'The Walking Dead season 6: Danai Gurira on Michonne: 'I can't put away my power'
We’re going to see some different visions for what Alexandria should be and how to survive when season 6 of The Walking Dead kicks off on Sunday. But what does katana-wielding warrior Michonne make of all of it? She was the one that wanted to find that sense of community and home in season 5, so where will she stand when things pick back up? We went straight to the source and chatted with star Danai Gurira in her trailer on set after a long day at work about what’s in store for season 6 in matters of life, death, and … love?
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about Alexandria. How unified is this community now?
DANAI GURIRA: I think the jury is still out as to where everyone will fall, whether or not they are truly survivors, and whether or not they can make it there. That was the issue between Rick and Michonne last season, that she believed they could and that they should invest in this place, and he was skeptical, and so I think that that jury’s still out.
I think she’s still optimistic but it is the question of can we really mesh with these people and how are we going to be able to function as a really fine-tuned team, which is what we were out there? But they have something we need and we have something they need. So it’s still really in flux as to how it’s going to land. It’s a question of can these two very different groups come together and better each other because we need them, and they need us. There’s so much that we got from here. We were struggling. We were eating dog meat for God’s sake!
Last year Michonne really wanted to find that place that she could call home and settle down. Has she found that? Does she think that she’s found that now in season 6 or not?
Michonne went through that phase where she really, really wanted to find something societal, something normal for her. You know, just the idea to start really trying to live, which is interesting because that started in season 4 for her when she decided to not go off and to actually come and find her people. And then, that journeying through to the point where she said they needed to go to Washington in season 5, and then pushing to go with Aaron in episode 11 when Aaron arrives.
For her, it’s like we’ve got to get to a place. We’ve got to find some stability. There’s got to still be something in this world that has a semblance of that, and so that’s really what Alexandria means. So the idea of investing in it fully and trying to create that tapestry where these two very different types of folks — who’ve had very different experiences in the apocalypse — can actually find a society with each other. That’s the question, and at the end of the season Rick starts to bring them closer to him. Michonne starts to go back a little bit and pick up her sword again and realizes that, you know, I can’t … I can’t put away my power. There’s just no way.
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Let’s talk about Michonne’s love life — or lack thereof. Michonne definitely has relations in the comic book, shall we say. So is that something that you would like to see for her?
What I would like for Michonne is that every pocket of her humanity be explored. Her decision to not go back to being who she used to be, and stepping back into the messiness of a community and relationships of any sorts and caring for people even at the risk of losing them — it’s the whole thing for her. She just wants to live, and what does that look like? What does living look like? A part of what living looks like is allowing yourself to be known, which is certainly what she was not doing when we first met her. So going to the point where now I’m going to allow people to know me, I’m going to be open to people, I want people to know me a little bit more. What will that look like?
I mean, that could be done in romance or not, you know? It’s not crucial that it’s a romantic connection that happens for her to really explore even intimacy, but I think she yearns for the whole human experience. She does, and I yearn for that for her also, and she’s getting so much of it now. So, you know, we’ll see. Who knows?
It makes more sense now, doesn’t it? She was so closed off, such a brick wall at first. And now she’s opening herself up to these things that she wouldn’t before. It seems it would be a natural progression for her.
The beauty of her life now, I think, is that she does have people who she loves and who love her. And that is something that there was a time where it didn’t look like there was anything vaguely possible in that realm. Especially once she left Andrea and before Rick accepts her like that. She was alone in the world, and so I’m just excited for her. She has so many amazing friendships now and connections and she cares about people openly.
Watch Gurira talk more about what to expect in season 6 in the video below. And for more Walking Dead intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.