“I had it for a little while, and yeah, my fiancee cried [laughs]. Well, I did, actually. We both really liked the look,” Payne said on the Rachael Ray Show when promoting his new Fox series. “You know, I got the whole thing of — because I was like, ‘Why do girls cry when they get their hair cut?’ I’m like, I get it. There’s emotions, there’s like years of growth and emotions and stuff in that hair. And it gets cut off and you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m really metamorphosing into something else. I’m emerging.’”
Payne donated his famously long locks to charity after getting the haircut in March, months after Jesus was killed off in TWD’s mid-season 9 finale. “When I lost it, it was an emotional thing,” he said.
Payne previously told ComicBook.com his exit from the show as the first victim of the disguised Whisperers was “kind of a mutual thing.”
“They were definitely aware that I was having a bit of difficulty,” Payne said. “I had even said last season [Season 8], I was like, ‘I mean, ‘cause we’re having a war, you know, and people aren’t dying.’ I was like, ‘There’s too many people on the show, you need to kill some people. Kill me, I don’t care, just kill some people.’ And then, lo and behold, they kill me!”
“I was saying that knowing that I would be cool with it. All I care about is the story, and if the story is good, and they do it in the right way, then I don’t care,” Payne continued. “And if I help to tell that story, in a cool, surprising, and shocking way, then I’m down with that, and I think they really did that with the exit. So I’m super happy actually. I loved my beginning on the show, and I loved my ending on the show. The middle was meh, but the end was really cool and I’m really, really happy with that. So, yeah, I think it was kind of a mutual thing.”
In Prodigal Son, Payne stars as Malcolm Bright, a gifted criminal psychologist and the son of a serial killer (Michael Sheen).
“The show is my character investigating crimes, but each crime brings him closer to an understanding of himself, and his father, and he’s trying to get to the bottom of who he is,” Payne said on Rachael Ray.