Jesus has a confession. For "The Walking Dead" star Tom Payne, the headlines that followed his character's departure from the successful AMC show were a bit annoying.
It all started with The Hollywood Reporter, who published a story titled "The Star of & # 39; Walking Dead" is candid about his departure: "It was a constant frustration". The line was quickly picked up by other means of communication and spread all over the Internet. and broad.
"It was a little bit of a drink for me," said the actor. The article was "very fair", but the echo camera that followed was not what I expected. "I've never talked shit about the show because I would not do it, I do not have anything to say bad about the show."
The frustrations he was referring to were his own, he said, "frustrations that I think I helped put on myself because I'm very committed to everything I do, and I want it to be the best it can be." I'm always working behind the scenes and I could not use everything the way I would have liked. "
Payne's character, Jesus, is one of the most prolific fighters in comics, but he did not see how many of those original story moments come alive in the show. In fact, apart from its shocking departure for the death, which was used to present the new villains of the series, The Whisperers, a group that dresses the skin of zombies, one of the biggest fights of Jesus was against Morgan (Lennie James). And since Morgan is on the same side as Jesus in the "Walking Dead" universe, it was not Negan's fight with Jesus that comic book fans expected.
"It's hard to keep your fingers crossed for two years so you get some great things, and then they do not work out, because that's what keeps you moving," Payne said. "When you're in a cast of that kind, you just want to have these moments, and actually I had one of the best tickets and one of the best starts, and I'm very, very happy with that, and that's it. really ".
Ultimately, Payne said, he loves good stories and wanted the program to take more risks, which is what is happening in season 9.
"I had told the showrunners in Season 8, I was like," It only kills people, we need to kill more people, you need to make some shocking deaths happen. " Carl [Chandler Riggs] It was a great shocking death, but he was the only person who died in the war, the only main character, and I mean the narrative. "I want it to be shocking and exciting, and I ended up being the sacrifice, but I was happy with that. "It was rude That's all I wanted, really, I wanted to tell a good story and be part of a shocking moment in the show, and I think we did."
Outside the world of "The Walking Dead", you can listen to Payne lending his voice to the new Netflix movie "IO". The actor said the pilot season could also bring new roles. He is waiting for a character with a good bow, one that maybe he can even know in advance.
"There was a line that I had last year or the year before [on ‘The Walking Dead’] about "All I have on the top of the hill is this and a lobster bib." Someone tweeted me the other day and said, "We never found out about the lobster bib," Payne recalled. "I do not know [either]. I have no idea, and we stay in the dark as much as the public most of the time. "
Even in death, Jesus' duties are not fulfilled.
Payne plans to continue watching fans at the conventions and even on a forthcoming "Walking Dead" cruise. In addition, he was back on the show last Sunday, apparently getting more screen time as a dead body than Jesus when he was alive. Maybe in death there is an opportunity to approach that lobster bib.
Before the premiere of Sunday's mid-season, Tom talked to HuffPost about playing a corpse, his new plans on what to do with the endless flow of fan art he receives and whether Jesus will return or not.
It's been a couple of months since Jesus died. What is it like looking back?
It's interesting because when you finish a TV show, first of all, you finish filming and then the second of everything, you have to wait for it to air. You want to go ahead and do the following, but you can not. You're in this kind of stasis position, where you have to wait for the thing to air, and I'm still not [done]. I was in the episode on Sunday. It's so fun Literally, they drag me through the whole episode like a corpse, which is pretty fun. Then, if you had any doubt that Jesus was dead, it will be confirmed when you see his lifeless form being dragged by the episode. It's kind of funny because, in my head, I went ahead. You have to for reasons of self-preservation.
At this moment, I am enjoying spending time at home and knowing that I do not have to go back to Atlanta. I love Atlanta, but knowing that I will not have to go back, I can spend some time at my house in L.A., doing all these improvements in the house I've been waiting for a year. It's sad that he left friends in "Walking Dead", but see you. In fact, I'm going to cruise Walker Stalker next week with a group of people from the program. The show will connect us for the rest of our lives.
