As fans of “The Walking Dead” TV series already know, the show’s seventh season has really been dominated by the presence of one character: Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan.
Yes, he might have killed a couple of popular characters with his barb-wired baseball bat, gutted another less-popular character with his knife and had his saviours kill a whole heap more, but for Robert Kirkman (creator of both Negan and “The Walking Dead” comic that spawned the TV shows) the key to character’s appeal isn’t the horrible things he does, but his incredibly “likable” personality.
Speaking at the “Walking Dead” panel at Paleyfest, a sort of comic con without the comics named after CBS founder William Paley, Kirkman described Negan as “this awful person doing these awful things to characters that we love but he has this, but he has this spark to him that is really engaging, really entertaining and really lovely.”
Kirkman then continued: “The thing with Negan that I was always wanted to accomplish, especially in the comics, is he’s so likable, he’s personable. I’m sorry, he does horrible things that you don’t like, but at the end of the day that thing he said was kinda cool.”
The Walking Dead writer then moved on to praise the actor who plays Negan on the show, adding: “Jeffery [Dean Morgan] portrays him so well, there is a warmth to him while he is doing absolutely horrible things that you want to hate him for, and I don’t know how he pulls it off but it is absolute magic to watch him do it.”
Of course, there are also plenty of people who have no time for Negan at all, including actor Lauren Cohan, whose character Maggie Greene lost her husband, the father of her still-as-yet unborn child, to Negan’s batting skills.
Speaking at the same event, Cohan said, “I was burning inside when I heard Robert [Kirkman] talk about how charming [Negan is].” After being drowned out by laughter and applause, Cohan continued, saying “It bugs me, it bugs me, it bugs me,” before concluding: “I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, so, I get it.”
Starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peleteir, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Green and Danai Gurira as Michonne, “The Walking Dead” airs on Sundays on AMC.