My favorite character on The Walking Dead is Michonne. Or maybe Daryl, but probably Michonne. What makes Michonne just so awesome is the brooding, lethal performance from , who plays the warrior of the wilderness with all the guarded energy of a cornered tiger.
Danai Gurira recently described her inspiration for Michonne, from unlikely roots as a kid copying Alexis Colby () on Dynasty, Gurira moved from Zimbabwe to the U.S. for college, where her acting and play-writing career took off.
In possibly the most appropriate character research in history, Gurira said that she based Michonne on female rebel soldiers in Liberia, describing the area in 2003 as as close to a dystopian apocalypse as one could experience:
I had been to Liberia, and it had became a horror show, because the rules were gone, the structures were gone. It was a free-for-all.
[The female soldiers] were fierce, and they were African, and they had AK-47s, and they had cute little outfits on at the same time, and they were really scary chicks. When I saw The Walking Dead and I started to read about the show, I said, ‘Oh, she’s one of them chicks'.
must be overjoyed to have an actress who understands his heroine so well. Danai Gurira boldly presents Michonne as 'a warrior', battling internal and external forces.
She wasn’t cartoonish to me at all. The rage in her is connected to the trauma of women in war. I read the comic book after I got the job, and other than just seeing how they drew her eyes, I wasn’t looking at it.
[Michonne is] someone who’s not willing to be messed with. It might make you someone who lashes out in order to protect yourself, because you know what has happened to you and what you’re never going to let happen again.
As Michonne, she easily shreds the zombie hordes and never backs down from mortal peril...is there anything that scares Gurira in real life?
Then this is the fan who tattooed me on his shin. That was a little scary … I’m like, ‘Guys, if I go missing …’
Good to see that the weeks in the wild have not hindered her sense of reason. What do you want for Michonne in the The Walking Dead Season 4? I want her to cram the governor's head onto a stick and use it to beat zombie faces in, but I am open to other suggestions.