Tom Payne departed The Walking Dead halfway through season nine when Jesus is killed by a human pretending to be a walker. (That sentence makes no sense to anyone who doesn’t watch the show.) The actor later admitted that he was “very frustrated” with his role on the series. “I spent a long time hoping my character was going to have more to do. I was happy to have a great beginning, a great bit [in the middle with Lennie James’ Morgan], and then a really great ending. That’s enough for me. I’m happy it rounded off in a fun way, with a great impact on the story,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m ready to move on.”
He was also ready to move on from his long hair and beard. Then:
That is Payne looking unrecognizable now that he’s finished with his Walking Dead duties. “So I’ve been wondering how I should reveal what I look like now,” he wrote on Instagram. “Then I realized it’s been a long time since I posted and got over myself. So [model and singer Jennifer Akerman] took this yesterday while I was planking and I liked it so I’m posting #ShortHairDontCare.” Just a casual planking photo to show off your new look, as one does. Anyway, Payne will next appear in Fox’s Prodigal Son, which has quite the description.
It centers on Malcolm Bright (Payne), who has a gift. He knows how killers think, how their minds work. Why? His father Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) was one of the worst — a notorious serial killer called “The Surgeon.” That’s why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He will use his twisted genius and razor-sharp instincts as a forensic profiler to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother (Bellamy Young), annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son and his own constantly evolving neuroses. Intelligent but deeply damaged, Malcolm has a self-deprecating sense of humor and a surprising level of compassion.
Prodigal Son probably has better job security than The Walking Dead.