The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan says even he didn’t know the resolution to the cliffhanger that ended Season Six, only later finding out Negan would kill Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun).
“I had an idea, but I really didn’t know until we came back the following year. The last episode of [Season] Six, I didn’t know,” the Negan actor said aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2019.
Though Morgan suspected “a lot of the cast knew,” fellow panelist and former Carl Grimes star Chandler Riggs admitted he wasn’t among those privy to the secret.
“Yeah, it was kind of a mystery,” Morgan said, adding Daryl Dixon star Norman Reedus “says he knew, but he always says that [laughs].”
Abraham and Glenn’s back-to-back deaths wouldn’t be revealed until the Season Seven opener, which saw Negan viciously bludgeon his kneeling victims to death with barbwire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille. That episode’s airing ended for viewers a near seven-month mystery.
“So no, I really didn’t know until I came back,” Morgan said. “I thought Steven, but I had no idea about Abraham.”
On the eve of The Walking Dead’s Season Seven premiere, poor quality leaked footage appeared to reveal Maggie (Lauren Cohan) as the Lucille victim after Season Six ended with Negan selecting and promptly murdering a then-unknown member of the line up through a POV shot.
Maggie’s “death” would later be revealed to be just one of multiple kill shots filmed to mislead spoiler sites, and its footage incorporated into that episode as traumatic visions experienced by a distraught Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
“I think what was interesting was, because of all the spoiling that goes on with this show, is that I killed everyone in the line up and we filmed it to leak out little bits and pieces of other people getting smashed in the face,” Morgan said.
“I think it was Lauren and Josh [McDermitt, who plays Eugene], maybe, that was the two that got leaked out. But I took a turn on everybody. That part was actually kind of enjoyable, everybody was having a great time. But obviously the Glenn and Abraham of it all, that wasn’t as great a time. For everyone but me.”
The line up sequence, filmed in low temperatures, left the cast physically sick — and proved especially discomforting for Yeun, whose death scene was filmed in one take “only because of the makeup effects,” Morgan said. “We didn’t have a whole bunch of his heads.”
“But yeah, Steven, the Glenn of it all, was really one take. He had his head buried in a hole in the dirt as I’m breaking the Fat Man at the end — that’s a prosthetic head the eyeball was hanging out of — and yeah, it was a rough situation for him, being in the hole wasn’t a great joy,” Morgan explained with a laugh.
In a September appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Morgan said “no one tells you much on this show” in an effort to better conceal spoilers.
“I believe in kind of giving the actors as much information as possible — for one, it certainly helps us as actors figure out what our arc is for the year. If you can tell me at the beginning of the year kind of where I’m gonna end up that year, that helps me as an actor kind of create the story that I need to in each scene,” he said.
“But not knowing, it’s hard, it’s hard. Because you want everything to kind of connect and make sense. And this show’s never been really big on [sharing too much] — just because of the nature of the beast, and how many people would love to kind of spoil it for other people — we keep everything very tight and top secret.”
The Walking Dead airs new episodes of Season Nine Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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