The Walking Dead’s Executive Producer and Showrunner, Glenn Mazzara, breaks down the new characters we’ll meet in Season 3 and what to expect from fan favorites. (Hint: more T-Dog! Yay!)
First of all, congrats on your Emmy win and nominations! This is the second year in a row that The Walking Dead took home the Emmy for prosthetic makeup, but I have to be honest – you guys were kind of robbed! The writing, directing and acting in Season 2 made for utterly outstanding television. Do you ever feel like there’s an academy bias against horror-genre shows?
That’s very nice of you, thank you! Listen, maybe – but, you know, Game of Thrones was nominated for Best Drama and that’s obviously taking place in a fantastical world so it doesn’t really affect how we do our work – we just try to do the best show that we can and hopefully – as long as fans dig us – we’re good.
You’ve touched on some of the most anticipated new characters, Michonne and the Governor, in numerous interviews – but what are some other new characters you feel viewers will react to?
There’s a new character, Milton, played by Dallas Roberts, who is one of the Governor’s right-hand men, and there’s some other characters with The Governor, but I’d like you to meet them first – I will say this: The Governor has a crew of men around him that I’m pretty excited about, they were great. And then we will introduce new characters throughout the entire season, so we still have our core characters that everyone knows and loves, but in the end we have a pretty extensive cast by the end of the run so they’ll be a lot of new characters for fans to enjoy.
Do you think this season we’ll get to find out the fate of Morgan and Duane Jones from Season 1?
I know that those characters are still out there in the world, and that’s something that we are interested in exploring, but I can’t say if it is this season or future seasons, BUT – somewhere in the life of the show we will go back to those characters.
Nice! So what favorite characters can we expect to see step into the limelight this season? Andrea really came into her own during the last half of Season 2 – will she continue to be such a force to be reckoned with?
I think that Andrea ends up assuming her own type of leadership role in certain groups, but I think that she’s also a very strong, capable, independent woman. And I think that’s interesting – part of the idea of separating her from the group was to examine that character on her own. So she’s been great.
Will T-Dog play a bigger role after being so essential to the group’s survival during the barn fire?
I think that character has gotten the short shrift in the past because we had the Shane/Rick/Lori business to play off, we had different plot points – he’s more integrated into the group. He’s a valuable part of the group, he’s earned his place. IronE Singleton does a great job playing this character. What I love about T-Dog is he doesn’t really put up with a lot of bullshit, you know? You see him kind of shooting a look at people; you know he can really read a situation like nobody else can. That being said, that’s the kind of guy you want alongside you in a zombie apocalypse. He’s a big guy, he’s a strong guy he’s got a great heart, he’s smart. So I think that there’s a lot to do with him so I’m excited about the role he plays in this season.
What about my personal favorite, Daryl?
Daryl of course is a huge fan favorite and I think those fans will continue to be happy because with Shane gone the group leans on Daryl that much more.
Will Glenn become more of a fighter now that he has a definitive love interest to protect?
You know, they don’t get a lot of press, but I’ve still always loved Glenn and Maggie. Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan are still very much the heart of the show. They have found love within the apocalypse and that love is tested throughout the season with different pressures that are put on them. So they’re great.
Okay – last thing I’m going to ask you: what is Halloween going to be like for you this year?
It’s a Walking Dead Halloween! People are very excited about going through the maze at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. My youngest son is nervous about it, might be a little scary, but I think he’s ready to go. He’s holding his own.
Is the event at Universal Studios going to be similar to “The Walking Dead: Escape” we saw at San Diego Comic-Con this year?
No, it’s not an obstacle course, my understanding is that it’s a haunted house – you know, you’re going through the dark and the zombies are coming out and scaring you. What Greg Nicotero and his team have done is they’ve recreated classic scenes from the show – so you go through the hospital, you go through the CDC, there’s the barn – there are major set pieces from the show that have been replicated in this haunted house setting, this maze, so I’m excited to see it, I hear it’s great.
All Photos Courtesy of Glen Mazzara; Behind the Scenes on Season 3 photo credits: Gene Page / AMC