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Why Venom’s Michelle Williams Decided To Join A Superhero Movie

As popular as comic book movies have become, not every actor seems to be interested in becoming part of one. There’s still something of a division between the popular film genre and the “artistic” movie scene that makes up the sort of the films that you tend to see on awards shows. Michelle Williams, a multi-time Academy Award nominee, would generally be part of this latter group, but it turns out she really wanted to join the comic book movie genre, because she thought it looked like a fun challenge. According to Williams…

While some may turn their nose up at movies based on comic books, Michelle Williams is not one of those people. In fact, quite to the contrary, she sees a unique challenge in being in a movie like that. The actress sees actors on screen in some of the most fantastic and unbelievable situations one could imagine, but on screen, it all looks so real. Williams saw that as a different sort of challenge as an actor. Some might think acting against a green screen or performing opposite a tennis ball on a stick might not be something to strive towards, but if you’ve never done it, how do you know how well you could do it?

Michelle Williams also points out that comic movies, generally speaking, look to be a lot of fun on screen and whatever your job is, it’s nice when you can really enjoy doing it from time to time.

However, Michelle Williams tells Collider there was also one other reason that she chose to make Venom specifically. She wasn’t simply interested in making a comic book movie, she was also interested in making one with this particular lead actor.

Based on what Michelle Williams has said recently, it sounds like she enjoyed making Venom as much as she would have hoped. She has called the possibility of playing She-Venom in a future film, something that could be in the cards based on the character she plays in Venom, a “dream come true.” It’s one thing to have been part of a comic book movie. It’s apparently another to actually play the hero, or in this case, anti-hero.

Based on the initial box office response, it’s quite possible Michelle Williams could get that chance. Venom crushed the October box office in its opening weekend. If it keeps going in that direction then you can be sure that a sequel is going to be on the way, and probably sooner rather than later.

Taylor Swift’s Political Post Is Having a Massive Effect on Voter Registration

On Sunday night, October 7, Taylor Swift made a rare political statement on Instagram, endorsing the Democratic nominees for Tennessee’s Senate and House of Representatives (Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, respectively). Soon after, her post racked up more than 1.7 million likes and started trending on Twitter.

“I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” she wrote in the caption. “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love.” Swift ended her post with a call to action, urging everyone—particularly her fans in Tennessee—to register to vote.

And now, we might be seeing the effect of Swift’s message. Vote.org is up 65,000 voter registrations in the last 24 hours, according to Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for the website. (Swift directed fans specifically to the site in her Instagram post.) According to BuzzFeed, 190,178 voters were registered in September and 56,669 were registered in August—so the fact Swift caused a 65,000 spike in just 24 hours is impressive.

Swift’s home state of Tennessee also had a similar jump. “Vote.org saw [Tennessee] registrations spike specifically since Taylor’s post,” Guthrie told BuzzFeed. The website received 5,183 new registrations in Tennessee this month, and 2,144 of those came from the last 36 hours. Compare that to the 2,811 new voter registrations for all of September and just 951 in August. Vote.org even had a spike in traffic after Swift’s post, with 155,940 unique visitors checking out the site in the past 24 hours, according to BuzzFeed. That’s a new high for Vote.org, coming only behind the 304,942 visitors who went to the site on National Voter Registration Day (September 25).

Of course, not everyone is behind Swift’s message. Conservative men came out in droves yesterday to criticize the singer. “What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics,” Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA, said on Fox & Friends.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) even took shots at Swift’s fans. “So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won’t impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote,” he posted on Monday morning. “Still with #MarshaBlackburn.” The Swifties quickly hit back at Huckabee for his faulty logic. “I love how everyone thinks her fanbase is only 13 year olds,” one wrote. “She’s been in the business for 12 years, so a lot of her fanbase are in their 20s and 30s now. I’m 24.”

Even President Donald Trump put in his two-cents. “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now,” he said when asked about Swift’s endorsements.

