The Walking Dead surprised fans with a blast from the past on Sunday night. On the latest episode of AMC’s hit show, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was confronted by someone he hasn’t seen since way back in Season 1. What did actor Juan Gabriel Pareja have to say about the return of his character, Morales?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pareja talked about returning to the show seven years after his departure. Pareja revealed that he wasn’t sure about Morales’ return until weeks before filming his scenes.
While the actor didn’t have a long time to process his character’s development, Morales has changed so much that it was like portraying a completely different character. In fact, Pareja admitted that Morales didn’t have a lot to say to Rick when they met up in the last episode because they are both different men.
“The only thing Morales has to say to that is that was a long time ago, buddy. So he is indeed a different guy, and honestly, even as an actor, there wasn’t a whole lot of prep that I could do because I was kept pretty much in the dark myself until it was go time,” Pareja explained. “There’s not much I really could have done to prepare for that seven-year transition. It’s just a whole new guy altogether.”
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According to Hollywood Life, we last saw Morales in Atlanta, where he decided to part ways with Rick for Birmingham, Alabama. Fans have long speculated what happened to Morales over the past seven seasons, and Pareja promised that we will learn more about his story in coming episodes. He did not, unfortunately, leak any spoilers about Morales or what happened to his family.
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Pareja did say that he always thought Morales was alive over the years. The actor envisioned Morales doing whatever it takes to save his family and surviving the chaotic, zombie-infested world.
Given how Morales is now teamed up with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), it’s safe to assume that Pareja was a little too optimistic about Morales. We can only hope that Morales isn’t too far gone to save and that Rick can bring him back into the fold.
In the latest episode of The Walking Dead, Rick ran into Morales while rummaging through a building at the Savior’s camp. After stumbling upon a baby and failing to find the group’s armory, Morales snuck up on Rick and informed him that reinforcements were on the way.
While Morales is clearly on Negan’s team, it’s going to be interesting learning more about his backstory this season. The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.