Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn’t even want to finish reading the script because he knew the show would be over.
When we caught up with Morgan, who has played Negan in the series since the season six finale, he hadn’t watched the final eight episodes of “The Walking Dead.”
“I need to see it by myself without distractions,” Morgan, who has also been filming a “TWD” spinoff with Lauren Cohan, said. “I don’t wanna watch with my kids or my wife. I know it’s gonna be emotional. I know it’s gonna be hard, and I’m in denial that I’m not gonna see all those people again. So I need a minute. This has been fucking hard just talking about the fact that it’s ending.”
“I don’t know that I read the whole script because it’s the end and I didn’t want to get to that last page,” Morgan said when we asked his reaction to reading the final episode. “I remember going over it really fast.”
“I always talk to Norman about every script we read, and then we kind of check in and give notes and the last one was really hard for us to even talk about,” Morgan added of costar Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl.
By the finale’s end, Negan apologizes to Maggie for killing her husband in the show’s controversial season seven premiere. He asks for her forgiveness. In an emotionally wrought scene, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) explains why she can’t even though she knows he’s trying to be better.
Of Negan’s journey, Morgan told Insider, “Being in the lineup himself and being able to have those parallels between what Maggie went through and him thinking his wife was gonna die, I think it opened people’s eyes a lot. It’s tricky. A lot of the progress, you wonder, ‘Is he playing bullshit games?’ And I never thought he was.”
He continued: “Still, it’s a long road and I think what we’ve all learned is everybody kind of loses their shit in the apocalypse and has done some horrible things. Negan was no different. He killed two of our heroes, which immediately puts us on a bad path with everyone. But then he realizes that he needs these people. And I think it turns out that maybe they need him, too. And that’s been an interesting journey to play.”