I love it when the powers that be do exactly what I’ve been waiting for. After all the stellar casting that has taken place during the offseason, one character remained that absolutely needed to enter The Walking Dead for Season 6: Paul “Jesus” Monroe. And now it’s finally happened, as Luck star Tom Payne has been cast as the bearded badass.
Payne will take on a recurring role for Season 6, meaning we probably won’t see him for a while, and possibly not for too long even when we do. According to THR, the actor also has an option for Season 7, and considering the character is still kicking some walker tail in the comics, I can’t think of any good reasons why he wouldn’t stick around for future seasons. You hear that, Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman? There are no good reasons why he shouldn’t be around then. No killing Jesus. This isn’t a Bill O’Reilly book.
As not to give away any major details, I’ll just give off some vague facts about Jesus, who is called that basically because he has long hair and a bunch of facial hair. He enters the lives of Rick and the survivors in a surprising way and shows them that there are other groups out there beyond Alexandria (which is why he probably won’t show up until at least the post-hiatus part of Season 6). This is where we’ll eventually meet up with another newly cast character, Gregory, and other new faces. Like Negan!
What makes Jesus such a fantastic character is he’s almost like Daryl in that he’s a seemingly unstoppable badass who is both mentally equipped and physically equipped to live in a post-apocalyptic society. But unlike Daryl, he’s warm and welcoming to others and is not as interested in a solitary lifestyle. Plus, he’s dangerous with just about any weapon he gets his hands on.
I’m not sure what kind of actor I thought would enter The Walking Dead as Jesus, but Tom Payne’s name never entered my mind. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Born in England, Payne has been seen on TV across the pond in such series as Waterloo Road and Wuthering Heights, and then made his big break here in the short-lived HBO drama Luck. He was most recently seen in the historical drama New Worlds, and will next appear in Andrew Goth’s sci-fi thriller DxM.
The Walking Dead will kick things off with a giant walker herd and a ton of blood when Season 6 premieres on Sunday, October 11, on AMC.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.