If Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn’t realize that Walking Dead fans are very serious about their favorite TV show, he does now. And it’s all thanks to one unruly octogenarian. Morgan stopped by Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) recently and told us about a bizarre encounter he had alongside buddy and costar Norman Reedus that clued him in to exactly how people feel about his character Negan, who is in the process of bashing in the face of one of the show’s stars.
“I was with Norman,” says Morgan. “I spend a lot of time with Norman because he lives in Georgia. He might not be alive on the show, people, just because I’m saying I was with Norman, but we had been riding motorcycles all day and we were in the middle of nowhere and stopped to get a coffee. And this lady is at our car, and she’s probably 80 years old, and she comes up and just flips me off and says ‘F— you!’ And Norman falls off his chair, laughing, and I’m like ‘Whoa! Whoa!’”
It turns out the senior citizen was not alone and not done. “It was crazy,” continues Morgan, “And she did have her daughters with her, by the way. But then her next question is, ‘Where do you live?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to tell you where I live!’
Of course, while Morgan may not personally enjoy getting cursed out and flipped off, he also realizes that the fact that his portrayal of the ultimate Walking Dead big bad can get a reaction like that is ultimately a good thing. “It’s that kind of passion, which is awesome,” he says. “We’ll see what happens after the first episode airs. I’m not convinced that my life is going to be totally awesome, as far as the fan base, after the first one. I think it’s going to take a minute. I think it’s going to take a minute for people to get to know the character and love to hate him as opposed to just the hate.”
Even with his work on Supernatural and Watchmen, the intensity of this fanbase has taken some getting used to for the actor. “I just did the [Live with Kelly] show,” he says of making his way to the SiriusXM studios. “And we had people following us down the road, just riding bikes, running down the middle of the road. I mean, god bless Supernatural, but no one did that. Comic-Con was a whole other experience, and I’ve been there for the last 10 years in a row with anything from Watchmen to The Losers to Supernatural, but this? It’s a different thing. It’s a different intensity.”
And an intensity that can sometimes cross over to being a bit scary. “This is my first foray into the fandom that is Walking Dead,” says Morgan. “But I see how some of the cast get handled by fans. I’ve witnessed some crazy stuff. I mean someone followed me home from the set. And I live like an hour away from the set, so to follow me home at 1 in the morning and then try to post my address, I mean, come on, people.”
Please don’t follow Jeffrey Dean Morgan home from set, everyone. Especially 80-year-olds with filthy mouths. But for all of you non-stalkery fans, we have good news! You can hear the entire Jeffrey Dean Morgan interview below on the EW Morning Live podcast along with our chat with Walking Dead costar Michael Cudlitz and conversation with the delightful Minnie Driver. Just click on the podcast below to listen, or subscribe for free and take it on the go with you right here. And for more EW Morning Live podcast updates, follow @EWMLPodcast.