Tom Payne joins up with The Walking Dead as a fan favourite character
The debut of the sixth season of AMC's monstrous zombie hit isn't too far off, but new actors continue to join up with Rick Grimes and his merry band of zombie slayers. AMC has announced that Tom Payne (HBO's Luck) has joined the cast of The Walking Dead as Paul "Jesus" Monroe. First introduced in issue 91 of Robert Kirkman's comic, Jesus is "a resident at the Alexandria Safe-Zone who moved to the community from another group called the Hilltop Colony. The character is a rare logical man and skilled adviser with a strong sense of morals and values who is well-adapted to the new world."
Another actor heading to The Walking Dead is Xander Berkeley, who will also pop up for the sixth season in a top secret recurring role which is NOT be Negan, despite his character sharing several characteristics with the infamous villain. Xander's secret character has a huge ego with healthy doses of narcissism and self-preservation thrown in for good measure; he also relish's "the superiority that comes with being in control, but he plays it off with a car salesman-type charm." Speaking of Negan, who gave the Governor a run for his money when it came to pure evil, the introduction of Jesus will start paving the way for the villain's introduction; series show-runner Scott Gimple told THR that bringing Negan into the show would be "challenging," but that it's something they really want to do.
There's a particular story in that arc that I'm very excited for. But because we know where we're going, we have some opportunities to play around with it and put some things in that will lead up to [Negan and Alexandria] in different ways yet fulfill the story Robert told to the Nth degree by utilizing some slightly different approaches. Lineups and timelines and the whole 9 yards.
Both Tom Payne and Xander Berkeley have options for season seven of The Walking Dead, but as we know, that's no guarantee of survival. The Walking Dead will premiere on October 11, 2015.