Similar to most apocalypse survivors, Morgan has had a rough time. Prior to following Rick’s altered Terminus signs and going Bruce Lee on some Wolves, we saw Morgan trapped in a dire emotional state in Season 3 where he almost killed Rick. Losing your wife and kid isn’t easy, but Morgan looks to bounce back in Season 6. Find out more about his past and future in this great interview between Entertainment Weekly and Morgan himself, Lennie James. (Bonus challenge: try reading Lennie’s answers in a British accent)!
Q: Let’s talk about the big Morgan-Rick dynamic now because when we left off he finds Rick in this horrifying position. So, what does that say to Morgan, and what does Morgan take from that, and what does that mean for these two moving forward that we’re going to see in season 6?
A: I think Morgan’s biggest fear about Rick is that Rick is where Morgan used to be. I mean that’s obvious, really, and he knows that mindset, and he knows that world, and he knows what that kind of does to you, and what it potentially could do to Rick, but also what it could do to the people around him.
It’s very much an exploration of, where are you? What’s going on? And Morgan is in a different place than when we last saw him in season 3. One of the things that’s really important in the dynamic between Rick and Morgan is Rick is the last person on earth who knows who Morgan is. And despite Rick’s long relationship with the group and all the people there, Morgan is the guy who knew him at the beginning. So, they have a bond — whether they like it or not — and they have to figure that out and that’s kind of what happens through certainly the first part of season 6.
Q: We’ve had three big episodes of Morgan and it’s been a different Morgan every single time. So, what Morgan are we going to see now? Talk to me a little bit about the character and where he’s at as we go into season 6 now.
A: One of the brilliant things of playing him is joining the dots. So, linking the guy you saw who was three weeks ahead of Rick in the pilot, and then the guy who had lost his mind in “Clear” in season 3, and linking those guys and making sure that not just that you play who he is in the situation, but who he used to be in carrying that along with him.
So the thing I had to do in the finale of season 5 was make sure that despite the fact that he’s quite obviously gone through a transformation again, that he’s still the guy he was in “Clear” even though he’s trying not to be, and is also still the guy he was in the first episode, but obviously has moved on. So, that’s the beauty of kind of playing that character and linking them together. And he has gone through a transformation. It’s the transformation that the viewers will find out some or none about in season 6.
Q: Some characters have these certain weapons that they’re known for, like the way Daryl has his crossbow. Morgan’s got his stick. How do you like having the stick as your weapon of choice?
A: I love my stick. They’re never going to take my stick away from me. They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. I love it, and it’s beautiful weapon to gain expertise in. One of the things I love most about my job is the learning of new skills, and certainly taking on the stick has kind of given me a real kind of focus and interest, but also it’s very much in keeping with who Morgan is now. And yes, it’s a weapon, but on one level it is the most passive weapon of the armory that the group has, and that is both interesting and deliberate.
If you want to know more about Morgan’s journey then check out the rest of the interview at Entertainment Weekly’s site!