Jeffrey Dean Morgan on Negan’s future after ‘The Walking Dead’ finale

Jeffrey Dean Morgan on Negan’s future after ‘The Walking Dead’ finale

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SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers on the The Walking Dead series finale.

There has not been a bigger chatterbox in The Walking Dead universe than Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The guy loves the sound and tone of his own voice. In one of the most important episodes of The Walking Dead , the man who has never had to use a joke, comeback or putdown that he didn’t like couldn’t find a word to say.

After apologizing to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) earlier in Sunday’s series finale, Negan sat there and listened silently as Maggie told him she could never forgive him for what he did to her husband Glenn and for “mocking me while he’s dying.” She did tell him that Annie and she wanted to stay. “

So did Negan stay? The last thing we saw of him on the show was avoiding a dinner party with the rest of the gang, exchanging nods through a window with Daryl (Norman Reedus) before walking away. But where was he going to go? How did Negan respond to the Clash’s constant question of “Should I stay or go?” Did Negan accept Maggie’s invitation?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan on The Walking Dead

Jeffrey Dean Morgan on ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

“He’s not sticking around,” Morgan tells EW. Morgan tells EW that he is leaving to start a family and start over. Maybe that’s the best thing, considering Maggie just said she might not be able to see him for a few days. That nod to Daryl was certainly a goodbye.

He has that bit to Daryl and then he’s gone,” Morgan said. “That’s it. They seem to have reached an agreement. There has been some acceptance of Negan. This was a long-fought battle for Negan. Then he leaves. He and his wife are leaving. ” We spoke to Morgan about the Negan-Maggie scenes he had with Cohan and why Negan “needed” to shut down. (His words. )

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Obviously, there’s more story to come with Dead City, but how do you feel about how Negan’s story wrapped here up in this form on this show?

JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN: I think that Negan had a couple goodbyes in this, and there were actually more goodbyes in the original script, and [director Greg Nicotero] and I were like, “God, there’s really four scenes that are kind of Negan goodbyes. Let’s reduce it a bit. It was obvious that it was important to have the Negan and Maggie moment. They are not allies. They will never be allies. They won’t be friends. But I believe there is an understanding.

They have an understanding at the moment. This was a great way to spend time together, especially after the past year. It took us many years to work together before we had a few scenes that we were able to do this season. I thought that was great. This was Negan’s final goodbye.

Let’s talk about those two big Negan and Maggie scenes. We have the whole scene where Negan plans to take Pamela (Laila Robbins) out so Maggie doesn’t have to. But then, he is caught by Maggie and we see him finally apologize in one of the most sincere ways we have ever seen. What was that scene like for your?

I knew it was the finale of the show, so I’ve been wanting to have kind of a sincere moment with Maggie, with Lauren and her character, for so long. Because every scene, she either says something that will cut him off at his knees or he’ll say something snarky that will destroy any goodwill they could have or had been building. There have been moments this year when it was close. It was close to Negan apologizing and her possibly being able to understand his point of view, whatever that may be.

She was never going to forgive him. This friendship is not possible. It just won’t be and that can’t happen, but fast forward finally to the finale, and there it is! Although it’s short, it’s as honest and direct as Negan can be. Negan doesn’t like to share his feelings, which I find acceptable. He will always have an armor around his neck, and she will be there for him. I think you saw an uncomfortable kind of understanding. I think filming it for us both made me thankful. We’ve had a lot fun working together. Lauren and Jeff enjoy each other’s company. It’s both hard and fun for us, but it’s also challenging for us. We get to hate each others on-screen, and we hug each other off-screen. In six years, we’ve made a lot of progress. Lauren was hesitant to make eye contact when I started the show. So here we are. It was great fun. It was great that the scene was there and I believe it was important. I think [showrunner Angela Kang] knew that that scene needed to be there. [Chief content officer Scott M. Gimple] knew that scene needed to be there. It allows us to continue the story.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan on ‘The Walking Dead’

Jeffrey Dean Morgan on ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

I love the second scene too, because Maggie gives this big talk to Negan about forgiving but having trouble forgetting, and what was so interesting to me about this is the last five seasons have all led up to this, and here we have Negan, the biggest chatty Cathy ever, and he’s completely silent in that entire scene. What was it like for you? And for him to just take it all in?

I remember listening to it and thinking, “Oh, I could respond to this.” I can think in Negan’s brain. I can jump into Negan’s mind and see exactly what will trigger him to be a little bit snarky. A little bit, but enough to poke fun at him.

I can still remember hearing her practice and thinking, “Oh, man!” She was amazing. She was amazing. But I was thinking in my head, “F —, Negan might say something here.” It doesn’t matter how understanding he is and how nice he is. Even if it was just a joke, he would still be able to crack a joke.

And I didn’t get the chance to, which was good. Negan had to stop talking. This is not the first time. Over the years, I have repeatedly told Scott and Angela that he needs to stop ranting. He finally did. It was good. He was ready to stop talking and listen. However, I can still hear the wheels turning in my head and think, “Oh, there must be a one-liner somewhere!” “

It was really effective this way because it really felt impactful, the fact that he didn’t say anything.

It’s important that he didn’t say something. If there had been something, I would have probably fought it. But everyone knew that Negan was difficult to silence. It’s a culmination of many lessons he’s learned over the past couple of years. It was a long time for him to realize that listening is more important than making snarky comments. Even don’t smile. Do not do any Negan s —.. It was amazing, and I’m glad that they allowed us to do it.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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The Walking Dead

AMC’s zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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