Dalton Ross
October 19, 2017 AT 10:00 AM EDT

Last season of The Walking Dead was no fun. No fun at all. And that declaration comes from the cast themselves. Andrew Lincoln says having everyone separated and subjugated took its toll on both the actors and the crew.

“It was a hard season last season, I think, for everybody,” Lincoln said at our recent EW cover shoot. “I think for the crew because certainly my character suffered so much and had to endure so much of that. And I think what happens is, the crew feels it. When you come on set and you’re carrying this weight, everybody else kind of feels it.”

But here’s the good news. The cast and crew — and hopefully, in turn, viewers — are feeling something very different in season 8 with the gang finally fighting back against Negan. And, as a result, heads are being held high on set. “When you start getting the swagger and the mojo back — because you bring that energy into the scenes, and also I get to play with some good buddies that I haven’t got to mess around with — that’s great,” says Lincoln. “It’s kick-ass, man. This is a fun season.”

The fun begins for viewers with the season 8 premiere on Oct. 22. Watch Lincoln talk swagger and mojo in the video above, and for more Walking Dead scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. And check out Top 10 Gut-Wrenching Walking Dead Moments on the PeopleTV network. Visit to people.com/peopletv/ or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.

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