Monday 24 September 2018

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: I get abuse in street for Walking Dead role

The actor plays villain Negan in the hit show.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Zak Hussein/PA)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Zak Hussein/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan has said his terrifying role in the hit series has led to him receiving abuse in the street.

The actor has played vicious killer Negan in the zombie show since its sixth series and he said the character has made fans forget his previous roles.

Asked if he feels haunted by such a reviled character, he told the Press Association: “Yes, right now in my career, absolutely.

“I’m kind of the opposite. I don’t want to say I’m a super nice guy all the time, I don’t want to screw up anybody’s nefarious bastard outlook on me, but I am not the character that I play on television.

“It is not a documentary but it seems that everyone has forgotten a pretty substantial body of work that I have done before the show that I am doing now and the character that I am doing now on television.

“Really I have people look at me as if I am going to take out a baseball bat and crack them in the head at any given moment so as much as I kind of like that respect that I get now, or maybe lack thereof – I get a lot of ‘screw yous’, only not that nice, from across the street.

“I can see men come up to me and size themselves up, like they are going to take a swing at me because I maybe hurt one of their favourite characters on television, which I always find slightly amusing.

“And God forbid if I look on social media and the hate that I get there.”

He added: “It’s not all the people (that hate me), just half the people.

“Half the people think that I’m dandy, the other half not so much but that is OK.

“When you’re playing a nefarious bastard that kind of comes with the territory and you have to embrace that and I have.

“I think that a lot of people have maybe followed my career and those are the nice people but if you were just a Walking Dead fan then you pretty much hate my guts.”

Morgan will next be seen as a federal agent in the new blockbuster Rampage opposite Dwayne Johnson and said he was relieved not to play a baddie.

He said: “As soon as I walk on the screen in this film they are going to assume that I’m probably not a decent fella.

“Is it important that I play something other than a nefarious bastard? Yes it is, but I think more than anything I would have been happily cast as a bad guy in this film, just to work with these people and work opposite Dwayne.

“Now I get to be a little bit of a hero, or at least help the hero save the day and hopefully I can get all those Walking Dead people to go see this.”

Rampage is in UK cinemas now.

Press Association

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