When The Walking Dead airs its 100th episode, it will also be the start of the 8th season. Both are momentous occasions and fans, as well as the cast and crew, have been celebrating.
In the lead up, members of the cast have been giving interviews on everything from what to expect in season 8 to their first moments on set and it’s a new look into everything we love about The Walking Dead.
Most recently, Jeffrey Dean Morgan talked with EW about Negan and how desperately he wants an episode that digs into his back story.
Us too, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey spoke about his character in a way that sort of gives fans a perspective on how he plays the role of Negan. It’s a perspective that some fans have already picked up on, and a reason behind some of the attitudes towards the character that isn’t so negative. (Like…ours)
Well, you know, I don’t look at it quite the same way. I don’t know that Negan really sees himself as the bully in this circumstance. I think what’s interesting about this year — for me and for Negan — is that we’re going to start seeing slivers of who this guy is beyond the brutality that we saw in season 7. My favorite episode last year was where I got to do some stuff with Chandler Riggs who plays Carl, where you can start to see little glimpses of Negan and who he is as a man and not just this guy swinging a big bat around. We’re going to find some more things about Negan, which I think is fascinating. I think the audience is going to really kind of dig it too.
He went on to talk about how he has to be a bit careful when ‘becoming’ Negan on set. The character is certainly ‘colorful’ and he’s got to tone it down some and find a way to keep the meaning behind what he’s saying as strong as it’s meant to be delivered.
Jeffrey also said something we’ve been hoping for as well. He wants to do an episode where fans get Negan’s backstory. Even if it doesn’t help people understand him better, even if he’s still the most ‘hated’ villain in The Walking Dead history (we’re still looking at you, The Governer), it’s an incredible story and we think Jeffrey would do the performance justice.
I always am hoping that, at some point, we do a backstory episode for Negan, because it’s an amazing story. I don’t know that that’s going to happen this year, but we are going to see enough of him and he talks quite a bit, as you know. So he’s going to reveal some of himself to the audience this year, which is going to be awesome. It’s going to be fascinating. [pauses] Of course, he’s still going to be a big f—ing dick!
Before wrapping up the interview, Jeffrey talked about strategy and said something we’ve all considered ourselves, in another life, maybe Negan and Rick could have been friends. However, in this one, they’re sworn enemies but there’s still some level of respect just because Rick is Rick. We’ll see that come into play this season as he tries to make sure his strategy will still allow him to win.
Negan is smart. He is a good chess player in this world. Obviously Rick is going to surprise him a little bit, but usually Negan is going to be a step ahead, even when you don’t think he is. He’s starting to figure out that Rick is maybe more unpredictable than he had anticipated and he’s not breaking as easily. Negan respects Rick in a way that he has never respected another human in this time of apocalypse, and that says something.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead premieres on AMC on October 22nd.
‘…but I knew him’