The Walking Dead: Hilarie Burton Breaks Silence On Joining Husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan As Negan's Wife Lucille

friday night with the morgans amc jeffrey dean morgan hilarie burton
(Image credit: amc press)

As The Walking Dead is currently in production on the back six episodes of its extended tenth season, news recently broke that the cast welcomed One Tree Hill alum HIlarie Burton Morgan into the fold for a guest spot as Negan's uniquely influential wife Lucille. Her addition is, of course, quite meaningful considering she's the real-life wife of Negan portrayer Jeffrey Dean Morgan. While she formerly had to say hush-hush about joining the show, the actress has since fully confirmed and celebrated the casting.

Hilarie Burton Morgan took to Twitter to give her fans an update on her impending future within the Walking Dead universe, even offering up a clever little comic book reference in doing so. Here's what she had to say:

Been pretty hard to keep this a secret. But I love working with @JDMorgan. I love watching him become #Negan and take on that swagger. And I love the @TheWalkingDead family. They’ve been a part of our family for ages and I’m so grateful for their kindness. Xoxo #hereslucille

The husband and wife teamed up earlier this year for AMC's quarantine-centric chat show Friday Nights with the Morgans, and it's awesome that it led to Hilarie Burton Morgan joining The Walking Dead in a role that keeps her as close to her hubby as possible. Seemingly everyone involved with the show only ever has good things to say about Jeffrey Dean Morgan, so that had to be a good motivation for the actress to join the show, even if it's only in a limited capacity.

Hilarie Burton Morgan seemingly gave a big hint about the backstory that fans will get to see from her episode, thanks to that "Here's Lucille" hashtag. As comic book readers are likely aware, Robert Kirkman put out the standalone miniseries Here's Negan, which was essentially a highlight (and lowlight) reel of Negan's timeline from the point of Lucille's death by cancer to his rise as the leader of the Saviors. (It also showcased where he first got the barb-wire bat that he renamed in his wife's honor. Granted, Human Lucille didn't actually do all that much beyond becoming a walker, so one can only hope showrunner Angela Kang gives the actress some meaty scenes to work with.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan infamously first joined The Walking Dead to close out Season 6 with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, which definitely did not win over the fandom with ease. But in the years since he fatally clobbered Glenn and Abraham, the now-kinda-redeemed Negan has become something of a fan-favorite character, based in large part on Morgan being such a charismatic actor. Beyond that, Negan has earned empathy on occasion when bringing up his past and his wife Lucille, who is obviously the namesake for his beloved baseball bat, and he could become an even more sympathetic character when Lucille arrives.

Of course, Negan made it apparent in both mediums that he was actually cheating on Lucille during the latter chunk of their relationship as she was suffering with cancer, which played into his views about sex and relationships and consent (or a lack thereof). So maybe he won't be earning any additional sympathy after all, depending on how that all plays out. Whatever happens, I can't wait to see Hilarie Burton Morgan in action as Lucille.

The Walking Dead Season 10 will return to AMC at some point in early 2021 with the back six episodes, and the eleventh and final season is being planned for the show's usual October premiere window. While waiting to hear more about Lucille and who else we might expect to see, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule for all the new and returning shows left to debut this year.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.