The Walking Dead returns in just a little over two months on October 22nd, but to preview the new season and look back at the big moments of Season 7, actor Tom Payne came by IGN for a sit-down interview.
The full interview is below, but one of the most interesting things Payne talked about was how the upcoming Season 8 premiere, which is also the show’s 100th episode, serves as a jumping off point for what’s to come.
“It’s been just crazy action, and really exciting to film and to read and to be involved in,” said Payne, who plays Jesus. “Scott Gimple’s spoken a lot about the 100th episode being a jump off for the next hundred episodes. Season 8 certainly starts with a big bang and then continues to ramp up, which is really exciting. I know the audience will be really happy with certainly how it starts, because they’re taking the fight back, and then every single episode in the first half there’s a moment which makes you go, ‘Wow, oh my god, I can’t believe that.'”
Like any season of The Walking Dead, Payne promises that Season 8 will be filled with horrible moments and plenty of death, as well as challenging dilemmas for the core characters to make. With Season 8 exploring the “All Out War” between Negan and Rick’s groups, characters will be forced to make decisions that are questionable, and Payne looks forward to the audience questioning them.
“I think there’s some really strong work from certain characters this year who have been given amazing character arcs to go through. There’s just an insane amount of action, and different dilemmas,” said Payne. “There are characters who are involved in war, so what is the right thing to do during war? Is it just kill everyone? In every war, there are casualties who maybe shouldn’t have been. There are dilemmas that I hope the audience is involved in as well in watching it, and there are choices to be made of how to move forward at certain stages. I’m excited to see what the audience thinks of decisions that certain characters make.”
We also asked Payne about that epic fight scene teased in the Season 8 trailer that shows him and Lennie James’ Morgan duking it out. “For me, that was an ‘oh my god, yes, I get to show off some fight stuff,’ and also with another character who has fight stuff,” said Payne. “Whatever it is, it’s just very cool to see characters who know what they’re doing get together and do that.”
The Walking Dead: Season 8 returns on October 22nd on AMC. Meanwhile, Season 7 hits Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on August 22nd. Check out an exclusive clip of Carl confronting Rick above.