The level of excitement for Negan’s inevitable introduction into the show is only rivaled by the level of wonder of how AMC will handle his colorful language. With Negan soon approaching, we may finally have our answer. Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss how they’ll handle the language and what he’s done to prepare for the role. For the rest of the interview, head over to Entertainment Weekly!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how familiar were you with the character of Negan from the comic book when you got the job?
JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN: I’m really f—ing excited. I was familiar. I watched the show, one. But two, I’ve always had a foot in the comic book world. I grew up with my uncle’s comic books at my grandma’s house, so I’ve always loved my comic book reading. And then that took on a whole new level when I did Watchmen. I go to Comic-Con every year, generally with some project of some sort.
So a couple of years ago people started saying, “Hey, man, you should be Negan in The Walking Dead.” So I started reading the comic books just because I’m a fan and I love what Kirkman is doing and so I was very aware of Negan and had read quite a bit of the comic books. So my agent and manager were on the phone and said, “The Walking Dead have offered you this thing,” but they didn’t have any information. They didn’t know the character’s name. It was all a big secret.
And they sort of got halfway through the sentence saying “We don’t know the character’s name, he’s the new big bad…” and I knew immediately who they were talking about. They just got halfway through and I knew immediately who it was. It was no question. I was like, “Absolutely. We’re going to f—ing do it!” And that was it. And literally a week later I was in Atlanta talking with the cast and hanging out.
EW: The foul language is an issue.
JDM: Look, it’s a speed bump. I’m not going to say it’s an issue because they’re working on it. We’re going to push AMC — the plan is to push them as far as they can because it’s who Negan is. He uses some colorful language. And I use some colorful language. And reading the comic, it’s important. So we’ll see where that lands. It’s our intention that this character is going to leap off the pages of the comic book. It’s very important that that’s who it is. Some of the characters there’s much more leeway, but Negan is a guy that you want to keep as true as possible, and that would be how I want to play him as well.
EW: Have you seen your Lucille yet?
JDM: I have.
JDM: She is gorgeous. She is a beautiful girl.
EW: You practice your swing a bit?
JDM: I don’t need to practice my swing. I grew up with a bat in my hands.
To see what else JDM had to say, read the interview in its entirety at Entertainment Weekly.