Actor Tom Payne says the reason Paul “Jesus” Monroe doesn’t take over Gregory’s leadership role is that he sees himself as more of a “General.”
Compared to the other communities on The Walking Dead, the Hilltop is a lot less militaristic. And their leader, Gregory, is not someone you’d ever want leading you into battle.
Nonetheless, actor Tom Payne uses a military analogy in explaining why Jesus doesn’t step up to take over Gregory’s position.
“Jesus is more of like a General, if I’m getting my army terms right,” says Payne. “He’s not the person who’s in charge. He knows how to operate in order to make things happen in a way that is more palatable than, say, if Gregory told someone to do something. He definitely recognizes that Gregory is not the best leader — he’s just someone who was there, it was working and it wasn’t worth the trouble for Jesus to interfere.
“I think in this episode you really start to see what a weasel Gregory can be. He tries to give Sasha and Maggie straight over to the Saviors, and we know what the Saviors do to people. That’s really a big moment, where he sees the length that Gregory is willing to go to protect his own skin. And I think he enjoys seeing Gregory’s painting leave — that’s quite a nice little victory for Jesus!”
Rick and the other Alexandrians may not necessarily be soldiers either, but they’ve seen their share of battles. Payne says Jesus has seen hardships too, but they haven’t changed him in the same way.
Jesus is at Peace
“Yeah, what I enjoyed about the character coming in is that the world hasn’t hardened him in the same way that it’s hardened everyone else,” says Payne. “We’ve been with Rick’s group in the show, but there are lots of other groups we’re discovering this season and lots of other people who have taken to the world in a different way. That doesn’t mean they haven’t had as harsh an experience of this world, but they experience things in a different way. Some people are at peace with certain things and other people aren’t.
I think Jesus is settled with his attitude towards the world, but I think Maggie and Sasha are moving him further towards cooperating, and working closely with people rather than isolating himself as he has before. Maybe he hasn’t been that close to people for a long time, and maybe now that he starts to get close to people again… well, we’ll see how that might affect him in the future.”
Do you think Jesus has a strategic plan, or is he just plain weak?
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