Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Gale Anne Hurd

Gale Anne Hurd

Photo by Gene Page Copyright TWD Productions LLC. All rights reserved

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, which has been partly due to my busy schedule and partly because of the slowdown in Walking Dead news. To give you something new, I thought I’d share my quick thoughts AMC’s interview with Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer of The Walking Dead. The piece comes from this week’s Dead Alert newsletter and gives you a tiny glimpse behind the scenes of Season 4.

I think it’s pretty funny that they do a zombie school every season. That’s an educational institution that I’d love to attend. I’d be super nervous auditioning for a special effects guru like Greg Nicotero though. I also like the bit that Hurd reveals about the zombies being more ravenous in Season 4. I’d imagine food supplies are starting to dwindle with more and more humans joining the ranks of the undead. Less food creates problems for living people too, and forces them to get creative about what they use for food. Anyone who’s read The Walking Dead comics, will know what I’m talking about.

From the interview with Gale Anne Hurd, it sounds like they deal with some nasty weather on set with terrible extremes. It’s crazy to think that a tree falling down could halt production in an area. I’m sure those hot sticky Southern days are a bear too.¬† I think she has a smart philosophy about keeping people well-fed to make sure they stay happy. I know it would be a lot easier dealing with all the elements knowing that I could have gourmet mac and cheese at lunch.

My favorite questions during the interview with Gale Anne Hurd are the last two. She gained a lot of respect in my book after sharing her mantra: Good enough, isn’t. As a meticulous person myself, I appreciate people who like to do things right and care a lot about doing careful, quality work. And then the final question about which character on the show would make a good producer was fun. I would agree with her that Rick and Daryl have the right personality traits.

Which character from The Walking Dead do you think would make the best producer?

Thoughts on AMC’s Robert Kirkman Fan Chat

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching the season finale, before reading further.

Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer and Writer for The Walking Dead

Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer and Writer for The Walking Dead

This week’s Dead Alert newsletter contains Part I or a two part interview with Walking Dead Executive Producer, Writer, and Creator Robert Kirkman, which is conducted entirely through fan questions. I found the Part II linked and available so I’m going to comment on both of them.

A few of the questions fans ask Kirkman in Part I are fairly common things fans might want to know, but unfortunately elicit really uninspired responses. These are questions like “What was the reasoning behind having Laurie Holden’s character killed in the Season 3 Finale? With Rick bringing more people back to the prison, will this is some way complicate his relationship with Carl? Can you talk more about the casting process for the show? and Robert, will we see Morgan again?”

It doesn’t surprise me that they had a plan for how Andrea’s death would impact characters in Season 4 of the show. Otherwise it would have seemed pretty pointless to kill her. I think we could already see Rick and Carl’s relationship getting complicated in the middle of Season 3, plus they seemed to be at even greater odds during the finale. I was pretty certain that their relationship would change in “startling and interesting ways” as Kirkman puts it. Casting? Do people really want to know about that generally? It only seems like something that should be of note when it comes to specific actors. I guess, a general question gets a generic response. And then lastly, I’m not sure why they would bother re-introducing Morgan if the writers had no intention of him showing up again. That would just be silly to waste him as an ammo producing plot device.

The other questions in Part I are much more fascinating. It’s cool to learn how an actor finds out about his or her character’s impending death and how much say he/she has in the actual death scene. I’m not surprised they play things close to the chest. I wouldn’t want a performance tarnished by someone’s awareness that they would die either. I like that someone asked if the group could survive without Rick. Killing off a central character like that could be risky, however it would be exciting and take the show in cool directions the comic hasn’t gone. Lastly on Part I, I absolutely LOVE that someone asked Kirkman about the Walking Dead/Toy Story meme floating around which compares the similarities between the two. Kirkman takes a silly question like that with a good sense of humor and reveals something we all probably suspected. No coincidence intended.

Robert-Kirkman-Fan-Interview-2The questions fans ask in Part II of the Robert Kirkman Fan Chat are much more interesting. There’s only one question that seems like a setup for Kirkman to play coy “Can you shed any light into how the Governor’s story will continue…or close in Season 4?” Of course he wouldn’t spoil any details, which is why Kirkman responds “I can say the Governor will certainly be around. But we’ll be seeing him in a new light, and doing some different stuff with him, so it’s not going to be the same Governor in Season 4.”

