When it was confirmed that Negan would be introduced at the end of The Walking Dead (opens in new tab)’s sixth season, one of the names being bandied about to play the part was Henry Rollins. Ultimately the role went to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but Rollins – whom Negan’s comic book likeness was modelled on – has revealed that he auditioned to play the sadistic villain.
“The internet was wild with speculation because in the upcoming season they were going to introduce the character”, Rollins told Forbes (opens in new tab). “A woman that works in my office put my name and the character’s name into an internet search and all this speculation came up. I went for the audition and there were five pages of really cool dialogue with all these curses and it was beautiful, but I didn’t get it”.
“I later saw a photograph of the guy who did get it and he looks almost exactly like the comic book rendering”, Rollins continued. “The woman at my office watched the episode where he turns up, the dialogue that I auditioned with was in the show and she said, ‘It should have been you.’ Obviously it wasn’t or this conversation would be very different but that happened. I had to sign one of those documents where you can’t talk about it but now it’s over and done with… so yeah, I was up for that part”.
It would have been interesting to see Rollins’ version of Negan; Having starred in shows such as Sons of Anarchy and The Legend of Korra as well as a host of dramatic films, he is no stranger to hard-hitting roles. Of course Morgan is no slouch in that regard either, and as annoying as that season six cliffhanger (opens in new tab) was I’m excited to see more of his Negan when The Walking Dead returns to TV screens.
Season 7 of The Walking Dead will debut on AMC later in 2016.
Images: Alternate Ending Studios