Sword-wielding Michonne is a fan-favorite character in "The Walking Dead" – both the comic book series and the TV adaptation on AMC – but playing the guarded woman was at first a challenge for actress Danai Gurira, "because I'm very demonstrative, and I wear my heart completely on my sleeve," she said in our recent web chat (watch below), "so it was really an interesting mind to live in, the sort of mind who's willing to be aggressive when she needs to very quickly, but is very unwilling to crack a smile."
Gurira was excited to finally bring the character out of her shell during season four, when she revealed tragic details about her past and bonded with father-and-son survivors Rick and Carl (Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs). "I do love mass zombie slaying scenes, don't get me wrong," she said, "but I really love doing scenes with Andrew and with Chandler … and it was really liberating to just have her live in that other side of herself that she hasn't really allowed to be shown since before the [zombie apocalypse] happened."
Season four also saw the defeat of the Governor (David Morrissey), who had terrorized Michonne and her fellow survivors and destroyed the prison stronghold they called home. The villainous Governor certainly had it coming when Michonne ran him through with a sword, but "I hated losing David. I love David so much … We had so much fun trying to kill each other."
The upcoming fifth season of "The Walking Dead" has already begun filming, but plot details are a closely kept secret, so Gurira is mum about what the new episodes hold for her character. However, she's excited about the material she has already shot, and thinks fans will be too: "It's amazing what I'm witnessing, what we're getting done, and what I'm seeing my colleagues accomplish. It's kind of mind-blowing ... People will not be disappointed."
Will Gurira and "The Walking Dead" finally break through at the Emmys? Watch our complete interview below, then predict Best Drama Supporting Actress: