The Morgans moved into the Grimes home and served up spaghetti while filming "Here's Negan," the couple's first episode together of The Walking Dead. When filming the season finale of the pandemic-proofed extended tenth season — where a flashback to 12 years earlier reveals the pre-apocalypse domestic life of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Lucille (guest star Hilarie Burton Morgan) — the real-life married couple and their two children, son Gus and daughter George, temporarily relocated from their farm in Upstate New York to Senoia, Georgia, to quarantine in the household where Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) lived inside the walls of the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
Ahead of "Here's Negan," premiering April 4 on AMC, the Lucille actress shared behind-the-scenes photos of the Morgans' home away from home — and the spaghetti dinner her husband cooked up as a throwback to a Season 7 episode of The Walking Dead.
In "Hearts Still Beating," Negan makes himself at home when Rick and Aaron (Ross Marquand) are away scavenging for supplies. The unwanted houseguest helps himself to a shave and cooks a spaghetti dinner for Rick's children, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Judith Grimes (Chloe & Sophia Garcia-Frizzi).
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"The comic books set up the basic gist of Lucille, and Negan has certainly talked about her a lot throughout his arc in the series. Jeffrey had always said in jest — maybe it wasn't in jest, who knows — but he would say out loud, 'I want my wife to play Lucille,' and nepotism is certainly a strong force within our industry," Burton Morgan told Interview Magazine. "And then COVID hit and it was like, 'I'm not going to kiss some stranger that I haven't been quarantined with.' But it was good to work with each other. We had never had scenes together. We had been on the same show — we did Grey’s Anatomy at different times. We did a show called Extant together."
"Here's Negan" is the last of the extended Season 10's six bonus episodes designed for safe filming amid the coronavirus pandemic. For the Morgans, who hosted their at-home chat show Friday Night In With the Morgans in the early months of social distancing, the pandemic shoot found its way into Negan and Lucille's tragic love story.
"There's been so much loss this year, let me start with that. And so, doing a story about loss in this current climate was really difficult because we know people who have died this year," Burton Morgan said. "We've suffered a lot of losses this year and having to ground that in a performance and not just be like a big, huge mess on set was hard. On top of all of that, to keep us safe for the filming, they had us quarantined living in the neighborhood that The Walking Dead shoots in. Alexandria is a little subdivision of houses with a big, huge wall, and it's apocalyptic. There's trash everywhere, and the water tower and all the sets that you see on television. We lived in Rick Grimes's house. There were bullet holes in my child's closet door."
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She added, "And big, huge pieces of dry wall missing from stunts that had gone awry. So, we were living in a real apocalypse in the real world living in a rented house in a fake apocalypse and filming the beginning of a pandemic that has been on TV for ten years. There were so many layers of weirdness."
"Here's Negan" premieres Sunday, April 4 on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.