‘The Walking Dead’ News: Henry Rollins Was Almost Negan

Henry Rollins and The Walking Dead are almost two names that are synonymous, but they have never been one and the same on the small screen. But that does not mean that they haven’t been synonymous in The Walking Dead comic book.

In a recent interview Henry Rollins did with Forbes to promote his latest movie, The Last Heist, Rollins also had a few things to say about The Walking Dead’s Negan and what kind of history he had with the character, most notably in the comic book series by Robert Kirkman.

It will probably come as no surprise to fans of The Walking Dead that Henry Rollins was originally up for the part of Negan on the TV show. For those who know Henry Rollins and know the character of Negan, the two were a perfect fit in every conceivable way.

Henry Rollins has been known to take on roles in film with a certain degree of intensity that just oozes total testosterone on every level. In The Walking Dead, Negan is very much that character, but he is also calm and collected with his ominous attitude toward the core Walking Dead group.

What was even more interesting about what Henry Rollins had to say about Negan on The Walking Dead is that even though he was up for the part, he also had a history with the character before The Walking Dead was even on cable television.

“Since I didn’t get the part [of Negan on The Walking Dead] I can tell you this. I was up for the role of Negan because Charlie Adlard, who worked on the comic book, based that guy on me and so I was a shoo-in for an audition,” Henry Rollins told Forbes. “The internet was wild with speculation because in the upcoming season they were going to introduce the character. A woman that works in my office put my name and the character’s name into an internet search and all this speculation came up.”

It is one thing to be up for a major part in AMC’s The Walking Dead, but it is a totally different thing to be up for a part in a TV series that was based on a comic book which based its own character on Henry Rollins himself. But it could also be a bit sacrilegious for Rollins to have played the role as well. It would have been kind of like Mark Zuckerberg getting the lead role in The Social Network, in a weird sort of way.

But Henry Rollins has never been one to be put off by canon or any other religious sort of meaning in life.

“I went for the audition and there were five pages of really cool dialogue with all these curses and it was beautiful, but I didn’t get it. I later saw a photograph of the guy (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who did get it and he looks almost exactly like the comic book rendering,” Henry Rollins said. “The woman at my office watched the episode where he turns up, the dialogue that I auditioned with was in the show and she said, ‘It should have been you.’ Obviously it wasn’t or this conversation would be very different, but that happened.”

The Walking Dead TV series did not debut the character of Negan until the last scene of the Season 6 finale, which was one of the biggest and most talked about scenes of 2016. Fans have also been quite pleased with the casting of Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the role of Negan on The Walking Dead.

“I had to sign one of those documents where you can’t talk about it but now it’s over and done with… so yeah, I was up for that part,” Henry Rollins said about his Walking Dead audition. “I get great auditions, I auditioned for stuff like Narcos too, but rarely does anything come my way.”

For those Walking Dead fans that are still hanging in the wind over the Season 6 finale, Season 7 is right around the corner, coming this October to AMC.

[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]

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