For Jeffrey Dean Morgan, joining the cast of The Walking Dead was bitter sweet. His hiring meant another actor's firing. No, he had nothing to do with it personally, but it was all his character's fault. A member of The Walking Dead cast, which is a tight knit family spending most months out of the year together in Georgia, had to say goodbye to his or her co-stars and friends to start production of the seventh season and it was every bit as difficult as one might expect.
According to Morgan, the first days back on set were especially brutal. Not only was a cast member leaving but he was bashing their head (or, at least a prop version of their head) in with a baseball while 10 other cast members had to tell themselves it was real.
"That first episode back was crazy," Morgan explains in an interview with EW. "It was just crazy. What you're asking of these actors to put it on the line like they do, and then this scene in particular, especially if they had the summer to dwell on it, it's a lot. Then I go blowing in like a hurricane, just dance around on my tiptoes swinging Lucille around — it was 10 days of hell, I believe, for everyone involved."
Negan's introduction was one of the most iconic moments in The Walking Dead's history and has already earned more attention than anyone could have predicted due to its cliffhanging nature. Unlike the comics, which saw Negan bash Glenn's skull in upon his issue #100 introduction, AMC's series left fans in the dark wondering who Negan killed for an entire off-season. If the finished product the cast and crew came up with conveys they same emotions for the audience as it did for them while filming, people may wish the cliffhanger had never been resolved.
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on October 23. For complete coverage, insider info, and more all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and check out The Walking Dead on ComicBook.com on Facebook.