Negan’s first appearance in AMC’s The Walking Dead was in this year’s season six finale, and while some are bitter about the cliffhanger ending, very few are upset with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance in the role.
Still, it could have been another actor tormenting Rick’s group if things had gone differently. Actor Henry Rollins recently spoke to Forbes about his new film The Last Heist, and during their conversation, AMC’s hit show bubbled to the surface.
“Since I didn’t get the part I can tell you this. I was up for the role of Negan because Charlie Adlard, who worked on the comic book, based that guy on me and so I was a shoo-in for an audition. The internet was wild with speculation because in the upcoming season they were going to introduce the character. A woman that works in my office put my name and the character’s name into an internet search and all this speculation came up. I went for the audition and there were five pages of really cool dialogue with all these curses and it was beautiful, but I didn’t get it. I later saw a photograph of the guy who did get it and he looks almost exactly like the comic book rendering. The woman at my office watched the episode where he turns up, the dialogue that I auditioned with was in the show and she said, ‘It should have been you.’ Obviously it wasn’t or this conversation would be very different but that happened. I had to sign one of those documents where you can’t talk about it but now it’s over and done with… so yeah, I was up for that part. I get great auditions, I auditioned for stuff like Narcos too, but rarely does anything come my way. What usually comes my way is a no audition thing like The Last Heist or He Never Died that the film’s writer, Jason Krawczyk, wrote with me in mind.”
Though he didn’t end up getting the Negan part, I think he would’ve been great in the role. At this point, though, it's hard to see anyone being better than Morgan.
The Mike Mendez Directed The Last Heist hits theaters on June 17th.