Andrew Lincoln's last episode of The Walking Dead was much ballyhooed. Less ballyhooed was the fact that it was also maybe Lauren Cohan's final episode. And barely ballyhooed at all was that it was Pollyanna McIntosh's last episode, too. But Jadis, aka Anne, leader of the Heapsters turned Rick Grimes rescuer, will not be back on the AMC series. And while it seems almost certain that she'll be in at least the first of the upcoming trilogy of Rick Grimes movies, considering she was in the helicopter with him as he flew away to his next adventure, McIntosh told TV Guide she doesn't know if she will be yet. She's not signed on at this point.
"They want to shoot next year, so if I don't hear by Christmas I'll know that I'm not doing it, won't I?" she said with a laugh.
She hasn't seen a script, and doesn't believe it's done yet, because "otherwise more of us would know about what's going on," she said. "They take their time to make it the best they can be, and they've got that time, so why wouldn't they use it?"
The original exit plan was to send Jadis and Rick off in a helicopter at the end of Season 8, which McIntosh found out about after the writers and Lincoln had already decided to not do that. Then she found out in January that she and Lincoln would in fact be leaving via helicopter in Season 9. "I'm incredibly grateful that my character got to do something so important as she was leaving," McIntosh said. "And also that I didn't die." She and some other cast members sang a song for Lincoln at his farewell party, changing the words to the Rolling Stones' "Angie" ("Angie, ain't it great to be alive") to be Walking Dead-specific: "Andy, ain't it great to leave alive?" She feels the same way about her own exit.
Jadis left the show at a point when the character was in great flux. Although she still felt like an outcast in Alexandria, she was starting a relationship with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), which flamed out when he refused to go with her when the still-unknown helicopter people were coming to take her away. She almost killed him, but ultimately decided to let him go. Sparing his life in a way that provided no personal gain for her and would in fact harm her — since she had promised the helicopter people a tribute — showed real character growth, as did her choice to save Rick Grimes. The old Jadis, whose motto was "we take, we don't bother" never would have done that. So her identity was transforming when she left. Is she more Jadis or is she more Anne? "The time that she goes back to the junkyard it's almost like, what name does she have there? Who is she now?" McIntosh said. "I'd love to explore that further if I get the chance."
In the meantime, she's focusing on getting her movie Darlin' into film festivals. The film, which she wrote, directed and starred in, is her feature directorial debut and is the third film in a loose trilogy that started with 2009's Offspring and continued with 2011's The Woman, in which she played the title character. Darlin' continues the story with a new title character, who's the violent, feral Woman's daughter, played by Lauryn Canny. McIntosh didn't write or direct the earlier films, so Darlin' is a pretty cool and unique project where an actor is taking over the creative reins of a franchise. The movie also features The Walking Dead's Cooper Andrews, Sabrina Gennarino and Thomas Francis Murphy, the latter two of whom played Jadis' lieutenants Tamiel and Brion. She's also slated to appear in to a horror western called The Moonshine Gang of Cheyenne, which will star fellow Walking Dead alum Steven Ogg, who she introduced to the film's director. So she's still very connected to the world of The Walking Dead.
And as for whether she's still an active part of it, she — and the rest of us — will find out soon enough.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.