A lot of viewers now see Jeffrey Dean Morgan as spot-on casting for Negan on "The Walking Dead," but despite the actor bearing a remarkably close resemblance to his comic book counterpart, the maniacal villain was actually based on actor/musician Henry Rollins. It's now come out that Rollins auditioned for the part, but was ultimately turned down in favor of Morgan.
Speaking to Forbes about his new film "The Last Heist," the hit AMC zombie series came up in conversation. "Since I didn't get the part I can tell you this. I was up for the role of Negan because Charlie Adlard, who worked on the comic book, based that guy on me and so I was a shoo-in for an audition. The internet was wild with speculation because in the upcoming season they were going to introduce the character. A woman that works in my office put my name and the character's name into an internet search and all this speculation came up. I went for the audition and there were five pages of really cool dialogue with all these curses and it was beautiful, but I didn't get it."
He added, "I later saw a photograph of the guy who did get it and he looks almost exactly like the comic book rendering. The woman at my office watched the episode where he turns up, the dialogue that I auditioned with was in the show and she said, 'It should have been you.' Obviously it wasn't or this conversation would be very different but that happened. I had to sign one of those documents where you can't talk about it but now it's over and done with... so yeah, I was up for that part."
"The Walking Dead" returns Sundays this fall in its seventh season on AMC.