Though he was reluctant to join Rick's war on The Walking Dead, King Ezekiel will fight alongside Alexandria as a means to put an end to Negan in Season 8. It's an element of the upcoming episodes Khary Payton promises will bring a good bit of humor to the AMC series.
While visiting the set of The Walking Dead's 100th episode, Comicbook.com caught up with Payton regarding his role in the new season. Unlike the days of being recruited, Payton is going to be on the frontlines when his Ezekiel rallies the Kingdom to fight the Saviors but its not his guns which will stand out as the loudest part. Instead, its Ezekiel's huge personality fans will be remembering.
"Yeah, it's going to be great," Payton said. "It's funny, I was thinking that I would need to temper my Ezekiel-ness sometimes because he's such an order and a big personality so that I am standing beside Rick rather than trying to be too big or too something. I don't have to worry about that at all. It's like the way that Andy [Lincoln] finds that inner fire, we have different ways of doing it, but you can't diminish the fire coming out of Andy. It's like the stuff we've already done I'm just like, 'Ah! I love this guy. I f---ing love this guy!' It fires me up, so then it's like, 'Well, screw it, man. I'm just going to go Ezekiel,' because it's such a gift."
A huge part of what allows Payton to perform King Ezekiel in such a theatrical manner is the high-level of trusting and supportive talent surrounding him.
"I'm surrounded by these incredible talents," Payton said. "To have started this show with Melissa [McBride] and Lennie [James] to introduce me into this world, and then to be standing next to Andy and Lauren, it gives you freedom to be able to go for broke because these guys are going to hold up their sides of the bridge. It's an exciting time and we'll see how long it lasts."
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season Eight premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.