At this month’s Comic-Con 2012, the cast of The Walking Dead once again made the cross-country trip from Atlanta, Georgia (where the show is shot) to San Diego, California to appear before six-thousand fans in Hall H. There are of course some new faces on the show this season, including Danai Gurira as fan-favorite character Michonne and English actor David Morrisey as the notoriously sadistic arch-villain The Governor. Find out what they – along with series star Andrew Lincoln and makeup effects expert/co-executive producer Greg Nicotero – had to tell us about season 3, below.
On the fan reaction…
The reaction from the fans, it kind of takes your breath away. It makes it all add up. You realize that without them we wouldn’t exist as a show. But also their devotion to the comic and the TV show is magnificent. It’s like the energy you feel when they see a trailer or something like that, and it just comes onto the stage, it’s magnificent. You want to bottle it and send it to the crew as well. It couldn’t be more the opposite of filming and the intensity of filming and the extremities of filming, the commitment and all those kinds of things. Then you come here and you just feel the opposite, you get the end result.
We’re in the middle of filming and we fly here and we have six thousand people saying, “Great job. We love it.” We literally step off the set, get on a plane and fly here, and we get the fans’ reactions to the show, which literally makes us want to go back and make the show even better. We shoot in the summer, but literally leaving our bubble in Georgia and flying here and having the opportunity to see the show through the fans’ eyes and perspective really invigorates us to make the show even better.
On how Rick starts the season…
Trust between him and his wife… I think they’re in a worst place than they’ve ever been, and I think it’s caused a seismic rift between them, and also the mamma and papa no longer exist for the other members of the group. So I think they’re in a very cold place. Yet they’re still alive, so he’s succeeding in his promise of keeping them alive.
There’s a great quote you here in the trailer – “Shane would have never gotten us this far.” The realization that Rick will do anything to protect his family and protect that group. And at that point you have so much whispering and Shane this and all these things happening that you really genuinely believe that if Rick hadn’t stepped up at the end of [episode] 213 and said, “This is how we survive,” then you would believe that that group would implode.
We meet them at a place that is probably the worst they’ve ever been, and it’s been told brilliantly in the teaser that has no words, but you absolutely find out where they are psychologically and physiologically at that point. And the pressure is the worst it’s ever been.
On stepping into the role of Michonne…
It’s such a beautiful piece of work. I started watching it once I first auditioned, and I was really sucked in. I was watching it when I was in my last round of auditions, preparing, and I was watching a scene and suddenly I was like, “I want to be a part of this!” It just came out of me, because it’s so thrilling to watch a story being told so viscerally and so palpably, and seeing actors give a hundred and ten percent in every single frame. It’s just stunning. But when you get it, it’s like, “Oh God…” But it’s been an amazing ride. The character is her own entity and she has her own fanbase.
I did some research as I was going through my audition rounds, so I was gleaning that she was quite an entity. But then you step into it and you really start to realize.
On Michonne’s story this season…
I can tell you that she has a bestie, called Andrea, and they’re both alpha women who respect each other, and complement each other, and have each other’s backs. We see her navigate the terrain anew. We know she’s navigated it previously, but we see how she navigates it in new ways as she encounters new experiences.
On Stepping into the role of the Governor…
I was a big fan of the show. I’ve known Andy for a long time, and I watched the show with interest and fell in love with the show. Also, in the pilot, a great friend of mine, Lennie James, was in the pilot. It’s a grown-up show, at its heart is that sense of human survival and what we would do. So joining it’s been a blast, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I was very nervous before we started. I have to say that I always am though. I always feel that sense of responsibility when I walk into any job. But I knew there was a big fanbase. But the minute I walked onto set all of that was gone. I just had to do my job. The cast and crew are fantastic. And being here at Comic-Con you really see how it gets across the footlights to the audience.