How this will affect Swift’s career at large is still a mystery. The singer wrapped the U.S. leg of her Reputation Stadium Tour before releasing this statement, so there won’t be any new ticket sales to analyze. Some have speculated she may lose followers on Twitter or Instagram, but her numbers have by and large stayed the same over the past two days. We clocked Swift’s Instagram followers yesterday at 112,086,524. Today, we recorded 112,119,128. On Twitter, she’s at 83,553,485 followers; we noted 83,540,926 yesterday. (We also reached out to Instagram and Twitter for comment and will update with that information.)

As an artist with a devout country fanbase—many of whom are conservative—Swift is risking her popularity by speaking out. But it seems Swift isn’t thinking about what’s good or bad for business. She’s thinking about the wellbeing of her legion of female and queer fans, who will be some of the people most affected by these midterm elections. As she wrote in her post, “In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”

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The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses

The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses
Illustration: Pep Montserrat

After decades of screening potential leaders for charm and charisma, some employers are realizing they’ve been missing one of the most important traits of all: humility.

In an era when hubris is rewarded on social media and in business and politics, researchers and employment experts say turning the limelight on humble people might yield better results.

Humility is a core quality of leaders who inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in their teams, according to several studies in the past three years. Humble people tend to be aware of their own weaknesses, eager to improve themselves, appreciative of others’ strengths and focused on goals beyond their own self-interest.

Among employees, it’s linked to lower turnover and absenteeism. These strengths are often overlooked because humble people tend to fly under the radar, making outsiders think it’s their teams doing all the work.

More companies are taking humility into account in making hiring and promotion decisions. Researchers are developing new methods of tracking this low-key trait.

Hogan Assessments, a leading maker of workplace personality tests, plans to unveil a new 20-item scale early in 2019 designed to measure humility in job seekers and candidates for leadership posts, says Ryne Sherman, chief science officer for the Tulsa, Okla., company. The scale will prompt people to agree or disagree with such statements as, “I appreciate other people’s advice at work,” or “I’m entitled to more respect than the average person.”

“Most of the thinking suggests leaders should be charismatic, attention-seeking and persuasive,” Dr. Sherman says. “Yet such leaders tend to ruin their companies because they take on more than they can handle, are overconfident and don’t listen to feedback from others,” he says.

Humble leaders can also be highly competitive and ambitious. But they tend to avoid the spotlight and give credit to their teams, Dr. Sherman says. They also ask for help and listen to feedback from others, setting an example that causes subordinates to do the same.

More employers are also screening entry-level recruits for humility. That’s partly because it predicts ethical behavior and longer tenure on the job, says Adam Miller, chief executive of Cornerstone OnDemand, a Santa Monica, Calif., provider of talent-management software.

The apparel company Patagonia begins scrutinizing job applicants for humility as soon as they walk through the door for interviews. Managers screening new recruits follow up by asking receptionists, “How did they engage at the front desk?” says Dean Carter, global head of human resources for the Ventura, Calif.-based company.

If staff members report disrespectful or self-absorbed behavior, “that can be a deal killer,” he says. Fostering humility makes employees at all levels feel free to suggest ideas, Mr. Carter says. Humble employees also are more likely to support the company’s mission of helping solve environmental problems.

In interviews, he asks applicants to tell him about a time when they experienced a major failure. “If they say, ‘Wow, let me think about this, because there are a lot of times when I’ve messed things up,’ that says a lot,” he says. “If they have to pick among a lot of humble learning moments, that’s good.”

Indian Hotels, operator of the luxury Taj Hotels in the U.S. and elsewhere, uses Hogan’s assessments, among others, to screen potential leaders. “Humility is an emotional skill leaders need to have,” says P.V. Ramana Murthy, global head of human resources for the Mumbai-based company. Humility gives rise to deep listening, respect for diverse views and a willingness to hear suggestions and feedback, he says.

The company also tries to instill humility in senior executives through coaching and a nine-month training program.

If you think you know which of your colleagues are humble, you could easily be wrong. Humble people don’t flaunt it. And many workers, including arrogant ones, try to be seen as humble and helpful to make a good impression, says Kibeom Lee, a psychology professor at the University of Calgary in Alberta.

