Have a wonderful, happy, healthy birthday now and forever. Happy Birthday Jeffrey!
‘The Good Wife’ return tonight at CBS.
Sunday night on “The Walking Dead,” a newcomer named Negan bashed someone to death with a barbed-wire baseball bat. Yet actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn’t necessarily think of his character as a villain.
“People say he’s this psychotic guy,” Morgan, 49, told reporters on Monday. “I never looked at him like that. I think there’s a lot of similarities between him and Rick [Andrew Lincoln]. If we had been following Negan from day one, the audience would be rooting for him.”
Besides, Negan only offs one person with his trusty bat, named Lucille. Says Morgan with a laugh: “Rick just killed 20 of Negan’s men. I feel Rick’s getting off really easy here.”
The new baddie’s first appearance had been drummed for several episodes, and it was obvious his introduction would have to make a splash.
Yet Morgan — who shot his big “Walking Dead” scene while on break from “The Good Wife,” where he plays sexy investigator Jason Crouse — had little time to prepare: He got his lines a couple of days before stepping in front of the cameras.
“I had to make my decisions right then and there,” he says. “In Negan, you have something that people want to follow. A little bit of that is fear, a little bit is charisma, a little bit is a sense of humor. I tried to mash all that into one character on the fly. It was like doing a play — you’re kind of onstage. [Showrunner Scott] Gimple said he’s the star of his own movie. I tried to take that and run with it.”
Many fans have been upset by the episode ending on a cliffhanger: The scene is shot from the POV of the person who died, and we don’t know the victim’s identity.
“I didn’t know about the cliffhanger until I watched the show,” Morgan says. “The death of the person will kick off Season 7, and obviously, who is on the receiving end of Lucille will be a big part. I understand the fans’ frustration, I get that. That said, I have to trust these writers, and they know what they’re doing.”
Morgan’s been familiar with the series’ source material for a while. A few years ago, fans at Comic-Con actually thrust a copy of “The Walking Dead” issue 100 — which introduced Negan — in his hands and told him that “when they get to this guy, you should be this guy.”
Now he gets to dream up a backstory for “this guy”: “I feel like he used to be a used-car salesman and he’s survived. What has he done to get there? We’ve seen what Rick has done to get there and keep his people alive. There’s probably strong parallel lines with Negan and his story.”
Still, even taking into account different perspectives and all, it’s clear that Morgan’s character hardly qualifies as a Care Bear.
“We’re going to see Negan do some stuff in the next year that’s not going to be very nice, and I may have to approach that from a different angle,” the actor concedes. “I realize Negan is a bad guy, but he’s one of the most well-rounded villains we’re going to see on any screen in a long time.
“He’s got a lot of stories yet to come. It’s going to be an interesting road.”
Who out there is super excited that Jeffrey has joined the cast on The Walking Dead?!?!?! I’m bummed he’s playing a bad guy (cuz I hate looking at his adorable face with hatred) but he does play the bad guy so well… Also super happy that next year we’ll be seeing much more of him each week 🙂
I’ve added HQ stills and screen captures from last nights episode as well as photos and screen captures from Talking Dead, which aired after the season finale. Hope you all enjoy!