Danai Gurira On Tone Of ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 7B

'The Walking Dead' has really put its characters through the ringer this past season. Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, talks about the coming episodes.

The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln AMC

So far, watching season 7 of The Walking Dead has been more of a trial than an escape. Rick and his people have been beaten down to husks of their former selves, trying and failing to rebuild their lives around Negan’s reign of terror. Murder, chaos and torment ensued, and several episodes worth of this torture resulted in Rick finally regaining his can-do attitude. Hallelujah.

Rick wasn’t the first to stir the pot of rebellion, of course; Daryl, Maggie and the swashbuckling Michonne dug in their heels long before he had the luxury of doing so. Danai Gurira spoke to Entertainment Weekly about Michonne’s state of mind during the past few episodes, and her own experience of working through the character’s discomfort, as well as her own. As it’s been reported by other actors on the Walking Dead set, season 7 was a tough bout of filming for the cast:

“Honestly, I couldn’t eat. But to me in the terms of story, I found that very rich because of course they have to deal with the trauma. You’re watching a severe post-traumatic time period, and it’s going to be a time of struggle and of brokenness and that’s what happens. But the beauty is that there is that arc in the second half where you’re seeing different forms of resistance emerging. Everyone’s handling it differently. They’re all handling their traumas very specifically, and then you’re not sure, and I think that’s great in the storytelling that you’re not sure how it could possibly all come together for them to actually rise up, and it does. So, to me, I thought that was a very rich thing to see: What are the repercussions of trauma on very specific individuals? How do you dismantle a community and then see it come back together?”

According to Gurira, returning for the more upbeat second half of the season was a relief to everyone:

“It was very emotional to reconnect and have that bond and be reunited and stepping into a new time — like, we have not been broken, and we will carry on, and we are who we are, and we’ll carry on in honor of those we have lost and in honor of really our true nature, which is to rise up and to not step back. So it was really cool to be able to start shooting again with that sort of energy and that sort of reconnection with everybody around. It was a really awesome experience to go back to that because it had been a lot of trauma. We’ve been split apart by trauma in the story, and it was traumatic to experience as people in the story, you know, as the performers. So, it was great to reconnect that way.”

Gurira told EW about what the rest of season 7 will entail, and the challenges the entire group will face going forward:

“It’s really, really riveting, and it goes through various rich chapters of being responsive to a very daunting force, that new force that is a part of our new normal. It’s the idea of how they start choosing to respond to this threat that makes for some really fantastic drama. So I think there’s just a really riveting second half to the season in terms of we’re rising up, but what does that look like? And how the heck are we going to do that? It’s great to be a team again, but we’re dealing with the biggest threat we’ve ever dealt with, and so our tactics have to be different.”

It looks like Rick’s group has their work cut out for them in the weeks ahead as they go about severing ties with their tyrannical overlord. I know Negan won’t be receiving a Valentine once the uprising starts.

Danai Gurira stars as Michonne in The Walking Dead, returning to AMC on Sunday, February 12th.

Source: Entertainment Weekly