We’re only a month away from the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead and the thought of it fills us with both fear and anticipation. Fear of who Negan’s victim will be and anticipation of what comes next, especially Negan’s next move. The actor behind the character, Jeffrey Dean Morgan certainly left a lasting impact on us, and while he mimicked Negan’s mannerisms perfectly – right down to the dialogue – Morgan tells Entertainment Weekly that his take on the notorious villain significantly differs from the comic version.
Entertainment Weekly: Watching you on set, it seems like your Negan is a little bit less manic than the comic version, but with this disarming charm and what-me worry smile that could erupt into violence at any second, which makes him even more disturbing in a way. Do you notice any differences between your Negan and the original?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: As far as similarities with the comic book, yeah, he might be a little more manic, but understand that I’ve got to connect those panels together and how Negan does that, there’s not a script for. So the writers will give me the material and then it’s about okay, well, how can I make this work? I’ve got to make this guy real, you know what I mean?
I think that was the key – If I just make this guy manic and kind of one dimensional then I don’t have anywhere to go. So I thought, for me, and especially after doing that first episode, the introduction, and head bashing, there had to be a place I could go. I try to make every scene a little bit of a rollercoaster so you don’t know. So it’ll keep you on your toes of where Negan is, and I only have so much I can go on working on the comic book. Then I get all this dialogue. How can I make that make sense and make it effective for the other actors that I’m working with?
So what we’ve created is very disarming. I think there’s this f***ing charm and devil may care, but you’re going to do it my way. But he does it with a smile. But when that violence comes, there is no doubting what this guy is going to do and how he’s going to do it, and I think we established that very early on, that at any given moment you can die in front of Negan. What I hope is that it does make it scarier. I think after the premiere airs this year, I think the audience is going to get a very good idea of what Negan is capable of. So if there’s a a scene where he’s smiling and people are like, “What the f***? He’s not a badass,” well, just watch, because at any given minute, you know, Lucille is going to take your f***ing head off and he’s going to do it with that same smile. That’s the thing.
Okay, is anybody else even more scared of what Negan will do now? In all seriousness, we’re really impressed with and respect Jeffrey’s take on Negan and how similar the two are. He is a force to be reckoned with and we highly doubt anyone would think he wasn’t a badass after reading this excerpt.
Source: Entertainment Weekly