The Walking Dead's first big bad guy the Governor would "wipe the floor" with later villains Gregory (Xander Berkeley), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Alpha (Samantha Morton), according to former series star David Morrissey. The Governor, real name Philip Blake, antagonized Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of apocalypse survivors in the third and fourth seasons of The Walking Dead, long before the group encountered slimy Hilltop Colony leader Gregory — who would later be ousted from his position of power by Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) — as well as the since-defeated Negan, ex-leader of the Saviors, and Whisperer pack leader Alpha.
"Out of those villains, obviously the Governor would wipe the floor with everybody," Morrissey said during this year's virtual Wizard World. Acknowledging the debate around whether Rick's ex-best friend and former police partner Shane (Jon Bernthal) was a villain, Morrissey lamented never appearing opposite Rick's rival before Shane was killed off in the show's second season.
"What a great actor," Morrissey said. "I never got a chance to work with Jon, I think he's a fantastic actor, really great. But that dynamic, which started off in Season 1, whether he's a bad guy... he did some terrible things. That set the tone."
"But of the ones mentioned," he added, "there's only the Governor. There's no competition, come on."
Negan has since reformed following more than eight years in solitary confinement, which ended when he plotted with Carol (Melissa McBride) to infiltrate the Whisperers and murder their leader. Out to avenge Alpha is her ferociously loyal number two, Beta (Ryan Hurst), who unleashes his walker army on Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the survivors in the coming Season 10 finale.
Morrissey, who feared backlash from fans after the Governor murdered Maggie's father Hershel (Scott Wilson) in the show's fourth season, added the Woodbury leader didn't view himself as a villain despite his attacks on characters like Andrea (Laurie Holden), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Merle (Michael Rooker).
"The important thing I think, as an actor, is you never judge your characters. So you never say to yourself, 'This is a bad man,'" he said. "Because everything you're doing, you're doing for — you think — the good reason. He's a man that has a town that he's protecting, that he will do everything he can to protect that town, and he will convince himself that they are for the right reasons."
The Governor "would do things which were horrible, shocking, awful, sadistic," Morrissey said, "but in his head, they're for the right reasons. So you never comment on your own character, you have to believe that they're in the right."
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