‘The Walking Dead’ Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd; Lauren Cohan as Maggie, Andrew Lincoln as Rick and Danai Gurira as Michonne (Getty/AMC)
Sunday nights are once again all about taking down walkers and fighting for humanity on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
AMC’s addictive mega-hit ends a more than two-month hiatus this Sunday night at 9 PM, returning to the zombie apocalypse drama that follows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his brave crew of survivors.
As the first two minutes of the second half of Season 5 revealed (AMC released it online earlier this week), things pick up not long after the tragic death of the gang’s beloved Beth Greene (Emily Kinney). After seeing a devastated Maggie, talk of a new goal emerging (Richmond-bound), and Michonne completing Rick’s sentence in that brief sneak peek, we turned to Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd for further clues about what’s ahead. Plus, we definitely asked the EP if any love is on the way as the rest of Season 5 rolls out Sunday nights on AMC.
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AccessHollywood.com: [The character] Maggie faced a lot of criticism, I think, from fans for not looking for her sister. I’m curious how guilty she’s going to feel this second half of the season because she lost Beth?
Gale Anne Hurd: I think that the feeling was that she was dead. This is a world where — unlike our world — where someone goes missing and you assume, ‘Well, they’re out there… [that] there’s a possibility of survival,’ this is such a harsh world… and after what they had recently been through, you kind of hope that the end was quick. That’s almost the most that you can hope for. And after encountering the Terminans… she would have hoped that her sister’s fate was not that, was not the fate of Bob. I think that what people need to remember is the rules of our world, and the characters living in that world, so where would you start? Where would you start to go find someone?
Access: In the two minutes people have seen of the new episode, Michonne basically completes Rick’s sentence when Glenn asks him, ‘What if it isn’t around anymore?’ referring to Noah’s (outside of) Richmond home. Do you kind of see her as the partner that he needs? There’s a really – and I’m not necessarily saying that it’s romantic — but there’s a wonderful connection between those two characters.
Gale: Absolutely, because they’re strong, they are warriors. They’ve come to it from two different places and they know when difficult decisions need to be made, and they also want to do what’s right, which shows you also just how far Michonne’s character has come from when she first encountered Andrea.
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Access: Is Daryl to Carol what Michonne is to Rick?
Gale: I think so, absolutely.
Access: Are we going to get any love this season other than the Maggie/Glenn, and then Rosita/Abraham…
Gale: There’s always love (laughs). That’s what keeps the species alive and that’s what makes every moment even more valuable… when you find that special connection to another survivor.
Access: Have you guys ever considered sticking a celebrity in there, or the idea of the survivors run into a former celebrity who is fighting zombies?
Gale: You know, I think that that takes us out of the world the same way that it would if someone picked up Max Brooks’ book [‘World War Z’], or referred to George Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead.’
Access: I also wanted to ask you about seasons. Is there any chance we might see [some]? I think the last time we really saw seasons was when we saw how sick [Andrea] was.
Gale: Yeah, it’s dependent on the weather when we shoot (laughs).
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Access: I was talking to [someone from the cast] last year, and they were talking about wanting to see snow.
Gale: We do shoot right up until Thanksgiving, so if there is an early snowfall in Georgia, we’ll be happy to capture it.
Access: Lastly… if the zombie apocalypse happened, which Season 5 cast member – which actor – would you want to be stranded with?
Gale: Danai Gurira.
Gale: Danai’s fantastic. She’s got such an interesting background, having spent time in Zimbabwe; she’s a playwright as well as an actress. She’s got a play that is, in fact — I think it’s opening [this week] at Yale, a new play that she wrote. And she’s also started a foundation, whose board I serve on, called Almasi, which is to bring theater back to Zimbabwe, so I would be delighted to be stranded with her.
“The Walking Dead” returns Sunday night at 9 PM ET/PT on AMC.
— Jolie Lash
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