During Comic-Con, I had the chance to participate in a number of interview sessions with the cast and crew of The Walking Dead. For our first feature, I wanted to share the interview with David Morrissey, who is playing The Governor in The Walking Dead Season 3.
While the average US TV watcher may be unfamiliar with his work, those who watch Doctor Who or British television should instantly recognize him. Similar to his character on the show, David Morrissey came off as approachable and charismatic in person, and it was easy to tell that he was excited to be joining the cast of The Walking Dead as The Governor.
I really enjoyed the first footage from Season 3 during the Comic-Con panel. Did you have a chance to see it?
David Morrissey: I didn’t watch it… I left…
[Danai Gurira] What’s up with the British men not watching it…
David Morrissey: It’s just that I’m enjoying it so much. I’m really having a great time. It’s great to play, but I don’t want to watch it yet.
Previously, you mentioned that you had only read the Rise of the Governor novel as research for your role. Since then, have you read the graphic novels? Do you know where your character is headed?
David Morrissey: Yeah, I have read the graphic novel series and it’s good. What any actor does is work on their backstory and I had a novel already written for me, so that was great. At first, I started reading it for research and then I just read it as a great story. I thought it was brilliantly written.
During an early interview, Glen Mazzara mentioned that The Governor sees himself as the messiah during the zombie apocalypse. Do you feel that same way about your character?
David Morrissey: I think he believes that what he’s doing is for a good cause. A couple of people have been asking me about him being evil, but that isn’t something I can play. I have to empathize with my character. I don’t have to agree with him or particularly like him, but I have to understand what he’s going through and I really feel like I do with this character. There’s twist and turns to come, but I really love playing him. I really don’t know what that says about me [laughs]….. but I really love playing him.
You and Danai Gurira are the new additions to an already large cast. Was it easy to jump right in and feel like part of the group?
David Morrissey: Any job as an actor is a leap of faith. You never know what it’s going to be like. From watching the first 2 seasons, I knew that there was great acting, writing, and production values, but you don’t know what it’s really like until you actually walk on the set. It really is this big family down there. All of these people want to be here, they want to make the show, and they want to come to work. They believe in it, they are invested in it, and it’s great.
As an actor, is it more challenging to work on a show like this when you don’t know exactly what is in store for your character?
David Morrissey: I think there has really been a resurgence in great writing on TV. A show like this is a multi-character show, where you can really slowly tease the character and be true to them. On film, you have to be much faster, which is why you quickly know who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. There is a growing audience for TV and they latch onto characters and want to spend time with them and in this world. It’s great for us and it’s great to be with a character for that length of time. You can really have fun with them.
Keep an eye out for more interviews and exclusive features for The Walking Dead Season 3. If you missed out on any of our earlier Comic-Con coverage, here are links to our recent stories: