'Walking Dead Magazine' Exclusive: Danai Gurira Carves Up Michonne

Walking Dead

"The Walking Dead" series producers took their time in introducing one of the most popular characters in the comic series, Michonne, played by actress Danai Gurira. The hooded female warrior is one of the most terrifying in the comic series, and her introduction into the show was no less fearsome.

In this exclusive preview from "The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine," in stores now, Danai Gurira talks about her inspiration for the character and why she wanted to be part of the show.

Luckily for actress Danai Gurira, Michonne happens to hit all of the gritty character notes she’s been dying to portray for some time. "I've always wanted to play someone who is just active, fierce and kind of scary," the actress enthuses to "The Walking Dead Magazine" in an exclusive phone interview at the end of a shoot day in Georgia.

Before she auditioned, Gurira says she had heard about "The Walking Dead," but never watched because, "I'm a scaredy-cat, honestly. I don’t watch scary things," she laughs. "But I pay attention to the trades and what critics are saying about new shows so I knew that it was considered a stunning piece of work… When I got the first audition, I watched the first full season on Netflix. I got so sucked in because it's a filmic piece of work… I remember watching a scene that was really riveting before my final audition, and somewhere from the deepest part of my being came out of my mouth, 'I want to be a part of this!'"

Once officially cast, Gurira says she started working on the character in earnest by talking with the producers about every aspect of how to build the TV version of Michonne. "As with all the TV characters and the storylines, they are a fresh interpretation from the wonderful graphic novel. The producers were looking to pull her out of the book, so she’s totally inspired by the comic books, but she’s also her own entity in the living form. This Michonne is me building the specifics of who she is and then what I'm told by Glen Mazzara and the writing team."

The actress says the creative team left it up to her if she wanted to read the comic books for creative inspiration, and she chose to dive in. "I wanted to read the comic books, so they got me everything that had been published so far. I have read almost all of them. They were very helpful to me with some strange, physical things. The way that Charlie Adlard draws Michonne, even her eyes and her expression in them, were very telling to me about who she is and about her pain and sadness and rage. She is inspired from that depiction so it was important to see what birthed her."

"I tend to play women who are unwavering in a choice. It actually makes their lives more complicated, but they will navigate the complications because they are not going to step off from what they've chosen. And god, is Michonne sure of what she knows is right! Michonne believes in her instincts before anyone else’s, or anything else."

Check out the rest of this interview with Danai Gurira in issue #1 of "The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine," available on newsstands and comic book stores in the U.S. on October 23, in the U.K. on November 8 and Australia & New Zealand on December 18. Digital editions will be available globally on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire from October 23.

For more on The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine visit the magazine website, www.TitanMagazines.com/WalkingDead.

Readers can also join the magazine on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WalkingDeadMag and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WalkingDeadMagazine to keep up to date with news and special offers and www.Skybound.com, the source for all news on "The Walking Dead," Robert Kirkman and all Skybound titles.