At the recent MegaCon 2016 convention held in Orlando Fl, Tom Payne who plays Jesus on AMC’s The Walking Dead appeared at a Q&A panel in which the actor was quite generous, accommodating and very warm with his audience. As could have been anticipated, Payne was asked by a fan what the emotions were like among the actors with respect to the pending death of one of the series regulars at the hands of Negan in the sixth season’s cliffhanger final episode.
Payne began by saying that he had only shot three episodes in season six and that he was likewise not there when the now famous Negan death scene was filmed. The actor went on to say that he didn’t really want to ask any of his fellow cast mates about how they were feeling because everyone on the cast gets asked about it all the time. Payne then went on to say, “Certainly for the cast it is a big deal, because they all know that someone is going to leave and its a pretty tight group. And they’re not being disingenuous when they say its tough because you would be saying goodbye to someone who you’ve spent a lot of time with and shared a lot of memories as well.”
The English born actor continued saying, “And I don’t want to intrude on that, especially being a new member of the cast. You know, you mourn the passing of one person and you welcome the next and they’re really good with that.” Said a very pensive Payne who was clearly picking and choosing his words very carefully. “But this one especially (referring to the pending sixth season finale death). I feel like its kind of nice that Jesus is out of that because its kind of like private moment. But having said that, what’s amazing about the show is that its a private moment for all of the fans as well because I know all of the fans will be like ‘Oh my God I can’t believe that happened’“.
Then quite sincerely Payne went on to say, “And that’s why I really want it to be a secret until the beginning of the next season because its really going to be a great moment for everyone who’s going to be talking about it, and mourning together. It’ll be kind of amazing.”
When asked by another fan specifically who it was that was killed by Negan Payne jokingly told the fan that he would tell him if gave him one million dollars to which everyone in the audience laughed good heartedly as Payne then addressed the fan’s question head on saying, “I can’t. But I think for the narrative to move forward in the way that it should it has to be someone important I think. And I know everyone is a bit pissed with it being a cliffhanger but I agree with what Scott Gimple said, it starts the season off in such a big way,” as Payne hits his hand with a clenched fist for effect, “And you really have to hate Negan as well. And I think the next season will be a bit of a roller coaster as well, but obviously I can’t say,” as the actor raises his shoulders and hands innocently before continuing and again stressing, “But I really really hope that they keep it a secret until we get back. I know everyone wants to find out and everyone has their theories, but I think it would be so amazing to go to the premiere of the show, like I did last season at Madison Square Garden, and be in a room where everyone has that moment.”
Looking out across the audience, shaking his head affirmatively and sounding quite sincere Payne finishes off by saying, “That first episode back is going to be really amazing. So I’m excited to find out and you know what?” with the actor then leaning back slightly and smiling, “Jesus wasn’t there so Jesus doesn’t know.” And with that the audience laughed and clapped to Payne’s witty thoughts on just which cast member met their demise at the end of Negan’s bat.