Chandler Riggs on Why ‘A Million Little Things’ Was the Right Post-‘Walking Dead’ Role: I Related to Rome

Chandler Riggs Related to Emotional ‘A Million Little Things’ Suicidal Storyline
Chandler Riggs as PJ on ‘A Million Little Things.’ ABC/David Bukach

After spending eight years on The Walking Dead, Chandler Riggs was ready for something new. And when he received the script for A Million Little Things, he just had to do it. So, 10 months after his final episode as Carl Grimes, he took the role as PJ on the ABC drama. During the penultimate episode, PJ was introduced when he found Rome’s (Romany Malco) script in the hospital waiting room. The two instantly bonded over the story in the script – feeling depressed.

In fact, that story line was the reason Riggs decided to take the role. “I read it and instantly loved it. It was just me,” the actor, 19, told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview. “Everything just felt very natural and real about it. Right after I got the audition, I started watching the show and I fell in love with it. I knew I had to be a part of it. It’s so real and so impactful.”

Of all the characters, the Atlanta native admitted he really relates to Rome the most – specifically his battle with depression and anxiety.

“That’s something that me and many others in and the world have gone through,” he said. “It’s something I can relate to pretty strongly and I think that’s kind of the main reason that I wanted to take on PJ. He’s a character that is going through stuff that I’ve gone through before in my life, and I think that it’s really important for people to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is life after what you’re going through, that you can get through it. It’s something I really wanted to be a part of and help share a story like that.”

While his character is still a bit of a mystery and he can’t reveal much, Riggs did reveal that he was “blown away” by the finale script. “It is crazy!”

A Million Little Things’ season 1 finale airs on ABC Thursday, February 28, at 9 p.m. ET.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!