Poll: How Humble Are You?

Do you agree or disagree with these statements?

1) I appreciate other people’s advice at work.

2) It’s not my job to applaud others’ achievements.

3) People lose respect when they admit their limitations.

4) I am entitled to more respect than the average person.

5) I do many things better than almost everyone I know.

6) It annoys me when others ignore my accomplishments.

People high in humility tend to agree with Item 1 and disagree with Items 2 through 6.

Source: Hogan Assessment Systems

Hogan’s new humility scale is based in part on research by Dr. Lee and Michael Ashton, a psychology professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. After reviewing personality research in several languages years ago, they identified a combination of humility and honesty, or what they called the H factor, as a stable personality trait.

It’s marked by a cluster of attributes that appear consistently in some people, including sincerity, modesty, fairness, truthfulness and unpretentiousness. The same people tend to avoid manipulating others, bending the rules or behaving in greedy or hypocritical ways. The H factor is included in a free online personality inventory they developed.

Workplace researchers often rely on subordinates’ reports to assess leaders’ level of humility. In a 2015 study of 326 employees working on 77 teams at a health-care company, researchers asked team members to assess their managers’ humility, based on a scale including their willingness to learn from others or admit when they don’t know how to do something. Team members also assessed their teams’ attitudes and performance.

Teams with humble leaders performed better and did higher-quality work than teams whose leaders exhibited less humility, according to lead researcher Bradley P. Owens, an associate professor of business ethics at Brigham Young University.

The performance gains held up independently of how much team leaders exhibited other positive leadership qualities unrelated to humility.

Some challenges may call for a different leadership style. For example, employees facing extreme threats or intense time pressure might perform better when a leader takes a more authoritative, top-down approach, Dr. Owens says.

However, companies with humble chief executives are more likely than others to have upper-management teams that work smoothly together, help each other and share decision-making, according to a study of 105 computer hardware and software firms published in the Journal of Management.

Such companies also are likely to have smaller pay gaps between the CEO and other senior executives. These factors predict closer collaboration among all senior executives, which in turn leads to greater companywide efficiency, innovation and profitability, researchers found.

Work & Family Mailbox

Q: Your Jan. 3 column about whether to quit a new job that’s a bad fit was excellent. I’m an engineer in my first job out of college and after less than four months, I’m already disappointed. My co-workers are almost all in their late 40s or early 50s, and I feel like this is the kind of place where you coast until retirement. Also, the company is smaller than I was led to believe. All I’m getting is a paycheck and some experience. Any advice?—M.R.

A: A misunderstanding about your employer’s size probably shouldn’t be a deal breaker, and it’s usually best to give a new job at least a year. Quitting after only a few months means you’ll have less freedom to make job changes in the future without being seen as a job-hopper.

Consider setting some goals. What can you learn on this job? How can you use it to help get where you want to be in five or 10 years? What skills do you need to get to the next step?

Do a little networking internally to find out what other employees and teams are doing and whether they’re excited about any parts of their jobs. Look for ways to take initiative and leave a lasting, positive impression. Consider setting some personal-development goals with your manager. Are there new skills you could be learning, or new tasks you could take on? Also, be cautious about letting your negative attitude show. If it’s obvious to managers and colleagues, it could be preventing them from offering you new opportunities.

Also, consider joining a professional group outside the company and attending a few gatherings to hear what others at your stage are doing.

Helpful books include “Ask a Manager,” by career columnist Alison Green, or “The New Rules of Work” by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew, co-founders of the career website the Muse.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

More From Work & Family

The Weeknd Wished Bella Hadid Happy Birthday With a PDA-Heavy Instagram

If there are still any lingering questions about whether Bella Hadid and The Weeknd are back together, this new Instagram should clear things up. After sparking rumors of a reunion by appearing together at New York Fashion Week and Cannes, the on-again-off-again couple are most certainly on again, after The Weeknd (whose real name is Abel Tesfaye) posted a romantic series of photos featuring himself and Hadid, in honor of the model’s 22nd birthday.

