The Walking Dead Guest Star Hilarie Burton Reacts to Working With Husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The Walking Dead guest star Hilarie Burton, who plays Negan's wife opposite real-life husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan, says it has "been a joy" acting with her spouse for the first time in the zombie drama's extended season 10. The One Tree Hill star plays the cancer-stricken Lucille, who inspires the name of Negan's barbwire-wrapped baseball bat after his wife dies at the onset of the zombie apocalypse. Burton's role, which until recently was kept under wraps, comes as part of the six new bonus episodes now in production in Georgia and set to air sometime in early 2021 on AMC.

In a post published to Instagram, the actress writes a hearty thank you to viewers for a warm welcome into the Walking Dead Universe before extending gratitude to executive producer Scott Gimple and showrunner Angela Kang:

"This month I've gotten to act with my husband @jeffreydeanmorgan for the first time in our life together. We've raised kids and run a farm, done charities and bought a candy store together. We've hosted #fridaynightin," Burton writes, referring to the video-chat-based talk show hosted with Morgan and aired on AMC. "We've even worked on the same show — Extant — just never in any scenes together. And when I tell you it has been a JOY, I'm saying it with tears in my eyes."

She continues:

Jeff has worked his ass off the last few years to go back and forth between GA and NY, so our kids could go to school and have stability up at the farm while he worked on @thewalkingdead . And I’d heard stories about crew members and friends from that other side of his life. Coming to work and meeting them and experiencing the familial atmosphere of this show......I’m just a big ol crybaby! #negan has permeated so much of our life. Our son wears t-shirts bearing his face to school. Our daughter plays with his action figures. When I was about to give birth to George, it was the TWD fanbase that supported Jeff as he cancelled convention appearances to get home to me. They knit our kids hats and baby Lucille baseball bats and the flood of generosity and thoughtfulness never ceases to catch us off guard.

The actress goes on to say that it "means a lot" to audiences and herself to see the Walking Dead Universe expand, writing that she was left with "big, big feelings" after looking over at her husband's chair while on set.

"Of all the batsh*t crazy, scary, heartbreaking things that have happened this year, I wanna focus on this," Burton writes. "Thank you @angelakkang and @scottmgimple for believing in me. Jeffrey Dean. I am so proud of you. This week has been really f*cking fun. I love you."

Kang in October teased the episode when she said the extended season 10 would bring to life a story that "comic book fans have been waiting for for a long time," hinting at an adaptation of Here's Negan.

The 16-chapter miniseries from Negan creators Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard flashes back to just before the start of the zombie apocalypse and follows Negan as he becomes the bat-swinging leader of the Saviors, a group he would command into war against the survivors led by Rick Grimes.

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Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Walking Dead returns with new episodes early 2021 on AMC.

Photo credit: Image Comics / Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images for AMC