SPOILERS AHEAD FOR “THE WALKING DEAD” MID-SEASON FINALE
Many fans are still in shock and sadness over the death last night of a key supporting character in AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” actor Tom Payne’s Paul ‘Jesus’ Monroe.
A fan favorite from the comics, Jesus made his debut in the back half of the sixth season in early 2016. The character became the reluctant leader of Hilltop on the show which also started teasing romance between him and Aaron which happened in the comics.
However the role was always limited on screen, and Payne’s frustrations with the lack of screen time and development in the past couple of years were enough for him to want to jump ship. Speaking with THR about his exit, he says:
“It was a mutual [decision], and I was really happy about it. I expressed unhappiness [to the producers] last season…. You can’t help but feel a little bit despondent when you’re not released to do some cool stuff. I loved the character, but there was just so much potential [based on the comic-book Jesus]… that wasn’t realized. [So] I wasn’t sad to say goodbye to that frustration. It was constant.”
He also called the Aaron relationship tease ‘unfair’ as he found the idea of the relationship: “a bit lazy: ‘Here are two gay characters. They should get together!'”. Payne’s Jesus ended up surviving for three full seasons of the series.