The photo set begins with a video of the couple passionately making out, a theme that continues throughout the series. There’s a shot of them sitting courtside at a basketball game and another of them holding microphones for what looks like a karaoke session. There’s even a picture of the notoriously private couple in which Tesfaye is sitting beside Hadid as she lays in a bathtub filled with rose petals.

Tesfaye captioned the PDA-filled Instagram post with the message “happy birthday Angel,” followed by a pair of heart emojis. The couple first split in 2016 after a year and a half of dating, according to People. Tesfaye then embarked on a whirlwind romance with Selena Gomez, which ended last year. Things between Tesfaye and Hadid appeared to be heating up again after People reported that they were “all over each other,” “sitting in each other’s laps,” and “definitely looked like they were fully back together” at Coachella this year. But Hadid shot down that report when she commented on an E! News report of the gossip. “It wasn’t me,” she wrote at the time.

Now, after months of speculation, there seems to be no question that Tesfaye and Hadid are a couple once more. But, if you’re expecting a statement from their publicists confirming the rekindling of their romance, don’t hold your breath. These two now seem to be “Instagram official,” which in 2018, is really all that counts.

Hidden Details in the Maniac Hairstyles You Totally Missed

The main draw of Netflix‘s new show Maniac are the amazing dreamscapes, the bizarre and intricate worlds that Annie (Emma Stone) and Owen (Jonah Hill) experience after taking pills given to them during a pharmaceutical trial. The mind-bending adventures are sometimes based in real memories, other times pure fantasy—but each one takes the viewer into the deep recesses of Annie and Owen’s minds.

In other words, these dreamscapes are a visual feast chock full of easter eggs, surreal gags, and cool hair. No, really: Emma Stone’s hair journey is a fun trip in and of itself. So much so that I called the show’s hair department head Fríða Aradóttir to walk me through each look. “It felt like we were doing something different; that possibly wasn’t done in this format before,” she says of filming Maniac. “And that’s really, really exciting.” See her take on the hairstyles, below.

How to Fix Game of Thrones, According to Phoebe Robinson

After binge-watching seven seasons of Game of Thrones last spring, I had a lot of thoughts. Like, will Jon Snow (Kit Harington and his lover/aunt Daenerys (a.k.a. Khaleesi, played by Emilia Clarke ever realize they’re related? Will Cersei (Lena Headey) admit her haircut is hideous? And most important, is there anyone who can get Daenerys and Cersei to stop fighting like a coupla wine-drunk Housewives? Then it hit me: Of course there is. Her name is Cocoa Khaleesi, and she’s the dopest black queen this side of whitey-white Westeros. This is her (and my story.

One evening, after Jon Snow and Daenerys go to the bone zone, Jon wants to talk.

“Babe,” he whispers. “We have to acknowledge the fact that the White Walkers and their army of undead ­zombie freaks are coming.”

“I know,” she says sadly.

“You don’t trust Cersei,” Jon continues, “and she doesn’t trust you. But if you two don’t work together, all of this”—he gestures to the Seven Kingdoms—“is gone. Everything you’ve worked for: my coming back to life. Us. None of it will matter.”

She sighs. “I can do this without her. Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I do,” he lies.

“Good,” she says and settles back onto her pillow.

Eventually Daenerys falls asleep. Jon steps out of bed and grabs a notebook that’s been tucked under a pillow. He flips through it and finds the ad he’s saved: “The best therapist in the Seven Kingdoms.” He smiles.

The camera cuts to Jon draped in a thick fur coat, standing on a boat as he crosses the sea. After many hours he arrives at a beach. He ties up his boat and surveys the massive mansion before him. It’s a stunning structure with ornate sculptures out front. Michael B. Jordan–looking men stand guard. Jon approaches.

“I’m looking for—”

Before he can finish, the men direct him inside.

It looks like a Solange music video, with gorgeous, unitard-clad black women everywhere. Jon knocks on a door and cracks it open to find a woman behind a regal desk inside.

“Come in!” a voice says dramatically. “I am Phoebe, House of Robinson, the best therapist in the Seven Kingdoms. You may call me Cocoa Khaleesi.”

