Warning: There are spoilers for “The Walking Dead” ahead.
The latest villain on “The Walking Dead” may seem like he’s nothing more than a sociopath after the brutal blood bath of the season seven premiere, but one actor on the show actually sees some similarities between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and some of the other show’s community leaders.
On the series’ aftershow “Talking Dead,” Lennie James, who plays Morgan, opened up about why his character doesn’t mind the fantasy world of the show’s newest leader, King Ezekiel (Khary Payton).
Surprisingly, he said Negan and Ezekiel aren’t too different — despite all the bloodshed spilled from the former.
“All the leaders we come across, to a great or lesser extent, are playing a role,” said James. “There is nothing, as far as theatricality is concerned, that really differs between Negan and Ezekiel. They’re both archetypes. It’s just that Negan ain’t such a nice guy. Negan puts on a show. Every time he comes out to play with Lucille, he’s putting on a show and Ezekiel’s just putting on a different kind of show to make people believe and hold onto him.”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it — even Jeffrey Dean Morgan himself has described Negan as a bit of a showman. At New York Comic Con earlier this month he said Negan sees this new world as his stage and he owns it.
James then compared Negan to the show’s main protagonist for the past several years, Rick.
“The guy we’ve been following is a town sheriff who wears a holster and a gun at his side and a bloody cowboy hat,” James adds. “So, everybody is playing a role. All the leaders are playing a role, it’s just that Ezekiel’s [role] is one of being the King and I think if you’ve got a pet tiger, you can be whatever you like.”
Crazy. I guess if you were to think about it, all of the leaders of every community are, to some extent, just putting on a show in order to keep the peace during the apocalypse (as much as they can).
But, as James points out, despite whatever show all three of the community leaders may be putting on, Negan is still the meanest of the bunch.
We’ll get to see more of Negan and his Saviors on the next episode of “The Walking Dead.”
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