Lennie James is the guy who plays Morgan on The Walking Dead, also known as the pacifist with the bo staff who is trying to get Rick back on the righteous path. As it stands, it’s 50/50 as to whether he pulls Rick towards the light or Rick (and reality) drags him back into darkness. Carol seems to have found a nice shade of grey to exist in where she only puts children down when she absolutely has to. Why can’t everyone else hit that balance?
Anyways, Lennie had a great in-depth article with UK television network BT about playing Morgan and what you can expect from his character over the next season. He also gushed about how fun it was to “bitchslap” people with his bo staff, which he proudly wields himself whenever he can:
“It’s become very important for me that as much as possible, especially any moment where the stick is being swung, that it’s me doing that. Nobody is taking my place doing that. The swinging of the stick has become fundamental to who Morgan is and it’s symbolic of the path that he is walking down. It’s an important part of playing him, so I take it very seriously. There are always moments where for a certain fall, you can’t do it or a hit you have to take, it just has to be the stunt guy because they can’t take the risk of you getting injured. But every other situation it’s me swinging the stick and it’s really important.”
“In one of the fights in episode two – and you’ll know it when you see it – Morgan is surrounded and he’s basically trying to encourage a group of people to leave rather than come further into Alexandria. He does that by bitchslapping them with his bo staff and I was giddy by the end of that scene. I felt like a kid. It was like being in the back garden with your friends or your brothers, mucking around, saying ‘I’ll hit you here, follow you here and spin around here’. I was 7 years old again and I was having the most fun. At the end of that scene I almost skipped away thinking, ‘how good is my job?’”
Yep, anyone who has watched episode two of this season definitely knows what scene he’s talking about. It was pretty epic and one of the biggest highlights in an episode full of highlights; seriously, that was some mid-season finale-level action all the way through, wasn’t it?
As for where he learned those skills, Morgan has been pretty tight-lipped. Maybe that’s because they’re saving that story for the flashback episode Lennie James says is coming sometime this season; one he thinks will be a special 90-minute long show. I dunno about that. Perhaps he thinks they filmed that much footage, but, in reality, there was just 30 minutes of Morgan staring disapprovingly at people.
Maybe learning what happened to Morgan will make people accept his Gandhi-like qualities. It’s kinda like how Glenn saving Nicholas at the end of season five seems ridiculous until you realize Glenn has never killed a human through the entire zombie apocalypse. Until we learn why he’s now the way he is, we’ll just have to enjoy Carol giving Morgan the same look he gives Rick every time he wusses out of killing the Wolves. THEY WILL KILL YOU DEAD IF THEY GET THE CHANCE, DUDE. THEY WILL KILL YOUR FRIENDS. Guh.