“Cocoa Khaleesi, I need your help—” he begins.

“I’ve been expecting you. Your homeboy Ser Davos told me everything,” she says. “That dude really likes to gab. You should probably keep an eye on him. Anyway, I’ll do my best to help. Let’s go.”

The camera follows Jon and Cocoa Khaleesi as they return to the island of Dragonstone. After some finagling by Tyrion, ­Cersei and Daenerys agree to sit down with this mysterious newcomer for dinner, where a decadent spread lies before them. A servant piles a plate with food and places it in front of Cocoa Khaleesi.

“Is this seasoned?” she asks her hosts.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” Daenerys says.

“White nonsense,” Cocoa Khaleesi mumbles while pushing the plate away.

“Is there something you’d like to say?” Cersei asks. Her tone is hostile.

“SEASONING. Salt. Pepper. Heard of them?”

“Ah, I heard you were clever,” ­Cersei says. “Would be a shame if this Cocoa Khaleesi got turned into…No-Tongue Khaleesi.”

There is an awkward silence.

“Don’t worry. She always threatens to cut out someone’s tongue. So predictable,” Daenerys says to Cocoa Khaleesi. Then, without prompting, “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi to Drogo’s riders—”

“Girl, ain’t nobody trying to hear that no more,” Cocoa Khaleesi says.

Cersei laughs. “Thank you!”

“Calm down! I ain’t on your side either,” she says. “You’re just as bad. That haircut makes you look like a low-budget Tinkerbell from Hook.”

Cersei slowly stands. “I’m not sure where you’re from, but blatant disrespect is frowned upon here, especially in my presence.”

“Well, that certainly explains your face,” Daenerys says.

Fed up, Cocoa Khaleesi snaps. “ENOUGH of this incessant bickering! White Khaleesi, girl, you may not know it, but you’re smashing your nephew. That’s trifling as hell. And Cersei, you’ve been in love with your brother since puberty. You two have waaaay too much in common to be enemies.”

The two warring women stare at each other with intent, then put down their forks.

The camera cuts to Daenerys and Cersei, taking on a sea of zombies as a united front. Back at the mansion, Cocoa Khaleesi hangs up her crown and puts her feet up on her desk. A few of those Michael B. ­Jordan fellas enter holding champagne flutes.

THE END.

Phoebe Robinson’s latest collection of essays, Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay, is out October 16. Pre-order it here.

PS: You can join Phoebe Robinson, Awkwafina, and more inspiring women for two days of community building and empowerment at Glamour’s annual Women of the Year Summit. Get tickets here!

Why The Cabin In The Woods 2 Hasn’t Happened

The following story contains massive spoilers about the ENDING of The Cabin in the Woods. Stop reading now if you haven’t yet seen the movie, and seriously, go see that movie!

Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t really lend itself to sequels. Spinoffs, maybe. But by the end of the film, the massive experiment being conducted in a secret laboratory that’s meant to appease the gods with sacrifices has failed. And the gods are rising. Still, sequels are the norm in horror franchises, and the death of the leads usually doesn’t matter (think how many times Jason or Freddy have been killed on screen, and they just keep coming back). But when asked about a Cabin in the Woods sequel, Goddard shot the notion down, explaining:

Drew Goddard is out promoting his new movie, Bad Times at the El Royale, an unconventional crime noir centered around a handful of fascinating and mysterious characters. And El Royale is EXACTLY the type of original and fresh-voiced stories that Drew Goddard should be doing instead of cranking out Cabin in the Woods sequels that undercut the original film. He basically gives Fandango the perfect answer as to why he and co-writer Joss Whedon didn’t try to extend the story of the original film. They came up with the perfect ending. Leave it at that.

Of course, Drew Goddard leaves the door open, telling Fandango:

The one idea that seems like it could work would be a spinoff movie that focuses on a different laboratory in another country. We saw hints of other “games” being played on unsuspecting horror victims, and new stories could be told in that fashion. But again, knowing the ending of The Cabin in the Woods, we’d all be working toward the inevitable. Do you agree? Or do you want to see a sequel in this universe, no matter what? Vote in our poll.

