Jeffrey Dean Morgan arrives at the world premiere of "Rampage" at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
A familiar, terrifying laugh and heavy footsteps can be heard moving slowly down a long, dark corridor in a movie studio sound stage located in a seedy part of Hollywood.
The laugh can only belong to one man.
It's Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
If you do not watch The Walking Dead, then the laugh and footsteps would not give you chills but if you are a fan of the hit TV series, the sound and sight of Morgan, aka the baseball bat, skull-crushing super villain Negan, would freak you out.
When the actor does appear from the corridor he, just like Negan, is dressed from head to toe in black, although his grey beard is thicker than usual and he is wearing a disarming pair of black-rimmed glasses.
He takes a seat on a couch in front of me and his hands are full, but thankfully he is not carrying his barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat.
Instead he is juggling three drinks.
A large Starbucks coffee, a herb tea and a can of Coke.
"I have a cold and I'm sweating it out," Morgan, explaining his collection of drinks, says.
"Yesterday I had an IV at lunchtime.
"I was hurtin'."
Morgan, the Seattle-born 51-year-old, was on the third day of a media tour to promote Rampage, his new action film based on the classic video game of the same name.
He stars alongside Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman and Joe Manganiello.
Morgan plays a mysterious government agent who appears after a bio-genetic experiment on animals in a space station goes wrong and canisters holding a gene-altering substance crash to earth.
One lands in a California wildlife sanctuary and infects an albino silverback gorilla raised by Johnson's character.
A wolf and a crocodile in other parts of the US are also exposed.
The three animals rapidly grow and embark on a path of destruction which leads to a showdown on a Chicago skyscraper.
The film was largely shot in Atlanta, which allowed Morgan to shoot it and The Walking Dead at the same time.
Morgan has had a long and successful TV and film career with roles in Zach Snyder's Watchmen, The Texas Killing Fields with Sam Worthington, Heist alongside Robert De Niro and Solace with Anthony Hopkins.
But it is Negan in The Walking Dead that made him possibly the most hated character on TV.
"I get a lot of people that hate me," Morgan smiled.
"But if people take the time to talk to me for more than one second, generally, I can sway them from the pure hatred.
"I'll still be walking down the street and people will flip me off.
"I get 'F**** you Negan' all the time.
"I'll be walking down the street with my kid and I'll hear 'F*** you Negan' and I'll be like 'You know The Walking Dead is not a documentary? It's not real.'"
Morgan said the success of the TV series has led to plenty of movie role offers to play villains, one of the reasons he took the good guy Rampage job.
Don't be surprised if you see him switch gears and appear in a romantic comedy soon.
"Yeah, a romantic comedy, dammit!," Morgan laughed.
"Before Watchmen I did PS I Love You and a romantic comedy with Uma Thurman and Colin Firth called The Accidental Husband, which nobody saw, but I loved it.
"I thought I was going to be the American Hugh Grant."
* Rampage opens in Australia on Thursday (April 12).
© AAP 2018