Did you have your farewell dinner, which is usually received by the cast when they leave the program, and then you have to come back like a corpse?
Yes, we had a good dinner in Atlanta, and then I was a corpse of an episode. It's very strange, but it's good to be around and see everyone. Yes, it was a really fun experience. I'm excited to see it. I think it would be quite fun to watch it.
I refer to the dead body of Jesus who spends a lot of time in front of the screen.
I have not seen it yet. I'm a little excited to see it because I think that, for me, everything will be a comedy. I was very conscious. I do not know if he has ever carried someone who has lost weight, but it is very heavy. I felt very bad for [Ross Marquand] Y [Norman Reedus]. It was that sequence in which they take me and we got to the horses, and we did it a lot of times. No action is required when you are someone who has a dead weight. It's hard work, so I feel sorry for them. It was a very hot day, and, yes, [they’re] Carrying my body around. The only thing I'm glad of not having to do is be on the horse. We use a mannequin, so that promotional photo that is spinning is a doll.
Once we get to the top of the hill, I'm on the horse and it's a stomach workout. Even though I have a dead weight, I still like to try to control my movement on the horse so I do not fall. It is very strange for everyone to cry around you and move around because you are thinking, "Oh, God, I hope they do not fall or give me a hernia," thinking of all these things while being supposed to be a dead body. It was fun, but it was also very strange because it was over for me at that time. Everything was done. I'm dead. I'm finished in the program. "Oh, do you want me to come back and be a corpse for an episode? In agreement. "All I wanted to do was process it, go ahead and say" Okay, that's over, "but then it came back like a corpse.
You've talked about reading comics. Did you advocate for Jesus to have those iconic comic moments, like his fight with Negan and how he catches a grenade?
Of course, I mean, all the time. That was the hardest thing for me. I think I got a little fake when reading the comics. I am an actor who wants to do all this research and really go in and understand everything. That was all I had to go, so, of course, I immersed myself in that and, of course, all the fans told me all the time, like, "Oh, Jesus is great, he has this and that, and this happens and that happens. " So I was super excited and excited, and I started training and all that kind of stuff, and then it really never worked that way, which was quite frustrating for me, actually. I feel that those two years, which were my two main years in the program, were a bit inactive when it came to Jesus, which was quite frustrating. Now, this season is a kind of dizzying speed, and everything is increasing. Then I die. I'm like the damn one. At least I had a really great fight scene, so I was very happy. It is a roll that has that good fight with Negan and meet with The Whisperer and during the war grabs that grenade and throws it back [which are moments from the comics]. All these great things. That did not happen, so I just have to get over it.
I know that many fans also wanted to see those moments.
Oh, yeah, they ask you about that all the time and you have a boyfriend in the comics. That did not work in the show either. That was a bit more of another roll because it was a great opportunity to have this LGBTQ character, and that really did not work … so it was a couple of frustrations.
What is the most memorable thing that happened to Jesus, even behind the scenes?
There's only so much The first episodes for me were a huge whirlwind. Have that first episode with [Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln] It was great, a great way to get into it. I had not worked for a year at that time, partly by choice … but at that moment I was thinking, God, that I have to go back to work. I have that scene where I met them, I met Andy, and he was like, screaming. I said my first line and like I screamed, and literally the director, who is so charming, said: "Tom, lower it a little". I was like, God, I forgot how to act! I forgot how to act in front of the camera! What should I do? It was partly because I had not worked for a while and also because it is this great show, and my character had been running and all these little things had been added to me forgetting how to act before the camera. Then the director really helped me get over it and … oh, fuck, the end of that episode was getting to [Danai Gurira] and Andy naked in bed. They really threw things at me in that first episode. The director told me: I think you should look Andy up and down and smile at him, and I said, "I can not do that." Literally, I joined the television show, the main character of the biggest television show. In the world he stands naked in front of me, and you want me to look him up and down and give him a wink and a smile? I just can not
That's crazy. I mean, in your first appearance, you also imitate Jesus on the cross with outstretched arms, right?
