Lennie James has played Morgan Jones in The Walking Dead universe starting from the show’s pilot in 2010, and reappeared many times before transitioning to the spin-off show Fear The Walking Dead

Nobody’s more surprised by that than Lennie, he tells ABC Audio. “I started out just doing one episode and I’m not sure people believe me when I tell them that it genuinely was just one episode.”

James explains he was surprised when producer Gale Ann Hurd wanted him to be a permanent part of the series, but as a busy character actor, he wasn’t always available.

In Fear The Walking Dead, his character is now pitted against Colman Domingo‘s Strand, who has morphed from reluctant hero to formidable, megalomaniacal opponent.

“If someone had told me at the beginning that this is where it was going to go, I would have said I don’t believe it,” James noted. “It’s kind of snuck up on me and taken me by surprise.”

The journey of James’ character has taken Morgan from a mourning husband bent on revenge to a Zenned-out-seeming samurai-like figure, to something quite different nowadays.

“At each point there has been a new challenge, each point there’s been something that has been worth taking on and worth seeing what it was like with this guy,” he explains. “And he’s he’s never really kind of stopped challenging me, stopped surprising me and stopped interesting me, which is why I’m still here. I suppose doing it.”  

Fear The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC, and streams anytime on the AMC app.

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