The Walking Dead season seven is almost upon us and the anticipation is as painfully unbearable as that cliff-hanger.

But the wait is almost over and we’ll soon know who will become well acquainted with Lucille…

And while the not knowing is excruciating, we can at least breath a sigh of relief and take comfort in the fact that a certain Morgan is very much on the safe side. We caught up with Lennie James to discuss the new season, Negan and the introduction of new worlds.

It’s fair to say the season seven premiere is easily the most anticipated episode ever of The Walking Dead, so what can fans expect?

This is going to be an epic season, but we always say that every season.

But this one is in a big one in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen for a good few seasons. The first episode, there’s no way of getting away from it. It’s going to be traumatic, heart-breaking and difficult to watch. Not just in what happens but in the way that it happens.

It’s going to be one of our hardest episodes to get through but we get through it. The loss is felt throughout but so is the reach of Negan in the introduction of these new worlds.

What were your initial thoughts when you read the script for the season six finale and were you almost disappointed not to be in Negan’s firing line?

Yeah, on one level. Not sure that I was immediately disappointed.

By the time that episode comes in you already have a sense of where your character is going. I was forewarned that I wasn’t going to be knelt in front of Lucille. I felt when I read the script a bit like I did in the shooting of the actual scene.

Danai Gurira as Michonne; Michael Cudlitz as Sgt Abraham Ford; Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene; Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes; Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha; Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes; Josh McDermitt as Dr Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC .
The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC .

On one level I am happy not to be part of it and another level I wish I was part of that scene. It’s going to be an iconic scene in the story that we are telling. It wasn’t an easy scene to shoot both physical and emotionally.

So I am relieved I don’t carry the scars the rest of the guys do but I would have liked to been a part of it.

How soon will it be until we see Morgan finally meet Negan?

Errmmm I will tell you the absolute truth. Which is I do not know. That is the long and short answer [laughs].

Now that the world has gotten a whole lot bigger after meeting King Ezekiel’s men, how do you think Morgan and Carol will adapt?

The Kingdomers are not the only new world we are going to be introduced to in season seven. It is a very exciting season in that respect.

We are going to be introduced to King Ezekiel who is a fascinating character. Khary Payton who plays Ezekiel is doing a fantastic job, like Jeffrey Dean Morgan who plays Negan.

They have upped everyone’s game and have been a real positive addition to the cast. It’s exciting times.

What can we expect from the relationship between Morgan and Carol? How likely are we to see a romance develop?

Quite obviously I couldn’t tell you if there was going to be one.

Certainly I think I can say is that the relationship is going to get a lot more complicated before it gets easier. It’s going to get a lot harder before it gets anywhere close to something resembling friendship or anything beyond that.

Just because they are not knelt in front of Negan doesn’t mean they are not going through testing times.

Merritt Weaver as Denise, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, and Benedict Samuels as the W Man - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

When he arrived at Alexandria at least there was Rick, Carl and Michonne who had some idea of who he was before. Kind of translate or mitigate his presence with the other Alexandrians in the group.

At the Kingdom he is kind of on his own except for Carol. Certainly the last time we seen Carol she was not in a good state. Morgan has to basically introduce himself to Ezekiel, the tiger and the world of the Kingdom on his own which will have its issues obviously.

Your fellow cast member, Michael Cudlitz, likened Negan to Donald Trump. How unfair do you think that is to Negan…?

I think that if I were Negan I’d be sorely pissed off at that comparison.

Yeah, I don’t know. I’d be annoyed if I were Negan. I am not sure that comparison has legs but certainly the effect Negan is having in our world may well be a comparison to that particular fella. I am also not sure which of them I’d rather have in office…[laughs]

We are really excited about the Blade Runner sequel so what can you tell us about your character and how did the part come about for you?

The first bit I can’t tell you anything about. I thought The Walking Dead, particularly this season, has been the tightest lock down with great measures taken to keep things secret I thought I’d ever be involved in.

Then I was on Blade Runner. The levels of secrecy and the efforts they go to protect the story has taken it to another level.


It was a huge amount of fun and Denis Villeneuve is a director I had an immense amount of fun working with. I will do anything in my power to work with him again.

As for how I got the part. It was one of those dream situations where it was just offered to me.

You’ve read the script, you know what happens, so can you at least say fans of the original shouldn’t be worried?

This script is genuinely one of the best scripts I’ve read for a long time. I am one of those huge fans of the original and went into it with a sense of trepidation.

I have to say what’s being done in it is a true kind of sequel. It pays homage to the original but is a genuine stand-alone story based in the same world. I think if you are going to do a sequel then that’s the way to do it.

And it must make a refreshing change to not to worry about being eaten alive…

Like I said, I couldn’t possibly comment [laughs].

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 23 and FOX UK on October 24. This interview appears on HeyUGuys by kind permission of Thomas Alexander.