The Walking Dead Director Reveals Carl and Negan Scene Toned Down for TV

A seventh season episode of The Walking Dead toned down a scene director Rosemary Rodriguez wanted to be a "little bit more explicit" in terms of how much skin was on display around teen Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), who is introduced to Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) harem in Season 7 episode 7, "Sing Me a Song." While touring the Sanctuary, Negan makes a crude remark encouraging Carl to ogle his collection of "wives" — among them Frankie (Elyse Nicole DuFour), Amber (Autumn Dial), Tanya (Chloe Aktas), and Sherry (Christine Evangelista) — each wearing matching black dresses, not resembling women who Negan says look like they "do the books at an auto shop."

"Part of the conversation, for me — which I didn't quite win, to be honest with you — was what they were going to be wearing," Rodriguez told Undead Walking. "Because I like extremes and because I'm not really afraid to dive into whatever it is, even if it's politically incorrect or evil or dark, I just want to go as far as we can with that."

Rodriguez wanted the women to be wearing "crazy sexy sh-t, like really go there," adding their clothes "became more like a uniform, sort of. Not uniform, but a look that they all sort of had."

The Walking Dead Negan wives
(Left to right: DuFour, Aktas, Dial, Evangelista. Photo: AMC)

The scene is inspired by issue #105 of The Walking Dead comic book, where a much younger Carl is taken into Negan's private quarters and told to gawk at scantily clad women lounging about in lingerie.

"I struggled a little bit because I think one of the lines was about ... Carl sort of gawking because he hasn't really seen women like this before, and so I really wanted a reaction from him in seeing women in really sexy [outfits]," Rodriguez said. "Like really seeing them, their cleavage, and really being a little bit more explicit. Particularly for the show, because it's so out there and not what we do, that I thought it was an opportunity to do that."

Reflecting on the scene as filmed, Rodriguez added, "That's a little bit of a thing that I wouldn't call it a battle, but I didn't get it exactly the way I wanted it."

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Since her Season 7 episode of The Walking Dead, Rodriguez directed Season 8 episode "The Damned" and Season 9 episode "The Obliged." Season 10 returns to AMC with its season finale later this year.

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