This week’s episode of The Walking Dead saw another familiar face departing the show, very soon after Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee left. Be warned, then: this article contains spoilers.
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It was Jesus who left the show this week, with Tom Payne’s character having a fatal encounter with the show’s new baddies, the Whisperers.
Now, chatting to THR, Payne has revealed that he was quite open to leaving the show:
“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 arrived in a very cool way, and then he floundered at the Hilltop. During the war with the Saviors, the only person he had a fight with was a man who was on his side [in Lennie James’ Morgan]. In the comics, he has this massive fight with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He catches a grenade, and throws it back [at his enemies]. He’s the most capable member of the entire group! And he wasn’t used at all [on the show]. In the background, I was training every single week. I was ready and raring to go. You can’t help but feel a little bit despondent when you’re not released to do some cool stuff. It 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.”
He then added this:
“I loved the character. It’s sad to say goodbye to the character. But there was just so much potential in the character that wasn’t realized. I was frustrated by that and wished we had explored it further. I wasn’t sad to say goodbye to that frustration. It was constant. I had been training for two years. I was so prepared for this character and what he was capable of. There was just lots of unrealized potential. That was very frustrating for me. When we finally showed off this year what he was able to do, that was great. I have no wish to go back to being frustrated by a character. (Laughs.)”
We’re sad to see him go, then, but he makes some very good points about the character’s wasted potential. Here’s hoping Payne has more luck in his future projects.
As we hear more The Walking Dead news, we’ll be sure to let you know.