Those who watched Sunday's season premiere of The Walking Dead know just how freakin' brutal it was (and warning, spoilers ahead!)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan on the show, admitted to Interview magazine that even though he's just playing a character, the violence in that particular episode was a little much, even for him.
"I think maybe it was the Carl’s arm bit to be honest with you," he said. "Look, that whole episode was hard, and also because I did go through and smack everybody with Lucille at a certain point. Everybody took a hit. All of that was hard."
He continued, "It got to the point where I didn’t want to do it anymore.… Emotionally I was completely drained — all of us were, I would imagine. [Andrew Lincoln] and I just went through the ringer. It was a hard episode, and having to get there time and time again to do these horrible things… They’re all good people, and I love them — the whole cast — so to keep riding them as hard as I was riding them, in-between takes it was like, God, you’ve got to catch your breath a little bit."
Morgan revealed that the cast spent 10 days shooting the episode, and the filming process mirrored the intensity that fans saw in the show that aired.
"It was just so fucking heavy at all times. In the show that aired, there’s no let up, and it was like that for 10 days for us," he said. "It wasn’t just 40 minutes of it; it was 10 days of that, every day, all day."
Regardless of how difficult it can be to stomach the violence, Morgan still enjoys the complexity of his character.
"Not that I’m going to make excuses for Negan, but we seem to forget as an audience, and as fans of the show, that Rick and Daryl and the rest of them killed probably 30, 40 of my men, and so far I’ve only killed two of them. Negan just did it with some panache," he said. "He’s a brutal son of a bitch, but there are also parts about him that I find kind of endearing. We’ll see if the audience responds to it,” Morgan added. “I think that the first episode is going to be rough, and people aren’t going to be real fond of me or Negan, and I think as time wears on and you get to know him a little bit more and understand his way of thinking, there could be a shift in that. Maybe they’ll love to hate him as opposed to just hating him."
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