Walking Dead: Jeffrey Dean Morgan Plus 3 Others Promoted to Series Regular

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Negan’s going to be extra cocky now.

The Walking Dead has promoted the bat-wielding baddie’s portrayer, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, to a full-fledged series regular ahead of Season 7, TVLine has confirmed. The AMC smash has also upped Tom Payne (Team Rick’s Jesus), Austin Amelio (Team Savior’s Dwight) and Xander Berkeley (Team Hilltop’s Gregory) to the regular ranks. All four joined the show in Season 6 as recurring guest stars.

The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news of the quartet’s status change, notes that The Walking Dead will now enter Season 7 with a record 20 series regulars, although that number will quickly drop down to 19 once Negan’s victim is identified.

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Norman Reedus & JDM Mock Andrew Lincoln’s Sexy Mag Cover

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Awww! ‘The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus are having a good laugh at Andrew Lincoln’s expense. You have to see this priceless pic of them mocking how Sheriff Rick cleaned up to be an elegant British magazine cover model!

See, The Walking Dead ‘s Negan isn’t totally evil after all! New super villain Jeffrey Dean Morgan, 50, and pal Norman Reedus, 47, can’t contain their hilarity over their co-star Andrew Lincoln‘s latest magazine cover. The 42-year-old Englishman looks like an ever so dapper gentleman on the cover of British men’s fashion Bible The Rake and the guys just can’t help but burst into laughter over the total 180 from his Rick Grimes character.

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[Promo] The Good Wife 7×22 (Series Finale)

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[Promo & Still] The Good Wife 7×21

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Home > TV Projects > The Good Wife (2015) > Season 7 > Episode Stills > 7×21 – Verdict

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[Promo & Stills] The Good Wife 7×20

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Home > TV Projects > The Good Wife (2015) > Season 7 > Episode Stills > 7×20 – Party

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[Promo] The Good Wife 7×19

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‘The Good Wife’ return tonight at CBS.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan on why ‘Walking Dead’ fans should root for Negan

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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.”

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