AMC’s The Walking Dead Cast Interview: Danai Gurira

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AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 3 starts Sunday October 14th and everyone is excited to see the return of their favorite characters. 
 
A few months back CBT was invited to visit the set of The Walking Dead ( be jealous) We got to see  a scene being filmed, visit the prison set, another super secret set, interview some cast members and also visit Woodbury.
I can’t wait to tell you about the set visit, but first lets dig in to an interview with everyone’s favorite katana wielding chick Michonne, played by Danai Guarira.
Danai is such a down to earth person, she is very nice and courteous, but when she is in character she literally transforms into Michonne. She gets this mean looking tough attitude, and wow…once you see her on screen you will understand what I am talking about.
 Here is a bio of the character:

Michonne (Danai Gurira)

Michonne is the mysterious stranger who saved Andrea from walkers with her katana blade. True to the iconic character from Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel, she is a quiet, but fierce warrior. She and Andrea begin on the road together, but their bond will be tested when they are taken into Woodbury by the Governor.

 

 

 Now lets move on to the interview:

*Can you tell us about the audition process? Did you know much about Michonne before auditioning for the role?

 

Danai : Even as I was preparing to audition for the role, I didn’t know a lot about the character. I went with what I knew of the world from watching the first season. I really approached it as creating and building a character. A lot of it was really clear on the page when I auditioned, so I kind of built it from that. As you know about the show, they don’t do exactly what’s on the comic book page. There is something about her arc that’s true to the comic book, but still new.

Would you say your experience in The Walking Dead has been overwhelming?
Danai: It’s been intense. Its been intense, um…which is good. Im an intense chick and I like intense, I like challenges, I like intense challenges (smiles) even when I don’t I do. Otherwise you dont feel like you are utilizing everything that you can possibly can.

 

Do you keep up with the comics?

 

 Danai:  Kind of…not really. Glen (Mazzara) was like: “You can read them or not”.I wanted to read them, I am a researcher, so I wanted to see where she was birth from, I wanted to know the stories on the page. (Excitedly) I started to get confused, cause I was watching season 2 at the same time and I was like” did that happened in the book or in the show?”.  I couldnt remember so is kind of amazing how they are melding cause they are both so vividly told, the comic book is very vivid and amazing, like how some moments are illustrated. It really sticks with you.
I haven’t read comic books since i was a kid, so I was really interesting to delve into one with such dire stakes…. (pauses) What was your question again? (Everyone laughs)
 If you keep up with the comics:
Danai: Yeah I do…I stopped… well they gave me up to book 7, so Im probably around 20 behind at this point. But I get told when something major happens. I was told im still alive ( laughs).

 


 

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Thats it for now, stay tuned as we have more interviews, including Showrunner Glenn Mazzara, Steven Yeung, Chandler Riggs and more!


 

DANAI GURIRA BIO:

Actress and playwright Danai Gurira will star as one of the most anticipated and popular characters in season three of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”  In the season two finale, Gurira’s heroine Michonne bursts onto the scene as the mysterious zombie slave-keeping sword slayer.

Prior to joining “The Walking Dead,” she finished production on the independent drama Ma’ George, the story of an African woman’s struggle after arriving in the U.S. to honor her heritage while attempting to define her new marriage in modern terms.  Gurira also starred in the multiple-award winning film The Visitor, in which she played a Senegalese immigrant in New York trying to survive while her illegal immigrant boyfriend is detained by the U.S. government.  Other film credits include Three Backyards and Restless City.

 

Her television credits include roles on “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Lie to Me” and “Nurse Jackie,” as well as a recurring role on the HBO David Simon series “Treme.”

An award-winning playwright, her most recent play The Convert (Stavis Award) is an historical drama set in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).  Part of a trilogy Gurira is writing about her native country’s coming of age, it is currently earning rave reviews in its run at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.

 

Gurira was born in the U.S. and raised in Zimbabwe.  She earned an MFA in theatre from NYU after moving back to the U.S.   Her initial success was as the co-lead of In the Continuum (a play she co-created and co-wrote while in the acting program at NYU.)  The upbeat powerful story focused on two women: one, an upper class, educated newscaster in Africa; the other, an impoverished teenager in south central L.A., who discover that they are HIV positive, and learn to cope in the face of hatred, discrimination and ignorance.  Gurira performed the play off-Broadway, in numerous theaters around the U.S. and in Africa and received numerous accolades including an Obie, the Outer Circle Critics John Gassner Award, the Global Tolerance Award (Friends of the United Nations) and the Theater Hall of Fame Honors.  Gurira also received the Helen Hayes Award (Woolly Mammoth.)

 

She subsequently received a grant for research in Liberia and Sierra Leone which resulted in her second play Eclipsed—the story of women abductees trying to survive during that region’s devastating civil war.  Gurira won Best Playwright at the NAACP Theater Awards and Best New Play at Helen Hayes Awards. And, on Broadway, Gurira starred Bartlett Sher’s award winning revival of

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.  She also earned the Actor’s Equity Callaway Award for her performance as Isabella in the 2011 Shakespeare in the Park production of Measure for Measure.

 

Gurira is also a Hodder Fellow at Princeton and a commissioned playwright with Yale Rep. She is co-founder of Almasi, a theater development and production company in Zimbabwe.  She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.

 

 

*Special thanks to Daily Dead for facilitating one of the questions. Make sure you visit their site please.

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Source : Daily Dead