Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton
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Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan Are Bringing Their Real-Life Chemistry to ‘The Walking Dead’

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We finally get to meet the inspiration behind the infamous Lucille on The Walking Dead.

According to reports, and the actress herself, Hilarie Burton will be joining real-life husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the long-running show during at least one of the bonus episodes slated for season 10.

“Been pretty hard to keep this a secret,” Burton tweeted Tuesday. “But I love working with @JDMorgan. I love watching him become #Negan and take on that swagger. And I love the @TheWalkingDead family. They’ve been a part of our family for ages and I’m so grateful for their kindness.”

Negan and Lucille’s Story

Burton will be playing Lucille, the late wife of Morgan’s character Negan.

In the series, we’ve heard Negan mention his wife a few times. We know that she suffered from pancreatic cancer before the outbreak that would turn the dead into walkers.

We also know that Negan was carrying out an affair at the time. And even though he broke it off to spend every moment with her that he could before her death, it’s something that’s haunted him in the years since.

The former leader of the Saviors famously named his weapon of choice—a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire—after his wife. And the emotional attachment he’s shown in the past when the weapon was taken away from him was striking.

Considering the fact that Negan is known for his storytelling, and not always his honesty, it remains to be seen whether the events of his past will play out like the character said. His accounts match the lore of the Walking Dead comics, but this wouldn’t be the first time the show has deviated from its source material.

It is worth noting, though, that in the few times he’s spoken at length about his late wife during the series, it was without his trademark swagger. The memories truly seem to eat away at him.

We also aren’t yet aware of how she’ll fit into the story. If it will be in a straightforward flashback, or in some sort of hallucination or dream sequence. Maybe because of Morgan’s history of playing other noteworthy characters as apparitions from the grave (I’m looking at you, Denny Duquette) I’m kind of pulling for the latter.

JDM and Hillary’s Story

This isn’t the first time for the husband-and-wife duo to appear on the small screen together. They appeared together in the CBS drama Extant in 2015, where Morgan was a series regular.

And in April of this year, the two hosted AMC’s Friday Night in With the Morgans. The show premiered in April as a half-hour video-chat based out of their farm in upstate New York.

The couple has been together since 2009, after being set up on a blind date by Morgan’s Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles. They share two children together, but have managed to retain a level of privacy with the press. This allowed them to announce their marriage in October of last year on their own terms. Despite a decade-long speculation of when their nuptials would happen.

View this post on Instagram

October 5. Best day of my life.

A post shared by Hilarie Burton Morgan (@hilarieburton) on Oct 5, 2020 at 2:04pm PDT

“This past weekend was the best of my entire life,” Burton wrote to her fans on Instagram. “There are dozens of thank yous I need to make. So bear with me over the next week as I gush over the amazing group of people who gave us this beautiful moment. But before we do any of that, Jeff and I just want to put it out there that WE GOT MARRIED! For real.”

“We’ve lived as husband and wife for a decade. We’ve built a family, and a farm and found our community,” the One Tree Hill alum continued. “For years, publications have reported that we got married in 2014 or 2015 and that I’ve been married and divorced before. All untrue. But WE knew our truth. So it felt silly to try and correct anything.”

Looking Forward

I for one can’t wait to see what the couple’s real-life chemistry will bring to this tragic backstory of The Walking Dead’s most loved villain.

The final six episodes of Season 10 are slated to premiere on AMC in early 2021. After that, the eleventh and final season of the flagship series will span 24 episodes over 2021 and 2022.

Of course, with several spinoffs already populating The Walking Dead universe, and the exciting news of the upcoming Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) spinoff premiering in 2022, I believe we’ll find a way to carry on.