They say one of the early stages in the grieving process is denial.
We don’t know who “they” are, but new The Walking Dead villain Negan is not grieving. Although maybe the actor who plays him, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is in a bit of denial on who Negan is.
Morgan, who swung a barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat at some of our most favorite characters last week as Negan, told The Hollywood Reporter that it’s impossible to pigeonhole Negan into a single role.
“This is Negan’s stage, and he’s a bit of a showman. So when we first see him in Episode 16 last year when he steps out of that RV, there’s a bit of a show he’s putting on for these guys. He has a tendency to milk these moments, and he does it for maximum impact, with all of them kneeling before him.
“This is part of Negan’s thought process of breaking them, and he’s going to milk this moment first because he’s P.T. Barnum, and he is running the greatest show on Earth. And he enjoys that.”
In fact, because the post-apocalyptic world is so upended, it’s almost impossible to draw lines on what would be considered a good guy and a bad guy, Morgan said.
“Just because we’ve been following Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon and their crew for the past seven years, they’e become the heroes of the show. But if we’d been following Negan and the Saviors for the past seven years and how he became the leader of these people, then he’d be the hero of this show.
“We’ve seen people we love on this show do some horrible things over the past six years. And so far, we’ve seen Negan tap a couple people with a baseball bat. It’s two sides of the same coin, really.”
There are fans who hate Negan right now, and even more who love him. It’s strange, but understandable considering how well-received he was in the original comic books. Morgan promises there is a lot more that will be explored with Negan in coming episodes, especially those details “between the panes” that could never be explained in a quick picture and bubble.
“We’re not going to lose who Negan is in the comic books because we’re on television. … There’s so much story to tell with Negan, and this year is so packed with making The Walking Dead world explode into such a large place as opposed to what it’s been in the past six years.
“There’s a lot to get to, and we want to remain as loyal as we can to what (Robert) Kirkman created.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.
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