The question about whether Kirkman would want to be a walker is a bit cheesy, but still goofy and fun. I can’t see too many people answering yes to that question. I dig the inquiries about differences between The Walking Dead show and the comic. When asked which one he cherishes more, I had no doubt he would say the comic considering he created that first and has been working on it for some time. I also liked learning about story lines Kirkman wished he had thought of for the comic.

My favorite questions in the entire two-part interview though are tied for the one about Daryl’s potential love life (simply based upon how it’s phrased), and the one about whether a particular zombie in Season 3 Episode 15 was meant to be a nod to “Dawn of the Dead.” I can’t believe how observant that person was! I’m shocked that I didn’t notice such a brilliant nuance considering how much I love George Romero’s film AND the fact that I usually pick out all sorts of tiny references.

I’m already going through withdrawls now that Season 3 is over. I don’t think interviews like this will sustain me all summer, so it’s back to reading more of the comic, playing the video game, and perhaps finally checking out the webisodes.

 

Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Laurie Holden (Andrea)

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching the season finale, before reading further.

Laurie Holden as Andrea on The Walking Dead

Laurie Holden as Andrea on The Walking Dead

I’m still working on my recap post about The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16, so I thought I’d put something quick up about this week’s Dead Alert newsletter which has AMC’s interview with Laurie Holden who played Andrea on the show. Unfortunately for Holden, but perhaps fortunately for viewers, Andrea met her demise in the season finale.

I for one was relieved, since her character had taken over Lori’s spot on the show as most annoying female character. Although her intentions were good Andrea was prone to the same irrational, irritating behavior that got Lori under my skin. I’m hoping that the show’s writers start creating better characters and that another female personality like Michonne, Maggie, or Beth doesn’t get sucked into this vortex of unlikable behavior.

Even if I didn’t care for Andrea, I do agree with Holden that Andrea’s final moments felt true to the character and organic. Although I don’t really support her following statement about Andrea not being a victim. I think that Andrea became a martyr and helped prevent deaths, so in that way her demise was positive, but she didn’t need to die. If she hadn’t wasted so much time talking to Milton, she could have easily escaped and figured out a way not to get bitten. Also she had plenty of chances to kill The Governor which she didn’t take or follow through on.

I do like Holden’s comments about Andrea’s character arc because she did travel through some serious emotional highs and lows over the course of her time on the show. And I dig the advice she would have given Andrea at the beginning of the season if she could. She should have pressed Michonne more about The Governor’s suspected misdeeds. On the flip side however, Andrea should have been willing to trust her friend over a stranger.

The interviewer’s questions about love scenes and the Woodbury prison rivalry aren’t very interesting since they’re similar to ones we’ve read in other interviews. Though the final inquiry about the Twitter photo of Holden playfully strangling David Morrissey who plays The Governor was a good one. Now that’s an ending I would have liked to see.

Did you like Andrea as a character? Were you sad about her demise?

Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese)

This week’s feature in “Dead Alert,” The Walking Dead newsletter, was an interview with Chad L. Coleman who plays Tyreese on the show. I was surprised that Tyreese was introduced as a character this season considering that he shows up much earlier in The Walking Dead comics. Because he is already a member of Rick’s group in the comics before the prison even happens, I just assumed that he wouldn’t be used at all in the television show. Needless to say I was shocked and quite excited to see him make an appearance in Season 3.

So far I like Tyreese as a character on the show and I’m enjoying Coleman, the actor who is playing him. Tyreese has a kindhearted personality, and an eagerness to help which I really like. He also doesn’t blindly follow orders, and he thinks for himself, an admirable quality.

Reading AMC’s interview with Chad L. Coleman it was interesting to find out that he and¬†Danai Gurira (Michonne) had worked together before and already were familiar with each other before the show. Sadly I didn’t watch The Wire, so I don’t really get the question comparing Coleman’s character Cutty on that show to Tyreese. I did find it fascinating that Coleman was in the army and has real-world survival skills that he could use if he needed them.

The most mind-blowing aspect of the interview with Chad L. Coleman however was finding out that Sasha on the show is Tyreese’s younger sister. This entire time I assumed the younger woman with him was his daughter just like in the comics! I feel dumb for not knowing that, but the other hand, the show hasn’t dropped me any hints that they were siblings. It makes their relationship a little more fascinating to me now knowing that.

