Warning: The following contains spoilers for Sunday’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead. Watch first, read later.
If there was one person who wasn’t dismayed that Jesus became the Whisperers’ first victim in Sunday’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, it was Tom Payne, who played the Hilltop’s reluctant leader.
“It was a mutual [decision], and I was really happy about it,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter, adding that “I expressed unhappiness [to the producers] last season…. You can’t help but feel a little bit despondent when you’re not released to do some cool stuff” on the show.
Mind you, it wasn’t that he disliked his role. On the contrary, “I loved the character,” he insists. “But there was just so much potential [based on the comic-book Jesus]… that wasn’t realized. [So] I wasn’t sad to say goodbye to that frustration. It was constant.”
As for Jesus and Aaron, while Payne thinks that it was “unfair to the audience, to tease that relationship,” he maintains that to have paired them up would have “been a bit lazy: ‘Here are two gay characters. They should get together!'”
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