Hilarie Burton, the real-life wife of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, will play his character’s wife in an upcoming episode of The Walking Dead. The episode was filmed during the global coronavirus pandemic and Burton discussed with Interview Magazine what it was like filming an apocalyptic show during an actual world-changing event.
Burton will play a character called Lucille, who is not only Negan’s wife but the inspiration for his deadly barbed wire-wrapped bat of the same name. The episode, which will be the conclusion to Season 10C of The Walking Dead, will tell of Negan’s backstory.
Already, the series showrunner Angela Kang has revealed that Negan’s story will change somewhat from what occurred in the comic book series on which The Walking Dead is based. However, there will be some similarities.
While the story behind Negan’s behavior will likely be an interesting one, the fact that it was all filmed during a real-life apocalypse, of sorts, is also intriguing.
Filming The Walking Dead during the coronavirus pandemic
Season 10 of The Walking Dead had been filmed prior to COVID-19 causing substantial shutdowns on TV and movie sets. However, post-production work had not quite been completed, causing a delay of the Season 10B finale episode.
Since then, work has resumed, and filming on Season 10C is complete. However, Burton explained what it was like working on the set of an apocalyptic television series while also being quarantined with her family.
“We were living in a real apocalypse in the real world living in a rented house in a fake apocalypse and filming the beginning of a pandemic that has been on TV for ten years. There were so many layers of weirdness,” Burton explained to Interview Magazine.
“To keep us safe for the filming, they had us quarantined living in the neighborhood that The Walking Dead shoots in. Alexandria is a little subdivision of houses with a big, huge wall, and it’s apocalyptic. There’s trash everywhere, and the water tower and all the sets that you see on television. We lived in Rick Grimes’s house. There were bullet holes in my child’s closet door.”
Burton also noted that she was thankful that the network cast herself as Negan’s wife, meaning that their family bubble could be kept contained.
“I’m not going to kiss some stranger that I haven’t been quarantined with,” she said.
Lucille’s story will help to explain Negan’s behavior in The Walking Dead
Negan started off as a hated character in The Walking Dead. After killing Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun), it seemed that he could never be redeemed in the viewer’s eyes. However, things have changed and time has mellowed the character, and labeling him as a bad guy is not as clear-cut as it used to be.
This is something that Burton has also grappled with.
“There have been conversations about whether or not Negan is a villain and if you had followed Negan’s journey from the beginning the way you followed Rick Grimes, perhaps people would have been more sympathetic to the way he handled things when he was introduced,” she explained.
However, she hopes that the story of Lucille will help to justify Negan’s behavior, explaining that sometimes people turn into horrible human beings given the right terrible situation.
However, viewers will have to wait until the Season 10C finale episode in order to find out more.
The Walking Dead Season 10 will return on February 28 on AMC.