Judging by the various reactions that The Walking Dead cast has had to the season six finale — Andrew Lincoln claimed he was so disturbed after filming it that he was late for work the next morning, while Lauren Cohan just wanted to stop coming in altogether — it’s clear that viewers will be in for a rough ride when Negan arrives this Sunday.
After last week’s intense cliffhanger, you can be sure that Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, will be heavily involved in the events of the finale. As it turns out, the actor has already seen a rough cut of the episode and he was left quite shaken by it.
“I saw a little rough cut of it,” Reedus tells EW. ““And it’s the most hardcore episode we’ve ever shot. I couldn’t speak after I watched it. And, of course, I knew what was happening, and what was going to happen, and who was involved, but I got to tell you, I couldn’t speak for like an hour. And then I just was bombarded with phone calls on my drive home. But that was a rough, rough, rough cut. I will say that it might be the best episode we’ve ever shot of the show.”
While the episode undoubtedly registers as “hardcore” thanks in large part to Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, who will make his debut in the finale, it turns out that Morgan is pretty much the complete opposite of his sadistic character in real life.
“I’ve known Jeffrey for a long, long time,” says Reedus. “He’s a friend of mine, and I really respect him as an actor. And as a dude, he’s just the best. It’s weird to have such a nice guy playing such an a–hole, you know what I mean? But that’s just the testament to how good he is. So I’m excited to see where he goes and what happens to that guy.”
Reedus also praised the finale’s director Greg Nicotero, who typically helms the show’s most important episodes.
The episode will also mark the second straight season finale to be helmed by Greg Nicotero, who has become the show’s go-to director for big episodes. “Talk about the inner circle, Greg’s one of those people who’s with you from the get-go,” says Reedus, “from the very start of everything you do to the very end of everything you do. He’s one of my best friends and I’ve watched that guy just blow the hell up. He’s an unstoppable force right now on the show.”
We’ll get to see just how terrifying Negan really is this Sunday when The Walking Dead’s season finale finally airs.