Why The Walking Dead's Lennie James Hated The First Half Of Season 7

the walking dead morgan

The Walking Dead was never more brutal than in the first half of Season 7 thanks to new bad guy Negan and his handy dandy baseball bat Lucille. Morgan has been one of the few characters lucky enough to avoid even witnessing Negan's brutality so far, but actor Lennie James still was not a fan of the first half of the season. He explained why he hated it more than any other span of the show, saying this:

Horrible, just horrible - I swear to God, horrible [laughs]. But it was the same for everybody. Everyone's had more time off this season than they've ever had, but it's horrible. I hated it, and I complained about it - and I'm not a complainer - every day, like: 'How you doing Lennie?' I hate it! 'You want tea or coffee?' I hate it! It was horrible, because you just didn't see anybody. And because we filmed The Kingdom in a completely different area to where they were filming Alexandria, the HIlltop, or the Saviors, it meant that no one was close to each other. When we starting filming the first episode, there was a moment where everybody sort of came together - and then everybody split up. I didn't see Andy for six weeks because we weren't filming in the same place. We live kind of close to each other [in Atlanta], but we weren't either filming at the same places or at the same times, and in the end the only time I did see him was when we were both on a plane back to London to see our families. I hated it, it was horrible.

Although Season 7 split most of the main players up from the very first episode after Negan's bloodbath, almost all of them except for Morgan and Carol came back together by the midseason finale. Unfortunately for Lennie James, Morgan hasn't quite made it back to his pals just yet. His final scene with Carol in the midseason finale indicated that he might be heading back into the thick of the action to help in the fight against Negan, but he wasn't exactly around to join in the hug-fest with Andrew Lincoln and the rest of his fellow actors at Hilltop at the end of the episode. Still, Lennie James' explanation of why he hated the first half of Season 7 does give the impression that filming for the the second half brought him closer to the rest of the cast.

Lennie James went on in his chat with NME to elaborate that he missed his co-stars off-set as well on during filming, revealing this:

What could I do in Atlanta for that amount of time - and I love Atlanta - so I would leave town, as everyone else did [when they weren't shooting]. I hated it. I said to Scott: 'I see what you're doing, I respect what you're doing, but don't ever do this to me again because I hate it.

Tell us how you really feel, Lennie James! It seems that not even showrunner Scott Gimple was spared the actor's feelings toward the cast separation in the first half of Season 7. Those were bold words coming from a guy on a show that regularly kills people off. Of course, Lennie James isn't the only actor who has expressed a dislike toward the cast going their separate ways during the early episodes of Season 7. Norman Reedus spent most of his time in a dog food-stained sweatsuit in the Sanctuary far from any of his allies, and he also shared that filming was rough. Daryl was lucky enough to escape the Sanctuary and reunite with Rick and Co.; for Lennie James' sake, I hope Morgan will be next.

Luckily, we don't have too much longer to wait until The Walking Dead returns to the airwaves and gives us an update on all the characters who survived the midseason finale. The second half of Season 7 kicks off on Sunday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can catch on the small screen in the coming weeks.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.