Tom Payne (‘The Walking Dead’) on how Jesus has changed from a lone wolf to a heroic ally

“I think the world of the show forces each character to examine their values, what matters to them, and what the point of the whole thing is,” said actor Tom Payne at New York Comic Con when discussing his role as Jesus on “The Walking Dead.” “My character has been on his own a lot in his life, and in the community has been an outsider. He is now coming more into it and is being forced to examine who he cares about, what he cares about, why, and how far he’s willing to go.”

Payne joined the cast in season six, and when we first met Jesus he was conning Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) out of much needed supplies. But after their initial conflicts Jesus was revealed to be a member of the Hilltop community and became an ally to our heroes, helping Daryl escape from captivity and aiding the group as they prepared for war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors.

“It’s tough to survive entirely on your own,” Payne explained about how Jesus evolved into a heroic ally. “At some point you’re going to have to engage with other people, and this world forces you to do that. I honestly think of the show as life times a hundred, where death lurks around every corner, which it does for all of us anyway, and on this show it’s much more apparent. It’s a great way of heightening the sense of being alive and what it means to you.”

“The Walking Dead” returned for its eighth season on Sunday, October 22, with its landmark 100th episode. Are you excited to see more of Jesus this year?

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