‘Walking Dead’ midseason premiere: Danai Gurira talks Michonne’s softer side and Glen Mazzara’s exit
Zap2it: If there was any criticism of Michonne in those first eight episodes it’s that she was maybe a little too enigmatic. What’s your take on that, since I assume — over the course of these 16 episodes — she will start opening up?
It was very deliberate to make her unreadable and an enigma. She’s not going to be the sort of character you get to know quickly. That’s who she is. The desire people have to see her unravel in a way, it’s not going to be what they get. However, the last episode [showed] the way the tides are shifting for her. She had the showdown with Andrea, and Andrea was really clearly — with a gun in her hand — choosing the other side. The next time you see [Michonne] she’s not running off by herself saying, ‘Screw everybody.’ She’s going back to Rick and offering her services to him. That’s her saying, ‘I need a community and I need to be with people.’ It’s not conventionally done, because she’s not conventional but that’s a break for her. That’s an obvious turning point.
Zap2it:There was another criticism that was reignited by the death of T-Dog in episode 4, that the show hasn’t done well by its black characters. But Chad L. Coleman told us viewers will be “incredibly proud” of Tyreese, Sasha, and Michonne as the season continues. What’s your take on that?
You know, I’m just not sure how I view any of this. The thing I love is that Michonne is in a world where she’s not thinking about the color of her skin. She’s a girl who has some tough elements to her, one could say it might have to do with her understanding of the world being from a marginalized position — but, I don’t know. She’s not heavily focused on any of that, so I can’t focus heavily on that.
I do pay attention to representations of color on television, of course I do, I’m a writer. But built-in to what Robert [Kirkman] created, and into what the show does, are great characters of African descent who are core parts of the story. The stories of Tyreese and Michonne and Sasha and whoever else comes along are stories that are going to be very rich and complex. That’s what I look for. They’re on journeys, it’s about allowing the journeys to occur.