Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan on The Walking Dead, has revealed that shooting the opening episode of the new season of the show was “an emotionally draining” experience.

Morgan plays the new antagonist on the hit AMC show, which returned to screens in the US on Sunday night (October 23) with an explosive opening episode. The cliffhanger from the sixth season was finally resolved, with both Abraham and Glen falling victim to Negan’s wrath.

Morgan played a prominent role in the graphic new episode, and spoke to Interview magazine about the experience of shooting such a range of emotionally-charged scenes.
“Look, that whole episode was hard, and also because I did go through and smack everybody with Lucille [Negan’s barbed wire-covered bat] at a certain point: everybody took a hit,” Morgan said, referring to the producers’ decision to film each member of Rick’s group being murdered by Negan to avoid the episode’s real outcome from being leaked.