The Walking Dead left many fans wondering if a major character was in fact dead following its Mid-Season Nine finale.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x08 follow. Major spoilers!
In the closing moments of The Walking Dead's Evolution episode, the Whisperers made their mark by driving a sword through Paul "Jesus" Rovia. The shocking twist, unique to television and not featured in the comics, is very real though. Furthermore, Jesus is indeed dead and Tom Payne's character will not be in future episodes of The Walking Dead set in the present timeline (though he will return in a later flashback episode).
"We had a little send off dinner like we usually do at a restaurant in Atlanta," Jesus actor Payne told ComicBook.com. "But the thing about it was, it was really odd, that sequence, I went back and shot that, we did two days of re-shoots on that, spread apart, as well, to add in different reaction shots and stuff. So I had my kind of like, 'Yay, and that's a wrap for Tom Payne,' and then, it wasn't because I just kept coming back to shoot that sequence."
The sequence was directed by Michael Satrazemis on stage to preserve the foggy aspect, providing a true horror genre feel for Jesus' sendoff.
"The last time I went back, I was literally just lying in a pool of blood while [Aaron actor Ross Marquand] cried over me," Payne explained. "So I had an ending, but it wasn't really the ending. You know, it's not the ending until they finish shooting really because you can always do re-shoots and stuff. So yeah, I had an ending but it was pretty drawn out."
Like many actors who leave The Walking Dead, Payne admits he did have a bit of a tough time walking away from the role and series. His moving on period, however, was a bit different. "It was kind of tough for me because when you finish something you want to be able to move on from it, but I couldn't really, I was kind of in this stasis where I couldn't move on because I knew that they would call me back," Payne said. "Lo and behold, they did. So I was incredibly annoyed, like, 'Oh god, I'm back here again in this stupid graveyard lying on the floor!' Why can't you just have me dead, bloody? It's always fun. I'm so happy that I get to work with Josh [McDermitt] and Ross those few days, because it was really fun and that whole episode is so cool and creepy."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.