It was not intentional. I even crossed my legs. I even did a little thing with my foot. I think it was something I did, and then the director loved it and everyone did it. Everyone is like, oh, my God. That is so cool So I kept doing it.
Even though Jesus may not have had his comic moments, you still made a big impact. During the Super Bowl, people were even tweeting that Jesus died in "The Walking Dead" and went back to being the guitarist in Maroon 5.
Oh my God. No way. That's very funny because my cousin sent me a text message the same.
Yes. And my girlfriend has met that guy a couple of times. He is very cute. I returned the text message to my cousin and said, "It's not really me, but we know it." And my cousin says: "Ugh, of course I do, now you're so Hollywood." It was fun.
Social networks can be intense for members of the "Walking Dead" cast. How is it to interact with fans online?
That's the other side, and it's a big part of being in "The Walking Dead", they're the fans. That's also why frustration arises. They are always asking questions, and they are very enthusiastic about everything, and you just want to make them happy and commit to that. But by getting involved with it, it makes you realize that things are not realizing how you want them to look. If you get too involved with that, as I did, sometimes it can not be useful. But I'm still very involved with fans and I talk to them on social media and in many conventions around the world. That is a big part of it. The work really is about connecting with people.
Are you still going to keep looking like Jesus now that you're gone?
I still have it now. I trimmed my beard a little, but I would shave my beard for something tomorrow, like for an audition. But I'm going to keep my hair until I get another job because there are not many actors with long hair, so there could be a role that requires long hair to the shoulders or something like that. I do not want to use the extensions again because, as much as they do the best job, it never feels like your hair. You can not run your fingers through your hair. I really nailed the look of Jesus towards the end of my time on the show because I had grown my hair. I had reached the aspect, so I will keep it until a part appears.
Like Jesus, what is the rarest fanatic experience you've had? Have people asked you to bless their babies?
We meet many people, each story is rare and wonderful. We receive many gifts, like soap with our faces on it. I had soap with my face in my guest's bathroom for a long time, which everyone found quite fun. I have a lot of Jesus candles. In fact, what I like the most in conventions is when they give us the candles. I also had a Norman. Norman made that video of Lady Gaga. [He was] Judas in that video, so I had one of his and one of me, which was pretty fun. I'm looking around my living room right now. What do I have?
… You get lots and lots of pictures that people have drawn. I have only one huge stack of photos of myself because you do not want to throw them away because you feel very bad for throwing them away. So, what do you do with them? You look at them and say: "Thank you very much. That is incredible. I'm so jealous. I wish I could draw. " So what are you doing with them? I could literally make a room and make a wallpaper with photos of me. Maybe I should do that?
Why not? Do not you put them in the fridge?
My refrigerator is not big enough. You would need a whole room, a spooky room for Tom.
I mean, you said you were making improvements to the house.
It is true! Maybe I could just place them under the wallpaper, so I know they're underneath. We're going to put new countertops in the kitchen, and I saw Reddit or something not so long ago, where someone was doing renovations in their house and the previous owner had put something under the wall … maybe I should put pictures of myself underneath of my new countertops. That is a fun idea. I'm going to do that. So if someone breaks it, there's a picture of me.
It's so fun People come to me saying, "Then, why is he Jesus?" And I say: "Well, he has long hair and a beard and it's nice". I think if someone ever came up to me and said "Oh, it's a sacrilege," or whatever, I'd say, "Well, but his nickname is Jesus because Jesus is a very, very nice guy, and he looks like He with a beard and long hair, what is your problem? "I would say," Are you saying that it is bad that the name of Jesus? Because I think it is a kind of honor. "
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.