Jeffrey Dean Morgan Had to Learn 17 Pages of Monologue For His First TWD Scene

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Had to Learn 17 Pages of Monologue For His First TWD Scene
Image credit: Legion-Media

Jeffrey Dean Morgan sure made an impression when he first joined The Walking Dead.

He fit his role so well that it looked like he barely needed any prep to get into the character of a psychopathic villain who kills people with a baseball bat named Lucille. But did you know that he had to learn 17 pages of monologue for his first scene?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is known for his appearances on popular shows such as Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy. However, his role as Negan, the main antagonist of TWD, is his most noted role to date, to no one's surprise.

He made his first appearance in the dystopian horror drama back in 2016 and has been the anti-hero everyone loves to hate ever since. I mean, who could forget his very first episode? All true fans remember how he stepped out of the RV with Lucille on his shoulder and taunted the lineup of Rick's group.

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But while his delivery looks so natural and on-point, preparing for it wasn't as easy as it may appear, and there was a lot going on behind the scenes. According to Entertainment Weekly, Morgan's first memory of that day was the actors doing "story time" of the scene, which involves the assistant director who reads the script and actors who go through the lines to get an idea of the words before the actual filming begins.

While the hit series is known for long dialogue scenes and complex scripts, Morgan had to face the biggest challenge for his first scene – 17 pages of monologue.

He recalled not having a script with him and seeing the cast in the lineup, out of whom he only knew Norman Reedus, looking at him. No one knew what they were going to get with Morgan, but as he had memorized all the lines already, he stepped into his role quickly.

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That same night, he put on his Negan outfit for the first time and, as he remembers vividly, was waiting to hear the assistant director say through a walkie-talkie he had: "Action, Jeff. Action!" He also recalled that everyone in the lineup was supportive and connected with him for the next two nights of hard work and the rest was history.

This is just one example of how hard actors have to work to deliver a great performance for their viewers. But if the actor loves what he does and is willing to put in the effort, the results can be truly Oscar-worthy!