SPOILER ALERT: Read if you have already watched the Sunday "Evolution" mid-season final of The Walking Dead . Jesus is…
SPOILER ALERT: Read if you have already watched the Sunday “Evolution” mid-season final of The Walking Dead .
Jesus is dead. And unlike both his namesake and the zombies who plagued the post-apocalyptic landscape of The Walking Dead he should not be expected to rise from the dead anytime soon. Jesus (for example Paul Rovia) ended his Sunday midfielder finale when a zombie temporarily planned to decline unexpectedly ducked his swing and then took out the bullet leader. Later it was discovered that the enemy – known for comic book fans like Whisperers – was actually people wearing zombie skin masks on their faces. (More info from showrunner Angela Kang on these mysterious new enemies here.)
How does the actor Tom Payne know that his character was killed? Pretty good actually! It turns out that Payne had been frustrated in recent years and saw that Jesus was transformed a little to the sidelines and failed to perform any of the action-spectacular achievements of his comic book. He also suggested producers who killed him at the beginning of the war with the Savior.
But Payne loves the outlay Jesus received ̵
1; a full-scale old school horror scenario culminating in a ghostly cemetery, a great battle scene, and then a shocking and emotional farewell. We grabbed with Payne to get full of Jesus’ last position and all that led to it. Read through both sides for the whole interview, and make sure you check out our interview with Kang.
ENTERTAINMENT WEKELY: So when and how did you get the news about Jesus’ idolatry?
TOM PAYNE: ] Well, you’ll find an episode because, that’s when we get script, just before we started shooting section 7, which I think was probably in late July? I actually missed the first call from [showrunner Angela Kang] and I was talking to my girlfriend and I was like, “Oh, I just missed a call from Angela, maybe that’s the conversation, ha ha ha ha.” I called her back and it was the call. I was like, oh, okay. It was quite relaxed, I had hit a point in the show where I was a little in stasis and like, “Well, you know, I have to do more with my character, otherwise I’m cool to be killed.”
So When Angela told me, I think she might have been a bit surprised when I was, “Oh, okay cool.” Like “How will it be?” For my heart I’m a narrator, as long as it’s cool and it tells a good story, I’m down with it. When I learned how we did, I was very happy and happy to tell you this story.
Michael Satrazemis, who shot the episode, wrote me a couple of times as “I continue to come over and be sad with you and give you a hug and things, but you look so happy all the time.” And I was! I had a good time shooting this episode, because I felt like it went back to the show’s roots. It was horror and it was so atmospheric and then the twist in the story at the end was so amazing that I’m just very happy that we managed to tell a cool story that was unexpected and shocking. That’s what you want in this show, and I’m glad we could give it.
The whole episode felt like an old school horror. You know this happens, you know it’s coming and then you get into the foggy cemetery – it felt like I was watching an old 70s horror movie.
Yes, the whole episode. The last sequence we shot at one stage, but inside we were out in the fields and it’s a high shot where we approach the ladder where Eugene is. It appears that there is CGI, but here it was not at all. We flooded these fields with smoke and it was so nasty and cool, it was just a fun part to join. You really felt like we were making a movie. It was really, really cool and we all had a lot of fun to do.
It was nice for me to come to work with Ross and Josh and Norman again and just have a good story. It’s not just guys on a mission; It was like a little murder mystery kind of things we were like “We’re just going to get Eugene,” and then Eugene tells us this strange story. There was the moment we crossed, and we’re just trying to find out what’s happening and we’re all fast on the edge. It was great fun to shoot because we could feel the episode’s energy and the shady weirdness. It was good.
Yes, but they finally give you the man bun and then they take you out!
[Laughs] Oh, I know. I was quite sincere because I found the comics and I wanted to get it. I wanted him to have body pants and the sword and the boss’s bun and do the Samurai case. So I’m very glad we got into it. It was before we knew I was going to die. I know that the suit was very excited about it, and then they are: “Oh, you will only wear it for an episode and a little.” But I’m just glad we had to do it as we got a cool fight sequence out of it, and I got some nice moves.
That was another part of it was just so good that the audience will see it and Go, “Oh yes! Jesus kills ass! This is amazing! What? ” I love it! That’s what I want to hear. Let’s tell you a good story, and I think Angela has killed it this season and it’s been a good job to get in from everyone, and everyone is very excited about how the show goes this season.
And Jesus’ death is truly a great surprise, because Jesus still lives and kicks in the comedy so it’s more and more shocking.
Yes, definitely. This show is a different beast than comic books. It was definitely the source of much frustration in recent years, because Jesus may do some cool things in the Savior’s War [in the comic]. Like he has a fight with the Negan, this garnishes and throws it back. He is the most skilled fighter to anyone, and he did not get used to anything – except to fight someone who is on his own side. So for me it was a bit frustrating for the backdrops, I’ve worked hard on all martial arts and things and been excited to go. But I’m glad that we eventually put everything in there and it’s cool.
You know, generally you’re fond of the show if you get a cool thing to do, and I had a really cool start and a really cool end, and it suits me. It’s exciting to be part of this heritage and then have really cool moments in it. And I love that my character introduced the salvation and now introduces the whispers in a really cool, weird, scary and unexpected manner. I’m happy with that, definitely.
You mentioned how Jesus is an incredibly skilled fighter. So how does he get out here? Is it the surprise element that ultimately causes him to not even figure out what he even fights for the zombie end down under his knife?
I think it really helped sell the moment. It was in the script at a point when the whispers began to run into the group, and it was suspected that maybe one of them runs on Jesus, but I think his instincts, he would not have received him. If he saw someone running against him, he would have dodged it and killed him, even if it was a walker, his natural instincts.
But the fact that hikers to him are like nothing now, especially when he has this sword so he actually has fun. He goes out and kills the hikers, and he goes back and he sees the two and he’s like, “Oh, I’m just gonna take this”, he’s not even concentrating. He is “I’ll take this, and then I’ll …” and it’s happening so fast and it’s so unexpected at that time.
That’s the only way you could have gone, I think. A total surprise, as no one at that time expected a walker to move so, or certainly not kill him that way. I think that’s probably the best way for him to go. Otherwise it was either it or be overwhelmed by 20 guys or something. The surprise element is good because it sets that group really scary and I love the end of the episode when everyone is watching fog, wondering what’s coming out, what’s going to get them. I really liked that it was a big surprise so, and it really sets them up really, really good. (Interview continues on the next page.)