Season seven of The Walking Dead has so far been defined by one character above all others: Negan.
The villain came crashing into the series during the season six finale, killing off two characters in this season’s debut, and managing to almost completely break Rick Grimes into submission.
However, Negan’s terrible antics don’t stop when the camera stops rolling. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan revealed how - before filming begins - he basically bullies Andrew Lincoln, trying to get inside the actor’s head, mimicking his character.
“I know I’m doing my job the more mad Andy Lincoln gets,” Morgan told the publication. “So if off-camera he’s screaming and swearing in between takes, I know me and Negan are doing our job and I’ve gotten him pretty riled up. And then, of course, we have to go and apologise and get back to being friends after takes, but it’s been intense. And that is fun.”
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
1/10 Sophie's a walker (season 2, episode 7)
Much of season two's opening half is spent looking for Sophia, the missing daughter of Carol (Melissa McBride). Turns out she was locked up in Hershel's barn as a zombie all along.
2/10 Shane reanimates without being bitten (season 2, episode 12)
When Carl (Chandler Riggs) guns down a deranged Shane (Jon Bernthal) to protect his father, the shock arrives when he manifests into a walker despite not being bitten; turns out everyone's infected with the virus and will turn whichever way they die.
3/10 Axel's bullet to the eye (season 3, episode 10)
A character introduced in the show's prison arc, Axel is a reformed prisoner who strikes up a friendship with Carol - until he's gunned down mid-sentence.
4/10 Carl kills Lori after she gives birth (season 3, episode 4)
Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) goes into labour at the very moment a zombie siege breaks out at the prison. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it through the procedure with her son Carl being the one to put a bullet to her head.
5/10 The Governor slays Hershel (season 4, episode 8)
The Governor makes his dramatic return for a showdown at the prison after he captures Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Hershel (Scott Wilson). Rick reaches out, attempting to reason with him - but The Governor starts a war when he proceeds to decapitate poor old Hershel instead.
6/10 "Look at the flowers" (season 4, episode 14)
In a standout episode from the show's fourth season, Carol is forced to take drastic measures when young teenager Lizzie murders her sister Mika in the belief that she'll live on as a zombie. Realising Lizzie's depraved mind would endanger those around her, Carol puts a gun to the young girl's head and, telling her to "look at the flowers," pulls the trigger, fighting back the tears.
7/10 Carl's bullet to the eye (season 6, episode 9)
Season six returned from its mid-season break in typically dramatic fashion when an iconic moment from the graphic novels came to life: Carl takes a bullet to the eye.
8/10 Beth is killed (season 5, episode 8)
Upon being kidnapped, Beth (Emily Kinney) is taken to Grady Memorial Hospital managed by Atlanta Law Enforcement. Forced to reside there against her will, the group - including Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) - eventually find her - only for her to be accidentally shot in the head by her captor. The worst thing? Her sister Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had just arrived outside.
9/10 Negan kills Abraham
Season seven opened in brutal form as we discovered it was Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) at the opposite end of Negan's baseball bat. "Suck my nuts," the soldier growls as the Saviours' leader brings Lucille raining down on his head until nothing remains but a pulpy mess.
10/10 Negan kills Glenn
Negan decides to punish the group once more after getting clocked round the face by Daryl. Without expectation, he thwacks Lucille round the head of poor Glenn. With his eyeball popping out of his head, he manages: "I'll find you, Maggie before Negan proceeds to finish the job ending the former pizza delivery boy's life.
In the same interview, Morgan spoke about how much he enjoys being on set, mainly thanks to the great cast but also because of the character.
"I’ve just never had more fun playing a character,” he admitted. “He’s really complicated and it’s a lot of work. A lot goes into what you will see on the screen with this character. But I go home every night thinking, ‘Oh my God, that is the most fun I’ve ever had.’ And he’s horrible.
“Negan does some horrible things, which I don’t necessarily feel great about while we’re doing it. But then again, reading the graphic novel and bringing him to life, it has been incredibly challenging. And I love that challenge of bringing him to life. And I love watching the cast reaction.”
The Walking Dead returns for season seven, episode five tonight, the trailer for which you can watch here.Reuse content