Should they make Cabin in the Woods 2?

How Better Call Saul’s Finale Turned Jimmy Into Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman

It was a success, too, In fact, Jimmy was so successful that even Kim bought into his emotional appeal, believing his words and feelings about Chuck to be genuine. And not, you know, some more manufactured garbage that comes first-nature to Jimmy. And she was left standing there, confused and upended, as Jimmy went off to do right by his surname by changing it altogether. His final words to her sealed the deal completely: “S’all good, man.” He has arrived.

The Middle’s Patricia Heaton Just Landed A New CBS Show

Patricia Heaton has a knack for landing roles on hit sitcoms with long lives, and she just finished a nine-season run as the Heck matriarch on ABC’s The Middle. Instead of taking a break from the small screen, Heaton has already landed a new show, and it will take her to CBS. She’s set to star on Carol’s Second Act.

Carol’s Second Act revolves around a woman by the name of Carol Chambers. She has already raised two kids and retired from her post as a teacher. Not ready to settle into retirement, she makes a big decision: she’s going to pursue a new career and become a doctor. Unless she was a teacher at a medical school, it’s probably safe to say that Carol has an uphill battle to become a doctor after already retiring from a previous job! Deadline reports that Carol’s Second Act has received a series commitment from CBS.

Prior to landing her role on The Middle, Patricia Heaton was by far best known for her character on Everybody Loves Raymond on CBS. The new show will take her back to the network that launched her into the limelight as a comedic actress. Carol’s Second Act has a premise that is definitely something Heaton hasn’t tackled before. It sounds like Carol won’t be tasked with raising young children, as her characters on Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle were, to much hilarity. Heaton may get to flex her comedic muscles and show off even more range than she’s had the opportunity to show off in the past.

Unlike The Middle (and like Everybody Loves Raymond), Carol’s Second Act will be a multi-camera comedy. Patricia Heaton is on board as star and executive producer, and she’s not the only successful TV veteran on board on the project. Trophy Wife creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins are responsible for writing Carol’s Second Act as well as executive producing. If all goes well, Heaton could be quite busy for the foreseeable future.

While that is very good news for fans of Patricia Heaton, it may not bode well for any who have been holding out hope that Frankie Heck would appear on the upcoming Sue Heck-based spinoff, called Sue Sue in the City. If Heaton is busy on another network, she may not be available for any appearances on Sue Sue in the City. Another Middle alum signed on as a regular on the spinoff, and Heaton was never going to be a regular based on the premise of the spinoff, but fans could always cross their fingers and hope. That said, Heaton might have time for the occasional guest shot or cameo. Besides, if CBS was willing to lend one actress back to ABC to reprise a role, perhaps the same could happen with Patricia Heaton.

Only time will tell what exactly we can expect from Carol’s Second Act and who will join Patricia Heaton in the cast. In the meantime, you can find plenty of viewing options on our fall TV premiere guide.

The Weirdly Sweet Way Norman Reedus Is Honoring Andrew Lincoln’s Absence On The Walking Dead

The ninth season of The Walking Dead has just kicked off on AMC, and the premiere featured a significant death as well as illustrated key differences between Rick and Maggie as leaders. Although there were no hints that Rick would be going anywhere any time soon, fans everywhere know that the end is nigh for the poor guy due to the looming departure of Andrew Lincoln. Viewers haven’t had to face the zombie apocalypse without him yet, but his co-stars have, and it turns out that Norman Reedus found a weirdly sweet way to honor Lincoln. Here’s what Reedus had to say about his pal leaving The Walking Dead:

That was hard. I think I kinda knew before a lot of people knew. We kinda had a pact at one point where we weren’t going to leave without each other, but I understood [Andrew Lincoln] leaving. The first day he was gone, he used to come to my trailer to eat lunch every day. So the day after he left, I went back to my trailer and just kinda sat there, I didn’t know what to do. The last day he was in there, he was covered in blood and sat on one of my chairs, and I still won’t let anyone clean the chair. It’s really, really disgusting.