Learning that Coleman ran track instead of playing football like Tyreese didn’t impress me, but hearing that he’s good at bringing people together did. His natural nice-guy qualities shine through in his role so far as Tyreese. I’m looking forward to seeing where the writers take his character, especially as Season 3 draws to a close.

What do you think about Tyreese as a character?

Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene)

This week’s interview from “Dead Alert,” The Walking Dead newsletter was an interview with Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie Greene. I often forget that Cohan is yet another actor on the show who is a British. That’s because her accent is flawless. I love how British actors are so great at doing American accents, but it’s not the same the other way around.

Because Maggie doesn’t have a lot of lines and is frequently relegated to the background I don’t get a chance to stress enough in my episode recaps, how much I enjoy her as a character and Cohan’s performance in general. Maggie is shrewd, immeasurably strong, and a quiet leader. Cohan embodies all of these complex qualities in a very understated way, which makes Maggie such a likable character.

After reading the interview with Lauren Cohan, I agree with her that while I like Glenn and Maggie’s love story I prefer moments in the show that concentrate on Maggie’s relationship with her father Hershel. She has such a tender, supportive side with him that’s always touching to see. I also concur with her that the sex scene between Maggie and Glenn does justice to their relationship. Like she says, there’s a limit to what can be shown, but the scene communicates their passion in a tasteful way.

I think it’s pretty silly that fans of the show believe that her and Steve Yeun are couple off-screen too. I know actors frequently become involved in real life after working together for so long, however it’s just ridiculous for fans to automatically assume that they are. TV is not real life folks, no matter how much we want it to be. And that’s coming from a guy who has an entire site dedicated to a television show.

Her closing mantra is one I think we should all live by: “Make love, not zombies.” Well said, Ms. Cohan.

Do you like Maggie as a character? Or does she annoy you? If so, what in particular gets to you about her?

Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with IronE Singleton (T-Dog)

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

Not sure why they waited until the Season 3 hiatus, but AMC posted an interview with IronE Singleton who played T-Dog on The Walking Dead. If you’ve been keeping up with Season 3, you know that poor T-Dog was killed off very unceremoniously. I was personally very upset that they killed the character just as he was starting to get more exposure and a chance to shine.

As you can expect the interview mostly concerns questions about how it was revealed to Singleton that his character would be getting the axe and how he dealt with his last days on the show. The best nugget that comes out of the whole interview is when Singleton mentions that he does a Walking Dead rap song, where he raps like a zombie. I would love to hear that and I think it would be perfect for a viral video.

Would you watch Singleton rapping like a zombie? I know I would.

Thoughts on AMC’s interview with Steve Yeun (Glenn)

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

Just checked out AMC’s interview with Steve Yeun who plays Glenn on The Walking Dead. In it he discusses being taken hostage, acting opposite Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon), and taking on more of a leadership role this season.

Yeun reminded me that Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 (Hounded) wasn’t his character’s first time being held hostage. I forgot that he was taken way back in Season 1, by the guys who turned out to be decent people protecting the elderly. I was glad to hear that escaping from the chair and killing the zombie in the room was a fun experience for him to perform, though he’s right: he’s lucky that his legs weren’t tied down. A smarter captor probably would have done that. Still it was a badass kill and seemed like it would have been a blast to shoot.

It was very cool to read that the actors are given creative freedom to improvise and choreograph new ways to kill walkers. I would probably love that part of the job. Although he makes a decent, somewhat depressing observation about love in the zombie apocalypse. The attachment could be your downfall if you put others ahead of yourself, yet how could you not do that if you love someone?

Based on what Yeun has to say about Michael Rooker, it seems like the actor completely throws himself into the role of Merle. He may be going method with the character, or he’s just insanely well cast, because he is very convincing as a psychopath like Merle.

Lastly, in the interview with Steve Yeun, I thought his final comments about taking on more of a leadership role both on and off the set to be fascinating. With all of the dead bodies this season, Glenn must step up and take charge just like he learns to do in the comics. And with other core actors gone, Yeun is also given more room to experiment and to do work with his character. He’s also in charge of death dinners now if you recall the interview with Sarah Wayne Callies from earlier in the season. A lot of responsibility is on his shoulders right now. However I’m sure Yeun/Glenn will soldier on like he always does.