Last week Dread Central was on the red carpet for the upcoming Season Three premiere of “The Walking Dead,” where we had a chance to speak with many of the cast and crew in attendance about what fans can expect when the new season kicks off on AMC this Sunday, October 14th.
Check your local listings for exact times by you… and yes, sorry DISH customers!
While working the press line, we had the opportunity to speak with both executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and showrunner Glen Mazzara as well as several cast members including Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Lauren Cohan and Emily Kinney. Read on to see what everyone had to say about the upcoming third season of “The Walking Dead,” their loyal fans and much more.
Andrew Lincoln (“Rick Grimes”):
On What Changes We’ll See in Rick for Season Three: The one thing that has been tossed around the writers’ room for the last few years now is, what is Rick’s breaking point? And you will find out this season. Things are going to get very dark for all of us before we even get to our mid-season break. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second half; I don’t even know yet in fact.
Gale Anne Hurd (Executive Producer):
Why “The Walking Dead” Resonates So Strongly with Fans Worldwide: First of all, we have fantastic underlying material in Robert Kirkman’s comic; it’s now in fact one of the most successful series of all time. Issue 100 sold over 350,000 issues, which is just amazing. So what I think really resonates with people is the cast of characters. Their likability and performances make it easy for viewers to put themselves in their shoes and ask, ‘What would I do in this situation? Who would I be like the most if there were zombies?’ and that’s all relatable stuff.
When you make that kind of emotional investment in a television series, you want everyone to know about it and to watch it, too, so our die-hard fans from the very beginning have been wonderful about getting people they know, maybe people who wouldn’t necessarily watch a show about zombies, interested because these are really thought-provoking stories and characters to watch each week.
Discussing the Tonal Differences for Season Three: There’s not a huge tonal change because we always take everything in the show as dead-real so that doesn’t change at all really. But the difference for Season Three is that we now have a contrast between the town of Woodbury, the Governor’s community, and our survivors. You get to see the tensions as they’re building between the two groups and see how they clash eventually. It’s going to be something pretty remarkable.
Danai Gurira (“Michonne”):
Her Thoughts on the Fan Anticipation Surrounding Michonne for Season Three: It is really cool; I love that she’s this entity in this world because it was very strange for me as an actress to step into this role that already had this huge fanbase but had never been a living character before. There is a certain level of pressure I think, but it’s also pretty amazing because the fans are so incredibly supportive of this show; they’ve been so positive about my involvement since the announcement despite not really even seeing me in action. It’s amazing.
What She Loves about Playing Such a Badass: She’s an intense chick, you know, and she’s had to do a lot of things to survive so you have to kind of live like that. That’s an intense realm to be in for a long time; that’s a lot of energy to step into and have to bring on set every single day. But I loved connecting to her intensity.
I also love that she functions from this sort of level of clarity where she always seems to know what she has to do, when she has to do it, why, how- those kinds of things. She’s not ‘wobbly’ at all; Michonne is very specific.
Glen Mazzara (Showrunner):
On Whether or Not He Faces Any Added Pressure as the Fandom Surrounding “The Walking Dead” Grows: You know what? We have such a terrific team of writers, producers, cast and crew, and one of the things I try to do as the showrunner is make this a collaborative process. I want to hear what people say and what they like and don’t like. So our internal process revolves around this idea of a continuous test audience, and nothing gets filmed until we all love it and we think that the fans would love it, too. All I can do as a filmmaker or a storyteller is make the best possible work that I can put forward.
Discussing ‘Going Darker’ for Season Three: Things get pretty dark for everyone; it’s less about the theoretical issues like ‘What does all this mean? How did it start?’ and more about ‘Hey, you’re in my way of what I want, and I’m not afraid to kill you to get it’ so things are going to get more intense. Definitely.
His Thoughts on the Hopeful Nature of a Show About the Zombie Apocalypse: This show is really about hope and always has been. To me, it’s about a group of survivors – a family that’s been forced together – and so you have to care about those characters. You, as a viewer, have to have a vested interest in wanting to see them survive this ordeal. In some episodes there are losses of course – big losses – but there’s also huge wins, and that’s essentially the human experience whether there’s zombies or not.
Chandler Riggs (“Carl”):
Discussing the Biggest Changes in Carl for Season Three: I think Carl is having to put all that stuff with Shane and Dale behind him because if he doesn’t, he’ll break down and won’t be able to live in that world anymore. So I think he’s trying to move on from that. But I do have a lot of physical scenes this time, which is cool. Last season I think we developed our characters in different ways, and for this season we all got to be a lot more physical. That was a big change to me.
I actually don’t even have a stunt double so I get to do all my stunts myself; it’s pretty awesome.
On Why Carl Is Never in the House When He’s Supposed to Be: You know, I don’t really know. I guess because he’s a normal kid and never listens (laughs); you’d think he would with zombies all around, but nope. I think it’s pretty awesome, though, that I’m my own meme and I’m on t-shirts now, too. It’s so cool. I think it’s pretty funny really.
Lauren Cohan (“Maggie”):
Maggie’s Evolution in Season Three: The place that Maggie is at in Season Three is that she is still the same young woman she was at the start of Season Two except that she’s now rising to these new challenges of life on the road and becoming a stronger woman. She’s scared, but she’s strong and wants to survive at all costs.
I’m going to have really great character stuff to do involving a lot of different characters, which is fantastic. Maggie is also getting more physical, which really excites me because I get to explore new sides of her character that I hadn’t been able to before. She definitely goes through some huge emotional challenges, too.
Emily Kinney (“Beth”):
What Fans Can Expect for Beth in Season Three: You know, once Beth went down that route (suicide) last season and decided that’s not what she wanted, she’s decided that she has a lot to live for so we see her a bit more hopeful in Season Three. Despite everything that’s happening around her, she still wants to find something to live for, and a lot of that is her family. I do get to take on some zombies, too – maybe not like you’d expect because we all have our different roles and we all play them in different ways – but I did have to deal with a lot more physicality to my role for Season Three. It was great!
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, “The Walking Dead” stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, Iron E. Singleton, Emily Kinney, Melissa McBride, David Morrissey, and Danai Gurira. The series is executive produced by showruner Glen Mazzara, Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert with Greg Nicotero, Denise Huth, and Evan Reilly as co-executive producers.
The 16-episode Season 3 of “The Walking Dead” will air in two parts with the first eight hours kicking off October 14th and returning in February, 2013 with the final eight episodes. In the highly anticipated new season, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his fellow survivors continue to seek refuge in a desolate and post-apocalyptic world and soon discover that there are greater forces to fear than just the walking dead. The struggle to survive has never been so perilous. Season 3 also introduces new characters, including the Governor (David Morrissey) and fan favorite Michonne (Danai Gurira), along with her zombie pets.
To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit “The Walking Dead” on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official “The Walking Dead” page on AMC.com.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
“Like” us on the Dread Central Facebook Fan Page!
Discuss “The Walking Dead” in the comments section below!