Now, with #AMC's increasingly venerable #TheWalkingDead now heading towards the end of its seventh season, you might imagine that some of its longest serving cast members would be beginning to tire of the walker-centric routine of the show. After all, for all that regular acting work is a rare and wonderful thing in Hollywood, there's a reason that certain high profile actors leave hit shows before their natural conclusion: For some, consistency is far more stifling than it is comfortable.
For others, though, the idea of being on a hit #TV show for as many years as possible is just about the most appealing thought possible, what with it offering a fairly unique situation for an actor: A secure income, surrounded by long term co-workers who often quickly become close friends. Which, as it turns out, is why:
Lennie James Hated Filming 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 (For A Surprising Reason)
Specifically, it seems that #LennieJames, a.k.a. The Walking Dead's Morgan Jones, hated filming Season 7 of the show because he didn't get to hang out with his friends enough. As he recently put it to a gaggle of journalists, the splitting up of the cast for much of the show's seventh season had an unexpected (and hugely negative) side effect:
"I swear to God, it was horrible... and it was the same for everybody... This season, everybody's had more time off than they have ever, ever had... but it was horrible. I hated it... You just didn't see anybody — because we film The Kingdom in a completely different area where they were filming either Alexandria or Hilltop or where the Saviors were... no-one was close to each other."
And, as it turns out, even the fringe benefits of the working pattern — like being able to visit your family on weeks off — weren't enough to compensate for the loss of what sounds like a pretty happy working environment. As James put it:
"There was one point where I had three episodes off and I'm like, 'I'm just gonna go and see my kids, what am I doing in Atlanta for that amount of time?' — so I would leave town and that was exactly what everybody else was doing... No-one was around. I didn't see Andy [Lincoln, a.k.a. Rick Grimes] for six weeks and in the end, when I saw him, we were both on a plane back to London to see our families. You just didn't see your mates!"
All of which, it seems, ultimately led to James taking the issue up with The Walking Dead's showrunner, Scott Gimple, noting that:
"I'm not a complainer, but I complained about it every day... I said to Scott, 'I see what you're doing, I really respect you, but don't ever do this to me again, 'cause I hate it!' — I just didn't see people, and then there's whole bunches of people at the wrap party that you've never met... "It's like, 'Who are you? I don't know you! Where's my mates?' — it was horrible. I hated it."
And so, when the next few episodes of The Walking Dead bring the old gang back together, spare a thought for Lennie James. From the sounds of it, he was even more annoyed by them being apart than most of us were.
What do you think, though? Are you glad The Walking Dead split up its main cast for most of Season 7? Let us know below!
(Sources: Digital Spy)