Former The Walking Dead star, Xander Berkeley, spoke with Comic Insider at Wizard World New Orleans, earlier this year. During the interview, Berkeley was critical of his character’s death on the show. Gregory was a divisive character but Berkeley has been both critical and defensive of the character’s role on the show.
Berkeley has also been very vocal of Lauren Cohan’s departure and how that has affected Gregory’s departure from the show. Gregory was killed off in the Season 9 premiere, “A New Beginning,” when Maggie ordered his execution following two attempts on her life.
“I just think that they truncated it into that first episode of the ninth season with too many other things going on. They didn’t quite savor the moment the way it could have been,” Berkeley told Comic Insider. “And I didn’t quite buy Gregory pulling a knife on Maggie. I kind of liked the idea in the comic book of him poisoning her.” Poisoning her “seemed a little bit more diabolical, a little bit more like Gregory’s way of going about it.”
“For whatever reason, they had to [hurry],” Berkeley added. “I think because Lauren was gonna be leaving the show, they had to hurry and get rid of me so they could establish her as the one running Hilltop. But they just had to move the whole plot forward and faster.”
Berkeley previously criticized his character’s hurried death on the Crimson Head Elder Podcast, expressing disappointment that Gregory was “irredeemably douche-y” and put him in a “one-dimensional corner.”
“I think people are always more complex than they are generally allowed to be portrayed in television shows, and in movies,” Berkeley said. “And it is expedient to make them simpler so that people can follow it and not get lost in the muddle. So I get why they are simplified and sometimes unnecessarily so, to keep things moving along and to make it clear for the audience.”
Berkeley continued, “I tend to be of the personal taste to not like to be told how I’m supposed to react to a story or a character so that I can be conflicted, so that I can make up my own mind as an audience member, I like that kind of complexity. But that was never gonna be the case with this character and this show.”
Do you think Lauren Cohan’s departure rushed Gregory’s departure from The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
This is post P-90x. I’m saying I watched the videos. I’m not saying I participated. Born in my mom’s basement, I’ve stayed there to embody the stereotype. One day I will rise up… to the main floor of the house.