“I think they could have been a bit more up front about that.”

Tom Payne has admitted his disappointment with the lack of gay storylines for his character on The Walking Dead.

The American actor played gay character Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia on the critically-acclaimed horror series for three seasons, and made his exit during the show’s latest episode, Evolution (25 November).

In the comics, Jesus embarks on a relationship with Aaron – who is portrayed by Ross Marquand on the series – and his sexuality is explored in much more depth.

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter about the character’s departure, Tom said: “It’s been so amazing to be a part of that community and to give visibility as a gay character on one of the biggest television shows ever.”

He then explained that he was disappointed that Jesus’ wasn’t provided with a prominent gay storyline.

“It was an amazing responsibility, and I was happy to take it on,” he admitted. “But I was disappointed it wasn’t in there more.

“It wasn’t ever even explicitly mentioned. [Jesus’ sexual orientation] was just one scene with Lauren in season seven.”

Tom said there are still viewers who were unaware of Jesus’ homosexuality because of his lack of storylines.

“It’s a shame,” he opened up. “He was such a badass character. They could have made more of it. It’s really Robert Kirkman who was so amazing to do it in the comic books.

“I was super excited to play that. I wish they made a bigger deal of it. But other storylines take precedent, I guess.”

The Walking Dead will return from its mid-season break 10 February 2019 on AMC. 

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