Senior year was going to be great. Prom, pranks, wisdom teeth, the works. Matt Lintz, third down in one of the most prolific families of child actors in the country, was finally going to feel like a regular kid. He was finally going to experience a full year of high school.
He’d spent most of his freshman year in Hungary as Stevie Taggart, a troubled young ward of the Kreizler Institute for Wayward & Abandoned Children on TNT’s “The Alienist.” He did it all over again as a sophomore.
Half of his junior year went to playing the teenage version of Henry, a character first portrayed by younger brother Macsen, on “The Walking Dead” (which older sister Madison also starred in). But — spoilers — then this happened…
… which meant that 2019-2020 was wide open. No jobs booked. Just a couple of comic con things. Life would be normal.
Then came the virus — the real one.
It was like he was back on set.
“Honestly, when the whole shutdown happened, with the police enforcing a curfew, it kind of felt like that,” he says of those wild first COVID days of March in his hometown of Cumming, Georgia, a mere 40 real-life miles from AMC’s undead Atlanta. “I was out driving and there wasn’t a single car on the road, and I was, like, ‘whoa, this is like ‘The Walking DeadI.’ I mean, in ‘The Walking Dead,’ you actually have to be bitten to get the virus, but there were, honestly, a lot of similarities.”
Henry didn’t get to go to high school during a pandemic. Neither did Matt.
“Yeah, it’s kind of sad that the year got cut short,” he says, “But I still got good grades, and I got into my dream school.”
War Eagle to that.
The incoming Auburn freshman and his siblings are lifelong fans — older “Under the Dome”-starring sister Mackenzie attended Auburn for a year a little while back — thanks to dad Marc who served as a Plainsmen before graduating from Auburn in 1990.
But even with the family connections, even with getting chills talking about the 2010 season…
“You know, it’s a great question, and it’s actually a question I’ve wrestled with for the last two years,” says the already accomplished 18-year-old who doesn’t need a degree to open any professional doors. “Honestly, it’s because I can always go out to L.A., but I can never experience Auburn unless I go right now. I mean, obviously I could maybe come later, but I talked to my parents about it a lot and we prayed about it a lot, and I just honestly feel like Auburn is the place I need to be… it’s just something that I feel like God told me I needed to experience.”
Sure, he may have to experience it while wearing a mask. But, hey… that just means no one bugging him for autographs, no one sneaking photos of “Henry” in Haley Center. Maybe he’ll finally get to feel like a regular kid after all.