10:07 pm - 11/25/2012

‘Walking Dead’ star Danai Gurira talks Michonne, Rick and PTSD

With “The Walking Dead” nearing the halfway mark of its third season — the hit AMC series has just one episode left before a weeks-long break that will carry through to February — the action on the zombie show is clearly intensifying. (Caution, spoilers ahead.)

Michonne and Andrea have parted ways, Lori and T-Dog have departed for the hereafter and Glenn and Maggie appear to be in grave peril, while the Governor is slowly displaying his true, deeply devious and calculating ways — if not to the residents of Woodbury than at least to the record-breaking numbers of “Walking Dead” viewers.

The experience of working on the show’s Georgia set is just as intense for the actors as the characters they portray, according to Danai Gurira, whose Michonne last week found herself arriving at the prison stronghold where Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the other survivors have made camp.

The Iowa born, Zimbabwe-raised actress and playwright isn’t trying to suggest that the cast is actually fighting off zombies, of course; rather, Gurira likened the environment on set to the world of theater, where the performers are entirely invested in living through their fictional counterparts to give the scenes, and the show overall, a palpable, dramatic vitality.

“There’s something about this show where the actors have such a beautiful ownership of what goes into the camera frame,” Gurira said during a recent interview. “People want everyone to do excellently and they let you know when you have. There’s such encouragement of fellow excellence. It’s so collaborative. It’s something that the lead of the show, Andy Lincoln, really brings to light. There’s something so pure about him; there’s no ego, it’s all about the work. He sets a beautiful example that way; he’s kind, encouraging, congratulatory, really happy for great stuff to happen. He’s a true actor.”

Gurira’s Michonne and Lincoln’s Rick certainly have some things in common, a fierce determination to stay alive chief among those traits: “I think everyone is living in the aftermath of PTSD and is kind of still in a PTSD realm,” Gurira said. “The world is gone, your family’s gone, you’ve seen things you could not ever fathom. [In Michonne's case] she became very specifically who she became as a result of that — as everyone did — but her response was extraordinary. She re-created herself extraordinarily. She just decided she wasn’t going down, she was actually going to really figure out how to take care of herself in this world, not just get by, not rely on anybody else.”

“The way she’s wired has its pluses because it’s so brilliant for the world,” she continued. “It really makes her formidable. However, there’s some damage that’s done that she hasn’t dealt with.”

She smiled and paused before adding, “It’s not like you can get some therapy, some counseling to work through it.”

sastra_fuss 26th-Nov-2012 03:38 am (UTC)
i want to slap her sometimes. she came all that way to warn them and brought the baby supplies, but then want to act like she can't talk
meow_tan 26th-Nov-2012 03:47 am (UTC)
shes self serving and doesnt trust people. i understand why she wouldnt talk.
lanavis 26th-Nov-2012 04:03 am (UTC)
Plus, they were planning to let her be ripped about by zombies. If it wasn't for Carl, she would've died a horrible death.
canuckgirl33 26th-Nov-2012 04:05 am (UTC)
This. Don't understand the Michonne blaming squad, trying to find faults in her actions. Put yourself in her place, damn
meow_tan 26th-Nov-2012 04:17 am (UTC)
people are just jumping at any chance to criticize a female character
msweetie913 26th-Nov-2012 04:40 am (UTC)
this. the gross misogyny in this fandom. (not necessarily on ontd but elsewhere it's ridiculous)
sastra_fuss 26th-Nov-2012 04:37 am (UTC)
they weren't planning anything. rick was going towards the gate to let her in and carl was covering her from the walkers. they hesitated because 1)they thought she was walker at first and 2) they don't know her.
sastra_fuss 26th-Nov-2012 04:35 am (UTC)
if she didn't trust people, why did she go to the prison in the first place? and seeing how they did let her in and didn't shoot her on sight, why wouldn't she just tell them why she came? just wasting time...
hrhobo 26th-Nov-2012 05:21 am (UTC)
ikr. she wants to observe these people first before she starts doling out information. SHE'S NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS. SHE'S HERE TO BE NUMBER 1!!!!!!!
lathwen1 26th-Nov-2012 05:28 am (UTC)
Since she heard Glenn talking to Merle, and him having a brother in the group, then she needs to be careful of what she says, and who she tells it to.
Best thing would have been talking to Rick in private.
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