Norman Reedus knew earlier than most that Andrew Lincoln intended to leave The Walking Dead in Season 9, and he previously admitted that he tried to talk his friend out of moving on from the zombie apocalypse. Their pact to leave together obviously fell through, as Lincoln’s departure actually means big things for Reedus on the show.

Despite knowing ahead of time that Andrew Lincoln’s time left on the show was limited, Reedus apparently was not able to prepare himself for the emotional fallout of his sudden absence. When faced with the absence of his lunch buddy, Reedus came to the conclusion that he should remember the last time Lincoln was in his trailer by refusing to clean — or let anybody else clean — the bloody chair he’d sat in.

On the one hand, Norman Reedus’ decision to honor his friend by preserving the chair where he’d last sat is very sweet and sentimental. On the other hand, commemoration via bloody chair isn’t the most normal thing in the world. Given how casual Reedus’ reveal was at the recent Walking Dead panel at New York Comic Con (and the fact that this is The Walking Dead we’re talking about), we can safely assume that it was not real blood he was drenched in.

Since the odds are pretty good that Rick will have to die for The Walking Dead to write Andrew Lincoln out, fans may be a bit nervous at the reveal that Andrew Lincoln was leaving fake blood everywhere on his last day hanging out in Norman Reedus’ trailer.

Still, we shouldn’t take blood smears on furniture as proof that Rick is going to bite the dust. The characters on The Walking Dead are frequently covered in blood. In fact, considering how infrequently Daryl seems to bathe and/or wash his hair, he’s probably coated in at least a little bit of blood at all times. We can only hope that The Walking Dead‘s fake blood doesn’t smell as awful as it looks. If it smells, Norman Reedus is either going to need to break and let the chair be washed or live with the terrible-smelling chair in ongoing tribute to Andrew Lincoln.

Melissa McBride, who plays Carol, went on to reveal another way Norman Reedus is honoring Andrew Lincoln, and Reedus admits that it is also disgusting. Here’s what McBride shared:

He also has a coffee mug that Andy drank out of, that has blood on the outside of it, and he won’t let anyone wash that.

Apparently, Andrew Lincoln was leaving blood on more than just a chair in Norman Reedus’ trailer, and there was a bloody coffee mug left behind as well. We have to add “gross” to “sweet” and “weird” for the bloody coffee mug. According to Melissa McBride, Lincoln had been drinking out of the cup. If there was anything other than water in the mug, there could be some things growing in there or at least attracting bugs if Reedus continues refusing to let it be washed. As we saw via a prank Reedus pulled on Lincoln, it can get very hot and steamy in their area of Georgia.

It’s fun to imagine what Andrew Lincoln might think about Norman Reedus preserving his bloody legacy in his trailer. While he might be touched by how far his friend is going to remember him and perhaps even reminded why he actually stayed on The Walking Dead longer than he originally intended, he might also get some enjoyment out of the weirdness of it all. After all, Lincoln and Reedus had a prank war going on in addition to their bromance. While Reedus’ pranks generally sounded more elaborate and effective, perhaps Lincoln leaving a bloody chair and mug behind to be preserved is his final vengeance. Can we declare Andrew Lincoln the winner?

For now, we can only hope that Rick and Daryl have some substantial scenes together before Rick leaves — alive, dead, or undead — the zombie apocalypse. Rick has obligations to Alexandria as well as Michonne and Judith, but Daryl is the closest thing Rick has had to a brother since Shane went bonkers back in the early days of the series. Despite Daryl’s disapproval of Rick’s decision to spare Negan, the premiere indicated that he still values Rick’s friendship and opinion.

Only time will tell. The next several episodes of The Walking Dead should definitely be worth watching, as we’ll soon have to say goodbye to Maggie as well as Rick. At least Maggie’s ending will be open-ended, and we already know that there are plans that could bring the character back if Lauren Cohan finds the time. New episodes of The Walking Dead air this fall on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fans can look forward to at least one more appearance from Scott Wilson as Hershel, as Wilson filmed his final scenes on the show before his death.

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