union), Wayne Callies first told us she had no idea the show had revealed Shane was the father, because she doesn’t watch.
“I can’t. It’s scary,” she said with a laugh before adding, “It’s interesting because you actually landed in the middle of a very political question for me. I’m the mother of an adopted son in reality, so to me the parents of a child are the people who stand up and take responsibility for that child. I will lay down my life for that child, and I will love that child until the day I die.”
She continued, “That makes Rick Judith’s father regardless of her biology.”
It was a touching and personal answer. “God bless her on the nose job she’s gonna need,” Wayne Callies then joked, “because Jon Bernthal’s got himself a honker, and mine’s not small either.”
She added, “Girlfriend’s gonna need some shading.”
We also recently spoke with Bernthal, who’s now starring in “Pilgrimage.” The actor told us he did already know about the reveal, saying, “Andy [Lincoln] might’ve shot me a message to let me know, a funny text.”
“I always thought in my gut it was Shane’s baby, but it was interesting that they took it there officially, that they had their Maury Povich moment,” he said before reflecting on how close he is with the cast, telling us they’re all “very much a family.”
“I think most important with that show is I really love the people that make that show. That cast are some of the actors that I’m closest with in my life.”
In the end, who cares who the father is? Like Bernthal says, they are just one big, happy, zombie-killing fam.
"The Walking Dead" Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 on AMC.