Jeffrey Dean Morgan got to work with his real life wife Hilarie Burton for the first time while filming the final season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, and he loved every minute of it.
“It was f***ing great,” he told Collider in a new interview. “It was the best thing, ever. She was so f***ing good. I was so proud of her.”
Morgan added that he wanted Burton to play his on-screen wife Lucille “from the get-go.”
“If we ever got to tell the story of ‘Here’s Negan,’ I thought that she would be a really great Lucille,” he said. “But the show expanded a great deal on what we saw in the comic. They changed it around a little bit and expanded that role.”
And while Burton first thought the role would be minimal, she was proven very wrong by the show’s writers.
“I read ‘Here’s Negan’ on the set of ‘The Unholy’ and I called Hilarie and said, ‘You better strap it on girl because it’s a lot more than two scenes in a hospital room.’”
“We’d never worked together, in our whole lives,” he said. “We’ve been on the same show, but never shared a scene. And so, to be able to do this with her, and this story and character in particular, was super cool and really special.”
Morgan also added that this was “the first time we’d been away from our kids, ever, since the pandemic had started. We’re with our kids all the time anyway, but it was like going on a date.”
“Being on the set with 50 crew guys, it was the first time we had been alone, so we treated it like a date. It was great. We had so much fun. She’s so good. I can’t wait for the world to see her do her thing. It’s a cool episode.”
Morgan and fans of “The Walking Dead” are still in shock over the show’s sudden cancellation, news of which broke last September.
According to Morgan, everyone on the production was shocked and it seemed to have come “from nowhere.”
Morgan explained, “The news, when we got it in the middle of the pandemic, was a complete surprise, not only to me and the rest of the actors, but to everybody involved in the show from production. [Chief content officer] Scott Gimple and [showrunner] Angela Kang had no idea either.”
He added: “It came from nowhere and there was such a huge pivot. I think they had Season 11 all mapped out, where they were going to go, and suddenly it became, ‘We also have to close the story, in a way.’”
Morgan further explained how the entire cast and crew were taken aback by the news.
“It took everybody by surprise, so it was a massive pivot,” he continued. “And then, they threw in the six tacked-on episodes to Season 10, and instead of doing 16, we’re going to do 24 more. There was a lot of stuff to wrap our heads around.”
The “Grey’s Anatomy” alum later shared an update on when fans can expect season 11, which will serve as the last season. The actor said they’re expecting it will likely take a whole calendar year to shoot the end of the series.
“It doesn’t feel like the end yet and I’m glad because that’s a long time to be thinking about the end,” he said. “We have another year here to shoot, and we’re shooting straight through. It’s brutal. But I know it’s there. It’s in the back of all of our heads that it’s there.”
“The Walking Dead” Sunday night, April 4 on AMC.