Let’s get the low-hanging fruit out of the way: Of course Jeffrey Dean Morgan was exhausted by his brutal scenes — the dude was swinging his baseball bat into a pile of goo, corn syrup and food coloring going on for ten days straight. There’s a reason why you see fighters and pro athletes swinging sledgehammers onto tires for a great workout, and that at least has some bounce to it. JDM was swinging as hard as he could, developing key areas such as his back, traps, shoulders, arms, and core. You want to look good in a form-fitting leather jacket, you smash some skulls.
This is the Negan Workout™ and you can start today when you buy your own Lucille for only 3 low payments of your overall sensitivity towards humanity.
Oh, he was emotionally exhausted. That makes sense too.
I think maybe it was the Carl’s arm bit to be honest with you. Look, that whole episode was hard, and also because I did go through and smack everybody with Lucille at a certain point. Everybody took a hit. All of that was hard. It got to the point where I didn’t want to do it anymore. … Emotionally I was completely drained—all of us were, I would imagine. Andy and I just went through the ringer. It was a hard episode, and having to get there time and time again to do these horrible things… They’re all good people, and I love them—the whole cast—so to keep riding them as hard as I was riding them, in-between takes it was like, god, you’ve got to catch your breath a little bit. It was just so fucking heavy at all times. In the show that aired, there’s no let up, and it was like that for 10 days for us. It wasn’t just 40 minutes of it; it was 10 days of that, every day, all day. “
So Morgan was drained and exhausted, but he probably felt like a million bucks the next day when he looked in the mirror and flexed his delts. Nice.