It goes without saying that Jeffrey Dean Morgan has done some pretty crazy things on and for The Walking Dead over the years. From ruthlessly murdering some of the show’s most beloved characters to engaging in an odd relationship, Morgan has been forced to do some questionable things in character. But out of character, the actor attempted something unconventional to improve his performance.
Even though he doesn’t consider himself to be a method actor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan revealed that he found a way to make Negan’s appearance more authentic while the character was in jail during The Walking Dead Season 9. Apparently, Morgan learned to cut his hair with a sharp knife, which ultimately worked for him. Though, the show’s producers weren’t too happy about it:
I'm not a method guy, but I knew that I'd get asked — for years, 'How come no one is bugging Negan about his gelled up hair with his nice haircut?' When I was in jail, the season I was in jail, I decided to see if I could cut my hair using a really sharp knife. And you can. I cut myself a few times, but it's a possible thing. The producers weren't exactly thrilled.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s recent revelation, which he discussed on The Rich Eisen Show, definitely shows his commitment to the show and his fan-favorite role. Cutting one’s own hair is already a difficult task, but cutting it with a knife sounds both tricky and dangerous. Yet you have to applaud the fact that he mastered a skill like this.
Negan was pretty much a shell of his former self when he spent that season in jail. Interestingly though, he remained primarily during his stay in lock-up. While Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s methods may seem unorthodox, they do provide a solid reason as to why Negan was able to maintain a fresh cut.
The fact that Morgan would turn to method acting isn’t too surprising, as more actors are using it to enhance their performances. One example of this would be Matt Damon, who shut himself way from friends to get himself into a hermit-like mindset for The Martian, which led him to exhibit some raw emotion for the film’s climax.
Thankfully, Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn’t take things that far when it came to Negan. With the character being in jail, he absolutely could have found ways to prep that would have been unsettling to say the least. You can see more of Morgan as Negan when The Walking Dead returns for its eleventh season.