SPOILER WARNING! If you happened to miss last night’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, then you should probably hold off from reading this post. Or you can just read our recap. Either way, you’ve been warned!
In a major deviation from the Whisperer War comic book storyline, Tom Payne’s Jesus was fatally wounded by the Whisperers. And while Jesus’ death was big surprise for fans, Payne’s been expecting this for some time now. According to a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Payne was frustrated with his role on the show and eager to make his exit.
“When they came to me with the idea, I said, ‘As long as it’s a really cool moment, let’s do it!’ I know a lot of people are going to be bummed about it, but I’ve been bummed for the last two years, that the character hasn’t gotten as much cool stuff [on the show] as he has in the comic books. They gave me a really cool ending, and I’m happy with that.”
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Payne also elaborated on why he felt unhappy with Jesus’ reduced part on the series.
“They were aware I wouldn’t be unhappy if they got rid of me,” explained Payne. “I expressed unhappiness last season. I was very frustrated with what the character had been doing…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.”
However, Payne also reiterated his affection for Jesus, as well as the show itself.
“I loved the character,” said Payne. “It’s sad to say goodbye to the character. But there was just so much potential in the character that wasn’t realized. I was frustrated by that and wished we had explored it further. I wasn’t sad to say goodbye to that frustration. It was constant…I spent a long time hoping my character was going to have more to do. I was happy to have a great beginning, a great bit [in the middle] with Lennie, and then a really great ending. That’s enough for me. I’m happy it rounded off in a fun way, with a great impact on the story. But at the same time, I’m ready to move on.”
What did you think about Payne’s exit from The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comment section below!