Hilarie Burton Morgan, wife of Negan star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, waited until their two children went to bed before tuning in for The Walking Dead's sex scene between Negan and Whisperer pack leader Alpha (Samantha Morton). The two Whisperers stripped down for some freaky deaky — earning the episode a rare sexual content rating — acting as a "crass reward" for Negan courageously outing Alpha acolyte Gamma (Thora Birch) as the spy within her camp. The sex scene drew mixed reactions on social media, but Burton Morgan, who married her partner of more than ten years in October, says only her husband "could have made that situation kinda hot."
"Watched @thewalkingdead after the kids fell asleep last night. This scene!!! Ol' daddy has a way of looking at a gal, and it is CUTE," she wrote on Instagram. "Only YOU could have made that situation kinda hot, @jeffreydeanmorgan ! Hahahaha. Prepping my own zombie flesh mask now." Fittingly, she ended the post with a hashtag: "#neganswife."
Addressing the making of the scene on Twitter, Morgan admitted the fleshy mask worn by Alpha during her romantic scene with Negan "smells" because of the "crud they are made of."
"Decidedly not delightful," Morgan tweeted Monday. "Lips don't even touch, its mask all the time. Not to take the romance out of the moment... but it ain't even a tiny bit that. Plus we were laughing at the absurdity."
Well... “this’ll sure as hell get a reaction.” Mikey our director, kept saying... “holy shit!! Minds are gonna explode!!” I wasn’t sure, but loved the enthusiasm. And Sam is just awesome. I liked lead up to that moment. So sure that this was the end. THAT, to me? Was the scene.— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) February 24, 2020
Asked to reveal his thoughts when he first read the script, Morgan answered, "Well... 'this'll sure as hell get a reaction.' [Director Michael Satrazemis], kept saying... 'holy shit!! Minds are gonna explode!!' I wasn't sure, but loved the enthusiasm. And Sam is just awesome. I liked lead up to that moment. So sure that this was the end. THAT, to me? Was the scene."
"[Screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick] came back with this whole storyline where Negan thinks he's about to be killed, but it turns out to be this other thing that sits within Alpha's animalistic philosophy. It's the way she sees exactly who Negan is. She's not wrong about him being a crass man," showrunner Angela Kang told The Hollywood Reporter of the shocking love scene. "Negan being Negan thinks, 'Well, it's an opportunity for me!' It came together in this organic and fun way where the writer had a great take on the relationship from the comic book. We had a fun time coming up with a way to show this to our audience in a way that's safe for basic cable but also still surprising."
The romantic encounter was inspired in part by a key issue of the comic book that served as the death issue for a major character.
When explaining what attracted Alpha to Negan on Talking Dead, Morton expressed doubts "Nalpha" will be the show's newest couple.
"I don't think she's there thinking, 'I'm going to have a relationship with this guy.' She's still the leader of the Whisperers," she said. "But there's something about him that's just different, and it's almost like he wakes up an old part of her that's been laying dormant for a while."