Fan Fest San Jose took place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center December 1st and 2nd and cast members from The Walking Dead were in attendance.
On Sunday, Jesus himself, Tom Payne, took to the panel stage to answer some fan questions. This was Payne’s first time back on a panel stage since his character Jesus met his untimely demise on The Walking Dead‘s mid-season finale last week.
Payne talked about the scene as well as his satisfaction with the way Jesus went out, being surprise stabbed by a walker that was really a Whisperer.
It was cool the way it was done, and then it was back to the surprising deaths. And moving into the next part of the story. I really enjoy being part of that.
He says he watched many reaction videos of fans watching his character die.
I watched a bunch of the reaction videos, which I just love watching and I watched them all with a big smile on my face. I watched all you people cry and it was great. People were so shocked and upset.
He says he was also wondering if he would get happy reactions, but luckily they were few and far between.
Or its like “Yeah hated him!”, but there wasn’t a lot of that which was good. But you know it was shocking and very quick so that was great.
He joked that it was hard to lie down and look dead, and joked “If Ross would just stop crying!”
He said he had a plan with the stunt man who played the whisperer who stabs Jesus,
He was a stunt guy. We wanted to figure it so it was until the last minute you didn’t know. At this point, Jesus has got a sword. That’s why it was so fun, this great unexpected sequence. He said it’s got to be a ton of guys or a complete suprise. There was a time we were talking about a walker running at Jesus. He would’ve dodged it, so it had to come out of nowhere.
Payne says he was pretty keen on having the comicbook scenes come to life for Jesus.
I really enjoyed reading the comic books and I read them all. That was really all I had to go off of. I kind of hung onto the comic books for along times and was like yeah, he does all this cool stuff! So I had to come to terms with the fact that it was a different character which is fine. And they gave me a very different beginning. Maybe I shouldn’t have read the comic books.
Fans tried asking if he could reveal secrets like if we will see Jesus again in flashbacks.
I can’t tell you if its true or not. There are still some secrets I still have to keep. There are mysteries such as the X on Michonne and Daryl and what happened with Maggie and Michonne. All those things happened over the 6 year time jump on the show, so I could imagine Jesus was incolved.
Payne says he is ready for what’s next, but shared that he was hit by a little but of sadness to leave The Walking Dead.
I wasn’t necessarily sad when it all ended. It was 3 years on the show. I would’ve like to work with josh a bit more. It was only really where you get those little moments when you know its coming to and end. It catches you when you realize you wont see these people again in the same circumstances. When you give 3 years of your life to something and break that cycle it’s something you have to let go of.
For right now, Payne says he’s keeping his long hair, and is ready for what’s next for him.
It was announced last week that Payne is actually engaged as well!
Whatever comes along really is gonna be interesting now. 3 years playing a character is the longest I’ve ever done this for. Who knows? I don’t know what its gonna be. We’ll see.
The Walking Dead returns on February 10th, 2019 for the second half of season 8.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo