The Walking Dead's Samantha Morton, who plays its current lead villain, Alpha of the Whisperers, explains the mutual attraction between the pack leader and newest recruit Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Alpha and Negan broke away from the Whisperer camp in the midseason 10 premiere, "Squeeze," with Negan believing he was being marched to his death. Ordered to strip down, Negan's expectations were subverted when he was met with a nude Alpha wearing nothing but a fleshy mask made from walker skin. In a significant departure from the comic books, Alpha gave Negan a "crass reward" for speaking out against a spy within her camp.
"Alpha's taking negan to his death, he thinks. But she plays him," Morton said on Talking Dead following the midseason premiere, "Squeeze." "And when they get together as a couple, it just seems like the basic thing of he's done a really good thing, and he's gonna get a reward. But I also don't think she's ever slept with any other Whisperer."
That includes Beta (Ryan Hurst), Alpha's most loyal follower who was sent out on a mission to track down and capture Whisperer traitor Gamma (Thora Birch). Morton believes there are "multi layers" to the Alpha and Negan coupling, including his differences from Frank (Steve Kazee), Alpha's long-dead husband and father of disowned daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy).
Negan is "almost everything that her husband never was, that she wishes he was when the apocalypse happened," Morton said. "He seems strong, confident, feisty. He's got a sting in his tail, he doesn't seem afraid of anything. He has balls, and he's not afraid to use them."
Despite their scene of intimacy, Morton is doubtful "Nalpha" turns into a romantic relationship.
"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," Morton 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."
Explaining the unexpected encounter to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Angela Kang said the episode's screenwriter, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, was asked to use the comic books when scripting this show-only development in Alpha and Negan's "strange relationship."
"He 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," Kang said. "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."0comments