The latest actor to get killed off “The Walking Dead” is opening up about the shocking death — which came at the end of two seasons of unhappiness for the actor.[SPOILERS FOR SUNDAY NIGHT’S EPISODE AHEAD]
In the Season 9 mid-season finale, fans were shocked by the death of Jesus (played by Tom Payne) who was murdered by one of the new antagonists called the Whisperers. Jesus is still alive and well in Robert Kirkman’s comics, so his death is a departure for the show.
But while fans may gnash their teeth over a favorite character’s exit, Payne himself told The Hollywood Reporter he’s fine with the move.
“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,” he said.
“They gave me a really cool ending, and I’m happy with that.”
While Payne didn’t outright ask the showrunners to write him off the show, he explained, “They were aware I wouldn’t be unhappy if they got rid of me. I expressed unhappiness last season. I was very frustrated with what the character had been doing.”
He added the decision to kill off Jesus “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.”
Jesus’ death is particularly controversial as he’s one of the few gay characters on “The Walking Dead.”
“I was super excited to play that. I wish they made a bigger deal of it,” Payne said. “But other storylines take precedent, I guess.”
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