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Spoilers below for the latest episode of The Walking Dead, titled "Squeeze."
The Walking Dead hasn't delved too heavily into the post-apocalyptic sex lives of its survivors, with those scenes usually going to well-established couples of the moment, such as Michonne and Rick, Abraham and Rosita, or Magna and Yumiko. Things took a hairy (chested) turn in the Season 10 winter premiere, however, when Samantha Morton's Alpha gave Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan a sordid offer he couldn't refuse. Unsurprisingly, fans went berserk over the two villains boinking, but Norman Reedus had a pretty unique take on it.
The fan-favorite star Norman Reedus had issues with Negan and Alpha's sex scene – which was not taken from the comics – but not so much with the whole "Negan and Alpha having sex" part. Rather, Reedus humorously called out co-star Morgan for apparently not going fully nude for the full-bodied profile shot in the episode. According to Reedus:
I do remember when that was written and I was like, ‘Jeff!’ And he’s like, ‘What? What? Samantha doesn’t want to get naked so I don’t really have to get naked.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s not what I heard. I heard Samantha wants to but you don’t want to.’ And he’s like, ‘Well no, you know, I’d….’ He was just stumbling on his words and I was like, ‘You know what? I’ve been butt naked on this show several times in front of everybody! And he ends up wearing this like flesh-colored ballerina bottoms and these ballet bottoms! And not only that, then he’s got like a beige colored diaper on top of that. You can’t see anything! And I was like, this is so unfair! I was like, ‘You chicken, get in there, rip those pants off!’ But he wouldn’t do it. I think me and Cudlitz are the only one that have been naked so far on this show.
That sounds about right. Just imagine if you were set to do a nude scene (opposite an actress wearing a mask made of zombie skin) for one of the biggest TV shows on cable. That might make one pretty nervous, right? Now imagine you have a tiny Norman Reedus on one of your shoulders, calling you a chicken for maintaining a bit of modesty in primetime. Obviously you need to take that tiny Reedus and put him up for sale on eBay.
But to Norman Reedus' point in his interview with EW, the actor did indeed have to go fully nude for The Walking Dead a couple of seasons ago. Not for any sex scenes, of course, since Daryl has led a romance-free life. But rather when he was Negan's prisoner in the sanctuary. (Never forget the dog-food sandwiches.) Michael Cudlitz's disrobing, however, was indeed for a more libidinous sequence.
Take a look at the fairly NSFW moment below and try to decipher where the Jeffrey Dean Morgan ends and the alleged "flesh-colored ballerina bottoms" begin.
Considering both Negan and Alpha are made up to be as filthy as characters would probably be if they avoided baths and mucked about in walker guts on a regular basis, it made it easier to blend the fleshy over-garments in with their actual skin tones. I'm sure there were more than a few viewers who thought they were legitimately viewing Jeffrey Dean Morgan donning the Emperor's new clothes.
That said, one big clue that The Walking Dead's big bad stars weren't actually nude was that particular wide-angle shot used by episode director Michael Satrazemis. After a conversational scene full of tight close-ups of Morgan and Morton's faces, it was a rather jarring jump to that wide open frame, which is usually what happens when a TV show needs to swap out a principle actor with a stunt double. In Morgan's case, though, it was only his lower half that needed swapping.
What did you guys think about Negan and Alpha's scene? Was it gross? Was it sexy? Did it make you hungry? Why, though?
For more fully clothed Norman Reedus, be sure to watch The Walking Dead on AMC every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.