The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan describes Negan and Lucille
Negan just might be the most colorful character in The Walking Dead universe. So it fits that the man who now plays him on TV, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, can be a little colorful himself, especially when talking about the love of Negan’s life: his barbed wire-covered baseball bat he affectionately refers to as Lucille.
We asked Morgan what it was like the first time he got to actually hold Lucille, and… well, his answer pretty much says it all.
“It was awesome,” says Morgan. “It really kind of, for me, informed my character and who I was — just kind of the heft of her and the love that he has for her. It makes him hard, for God’s sake, just holding her. But it was great care taken with Lucille from the guys that built her.”
Morgan then went on to talk about the symbiotic relationship between Negan and Lucille, a relationship he says is even closer than we thought. “There’s something about her, especially when there’s blood dripping off her. There’s a certain beauty that she has. And for me it’s an extension of Negan. They become one in these scenes together. It’s his d—. I mean, for lack of a better thing, it really is.”
A crude analogy, perhaps, but one that make sense and tracks if you are familiar with the vulgarity of the character. Allow Morgan to explain. “It’s how he walks differently with her, he holds her, and it’s a part of him. He uses her to emphasize certain points, not just ‘I’m going to kill you.’ There’s a thing that he has with Lucille, and it’s as close to love as maybe Negan will ever have. He loves Lucille. She’s a character of her own. I mean, she really is, and I love the way he talks about her and he feels about her and how he treats her. But yeah, the first time I held her I knew — this is it.”
Of course, Lucille is not the only iconic Negan prop. We also asked Morgan what it’s been like wearing the black leather jacket, especially when working in that Atlanta summer heat. “It’s very hot. I mean, it’s very hot,” laughs the actor. “When we shot the [season finale] in November, I was like, ‘This is great!’ I was so happy, not thinking oh, July in Atlanta. Now I’m just f—ing sweating. I can’t keep in enough fluids.”
The one day we saw Morgan working on set in 97-degree heat, he was downing Gatorade between takes. “I’m pounding Gatorade, but I’ve still been fighting cramps,” he says. “I get horrible cramps midway through a scene, my ribs will cramp up or my legs or something. So it’s about trying to get that under control. You don’t go back to your trailer on this show. It’s not like other shows where you do a scene, you go back to your trailer, and you sit in the air conditioning. We all stay on set all day. We don’t leave. Once you get to work in the morning, you go to set and you’re there for 14 or 16 hours in that heat with the crew.”
As least he has Lucille to keep him company.
Check out an exclusive video of Morgan on Negan’s potty-mouth below, and for more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.