Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Most of us worry about angering our coworkers. Not Jeffrey Dean Morgan. In fact, he only knows he’s doing a good job playing Negan on The Walking Dead when he pisses them off. And the person he loves pissing off the most is none other than Andrew Lincoln.

But wait, allow him to explain. Anyone that has been on set of The Walking Dead knows that Lincoln really gets himself into a mood before filming. The man takes his craft very seriously. So for Negan to properly get into Rick’s head, Morgan knows he has to get in Lincoln’s as well. “I know I’m doing my job the more mad Andy Lincoln gets,” says Morgan. “So if off-camera he’s screaming and swearing in between takes, I know me and Negan are doing our job and I’ve gotten him pretty riled up. And then of course we have to go and apologize and get back to being friends after takes, but it’s been intense. And that is fun.”

Torturing Andrew Lincoln — who had the last laugh one day when Morgan injured himself playing the big bad — is just one of the reasons Morgan loves his job. “Well, there are a couple of things that go into why I love playing Negan,” says Morgan. “One is the cast that I get to work with. It’s an amazing cast from top to bottom, and crew. It’s just a really great group to be a part of. We really are kind of this huge family, and thankfully they’ve embraced me. Maybe not embraced my character as much, but they’ve embraced me. So that’s been awesome. It’s a hell of a place to work. We have a good time and we work hard. It’s just passionate and fun and cool.”

Of course, it’s not just the cast and crew — it’s also the character and joys of playing a big bad. “I’ve just never had more fun playing a character,” Morgan admits. “He’s really complicated and it’s a lot of work. A lot goes into what you will see on the screen with this character. But I go home every night thinking, oh my God, that is the most fun I’ve ever had. And he’s horrible. Negan does some horrible things, which I don’t necessarily feel great about while we’re doing it. But then again, reading the graphic novel and bringing him to life, it has been incredibly challenging. And I love that challenge of bringing him to life. And I love watching the cast reaction.”

He’s talking about you, Andrew Lincoln. To watch Morgan espouse on the joys of playing Negan, watch the video above. And for more Walking Dead intel, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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