Two controversial characters are joining the cast of The Walking Dead, and they also happen to be two of most memorable from the comic book: Michonne and The Governor, played by Danai Gurira and David Morrissey, respectively. Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and showrunner Glen Mazzara said the time was right time to introduce Michonne and the Governor to the TV show. “We wanted to open up the world,” Mazzara said. “The first two seasons is our group trying to find a safe haven. When that farm is overrun, there are no more safe havens. Now, the story is, ‘How do you live in this world?’ The Walkers are not going away. There’s no help coming. What do we do? This is about different people trying different strategies to try to rebuild their lives. That’s the story we’re telling in Season 3.”
Season 3 of The Walking Dead premieres on AMC on October 14th, as announced during the show’s Comic-Con panel. Check out what Danai Gurira, David Morrissey and Laurie Holden (who plays Andrea) had to say about bringing these fan favorites to the show after the jump.
DAVID MORRISSEY: I’m a fan of the show. I’ve known Andy [Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes] for a long time. When the show aired in the UK, I checked it out. And, the pilot had another great friend of mine, Lennie James, who plays Morgan. I loved the show! I got straight into it and thought it was a great world. What attracted me was the fact that it had a great cast, great crew and great writing. What’s not to like? It was quite fast for me, from meeting Glen to being cast. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, but I knew that I just had to do it. I’m loving every minute of it!
When you were cast as The Governor, did you immediately start reading the comic books?
MORRISSEY: I didn’t read the comic books, but I did read “The Rise of the Governor,” which is Robert’s book. The complexity of the character is something we’re going for in the show. I didn’t read the comic books for awhile. I got into that late. It’s more about taking my lead from the book, as much as the comic book. That’s where I am with it, at the moment.
Danai, how daunting is it for you to join the cast, as this well-known, iconic character from the comic book?
DANAI GURIRA: It was daunting. You’re stepping into a character that is her own entity and that has her own fan base. It’s really enjoyable, actually. I do think there are lots of aspects of me, where I actually really do understand her. Michonne and the Governor are beyond survival and they are actually thriving. They have figured out a hostile world and how to make it work for them. Stepping into that mindset is actually kind of thrilling.
Do Andrea and Michonne forge a relationship, in Season 3?
LAURIE HOLDEN: I’m very touched that she chose to save my life because she didn’t know me from Adam. She’s a warrior and an alpha female. We become the best of friends. I think we complement one another. We have each other’s backs. There’s a mutual respect and a genuine love between these two women that become the best of friends. Season 3 is quite a journey for this duo.
GURIRA: I think Michonne sees Andrea, in that last episode of Season 2, as an asset and not a liability, and she’s smart enough to take advantage of an asset.
What do you say to fans who think Michonne cannot be more of a bad-ass than Daryl because she’s a girl?
HOLDEN: It’s not a competition. That’s the one thing that drives me nuts. We have strong characters on this show. Some have incredible skill sets. It’s not a competition between who kills the most zombies and who doesn’t, or who’s a better bad-ass. There are a lot of strong women on our show. The truth of the matter is that they are all survivors. We’re lucky to have one another.
GURIRA: I think that’s what’s beautiful about the show. The cast of characters, who have been very carefully crafted, complement one another. It’s a myriad of characters, and a plethora of different choices and ways of navigating this hostile world. It diminishes the beauty of what the show is to start talking that way.
Danai, do you have any young nieces or nephews who are fans of the show?
GURIRA: I have nephews in high school, who are big time fans of the show, so I’m the coolest chick they have ever met. I’ve got mad cool cred!
To catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2012 coverage, click here.