'Walking Dead' Actress Danai Gurira Talks Michonne, Swords, Andrea And Legacy

Michonne is on the way, sword and chained-up-zombies in tow. "Treme" actress Danai Gurira is the woman bringing the fan-favorite "Walking Dead" character to stunning life next season, and she's finally opened up on snagging the role for the first time since her casting was announced.

"I'm kind of mind-blown about the concept right now because I'm just stepping into it," Gurira told THR about getting cast as Michonne. "I've been doing my own thing and been very involved in things like theater, it is exciting to step in to it. I understand the way she is drawn in the graphic novels -- she's so amazing. I'm excited to embody that and be a badass. I've always yearned to do that. I'm really thrilled she already has so much support."

Already, Gurira has some crucial sword-wielding experience to bring to the table as Michonne, which is definitely a plus: "I did a lot of combat training when I was in grad school; I've worked with the sword in performances a decent amount. I definitely think this is on a whole other level, so I'll be learning how to wield that thing all anew but I do have a bit of sword work in the past."

One of the reasons Gurira is most excited to play Michonne is that she'll spend much of her screen time opposite Laurie Holden's Andrea, another fan-favorite.

"I love Andrea and I love how she plays her and the energy she has. I'm very excited that I'll be working with her; she'll be the first person I'm working with. I'm a big fan," said the actress. "I love kick-ass women and women who can get out there and do their thing and make things work for themselves. The whole way that Michonne was introduced -- as someone who has figured out how to function in this realm -- and how she's going to teach the others, that's really exciting to me … if that's how it plays out."

All eyes are on Gurira's portrayal of the revered sword-wielding zombie-killer, but she's trying not to be overwhelmed by the pressure.

"I definitely feel pressure but I'm ready to take the character on," she said. "I'm excited that she has an amazing following and team of creators and writers. I'm up for the challenge."

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VMAs 2018