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The Walking Dead - Season 6 - Showrunner discusses Negan

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We’ve seen lots of bad guys on this show before. We’ve seen the Governor, we’ve seen Gareth from Terminus, we’ve seen that guy Morgan captured from the Wolves. To someone who hasn’t read the comics, what makes Negan different from all of them?
SCOTT M. GIMPLE: The pat answer is he’s unlike anybody we’ve seen on The Walking Dead, and further, I think he’s unlike anyone we’ve seen. He is a singular character, I think, of the last 10 to 20 years of popular culture. I find him to be a fascinating character. When I was first reading about Negan in the books and talking to [Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman] about it, I was blown away with this character. Through another lens, he’s not a bad guy at all in the comic. He does some horrible things, but our people do some horrible things. He is, though, this unrepentant a-hole. He is somebody who is the ultimate bully.

And a bully with a bat, no less.
The worst kind of bullies in high school, and junior high, and elementary school, and kindergarten, pre-school, and the womb were the bullies that were funny. That was the worst because the bullies that were funny were show people. I’m not going to say show men because there are a lot of girl bullies in school, too. They were funny and yet they were awful. That’s such a combination. And Negan is the ultimate version of that bully. And he is an incredible strategist. He can often appear capricious. He is pure id. He is this force of nature. He’s charismatic. A lot of villains on shows and comics and everything, it’s like, “Oh they’re the villain that you love to hate.” I think Negan is the villain that you hate to love. But you just love him. And he does some horrible things, but he has a reason for them.

He’s not a psychopath, and in some ways, he has this bizarre sort of empathy to him. It’s bizarre that he actually does have some empathy and he does have a system and he does have, in some ways, even reason. There are a lot of moments that are so terrifying because you can’t reason with him because he’s made up his mind on something. But he does reason things out. He isn’t just some psychopath. He’s such an enjoyable character to read. He’s been an enjoyable character to write, although a lot of it is Robert’s writing from the book. I would just say you haven’t seen anything like him on The Walking Dead.


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