Spoilers for AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead‘ will be found below.
The Walking Dead‘s midseason finale left plenty of unanswered questions, but one thing was crystal clear. In a departure from the comics, Jesus is dead, and fans were plenty surprised to see the character’s demise when he was stabbed by one of the Whisperers, shortly after it seemed that he was about to dive into romance with Aaron. Yet the actor who played Jesus, Tom Payne, is feeling pretty good about his departure from the AMC series.
In fact, Payne told Hollywood Reporter that he was “happy” to get out now, which follows him telling producers of his “unhappiness” last season because Jesus was relegated to the Hilltop for a few years of very little action. Payne relayed how he’d been training for fight scenes, for which he felt prepared, but he later grew “frustrated,” given that his character had been relegated into background duties. Showrunner Angela Kang was apparently surprised that he wasn’t upset about Jesus’ impending demise, but Payne was ready:
“In the comics, he has this massive fight with Negan. He catches a grenade, and throws it back [at his enemies]. He’s the most capable member of the entire group! And he wasn’t used at all [on the show]. In the background, I was training every single week. I was ready and raring to go. You can’t help but feel a little bit despondent when you’re not released to do some cool stuff. It was mutual and they knew I would be OK with it. It’s an amazing show and I was so honored to be a part of it, but at the same time, being the same character without anything fun to do is a bit frustrating.”
Payne further detailed how he had high hopes for his character, especially after he landed on the show in such a “cool way,” which is worth revisiting, if only for a superficial moment. He first appeared in season 6, and in the “Go-Getters” episode, he seemed poised for battle with Negan. Elsewhere, Jesus initially enjoyed some saucy interactions such as intruding upon Rick and Michonne’s post-coital moments. That’s gotta be quite a comedown to go from the below screencap to, well, hanging out at the Hilltop. RIP, Jesus. As our own Dustin Rowles puts it, “He was mostly wasted, but he had his moments!”
(Via Hollywood Reporter)