Jeffrey Dean Morgan opens up about playing Negan on The Walking Dead

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Jan 25, 2016, 4:21 PM EST (Updated)

When it was announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan had been cast as the villainous Negan on AMC's mega-hit series The Walking Dead, the Internet almost exploded.

Negan will be quite a departure for the actor who's generally known for playing good guys on TV series such as Supernatural (he was Sam and Dean Winchester’s dad), Grey's Anatomy and Extant. Currently appearing on The Good Wife, the actor also has a small part as Bruce Wayne’s dad, Thomas Wayne, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But it’s the actor’s vicious performance as the Comedian in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (see the pic above) that seals the deal for me, making me a firm believer Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the perfect guy for the role.

At a Supernatural convention in Pasadena, Calif., last week, Morgan was asked about getting the coveted role of Negan (Timothy Olyphant, Matt Dillon and Garret Dillahunt were also in the running), revealing that he knew of the Walking Dead villain before he was offered the role. The actor made it abundantly clear that he was keenly aware who Negan was (dropping a couple of F-bombs along the way in the video below to illustrate how well he knows the character) before he got the offer, and talked about how excited he was about playing the role, and how he sees it as a challenge:

“I've kind of become accustomed to playing sort of the good guy. You know, maybe a rough exterior with a heart of gold in there somewhere. I think the challenge for me in this role is going to be: Is there any heart in Negan? And for me, I look at that as a challenge as an actor and that's the kind of thing I embrace and really look forward to. I'm super-excited about it. It's going to be cool. I promise you, it will be something different than what you've seen me do.”


In the Robert Kirkman comics, Negan is the ruthless leader of a group called the Saviors who runs afoul of Rick’s group (or rather, Rick runs afoul of Negan and the Saviors). He carries a barbed-wire bat called “Lucille” at all times, the only thing he treats with respect because he sees the deadly weapon as his lady. 

The character is well known for killing with gusto when he has to, and cursing his way through a conversation. He's extremely popular with fans (and, I've got to say, me) as someone you love to hate and hate to love. Unlike the Comedian, though, Negan has a clear rule about no raping, and fans of the comics will know how he also becomes fond of Carl, strangely enough.

So, since Negan has quite the foul mouth, and the show is on AMC, I wonder just how toned down the character will be, or if the network will let the powers-that-be go crazy with him on The Walking Dead. What do you think?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan's first appearance as Negan will be in the Season 6 finale next year, before becoming a series regular for Season 7.

(via Comic Book)