With Negan’s hotly-anticipated debut on The Walking Dead looming, showrunner Scott M. Gimple has been speaking to Nerdist about Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s casting as the villaind, and why he’s perfect for the role.
“The glee that [Morgan] had in the idea of being able to play this role was perfect for this role,” states Gimple. “The glee that he showed is so similar to the kind of id that Negan displays. It isn’t just that, physically, he resembles him. Jeffrey’s enthusiasm mirrors the character’s enthusiasm. Negan is an extremely enthusiastic character; he’s not subtle. There really aren’t a lot of half measures. He’s a bull in a china shop, and the china shop is the world. And he’s not very concerned about what he breaks. I saw Jeffrey’s smile and I said, ‘Oh, that’s Negan’s smile.’ When we initially started talking about it, just the happiness beaming from him at the idea of doing this role was like I can’t imagine anybody else doing it.”
Gimple also went on to discuss the character, adding that: “[Negan] is the ultimate bully. The bullies in school that were the worst were the ones that were funny. [The ones] that were legitimately funny, that as they were picking on you you could see that they had a bit of craft to their comedy. That was the worst. Because you hated them but you thought, ‘God, he’s funny. I gotta give it to him. He is funny.’ I think Negan is the same way. He is charismatic. He is funny. And yet he does these horrible things and he has this bottom line, kind of scary philosophy to the world. And it’s never really personal. It’s all about keeping the world in the direction that he wants it to go, which is his direction.”
The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sunday nights in the States and on Fox on Monday nights in the UK.
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