Wrapping up my series of interviews with the cast and crew of The Walking Dead Season 3, I have my talk with Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, and Lauren Cohan. With Lauren Cohan, I had a chance to ask her about getting physical for the prison fight that was teased in the photos and trailers. With Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, I asked questions about the direction the show is headed and what comic book fans can look forward to.
Has the success of the TV series had any effect on the development of the new season? Is it still a fun and free environment to be creative or does fan scrutiny now have a bigger effect on the work that is done?
Robert Kirkman: We love the fan interaction and look at feedback, but to a certain extent we have to ignore it. We are working pretty far ahead on things, so when people respond to the show, it doesn’t really effect what we do. You have to try to put the feedback out of your head and try to do what you were doing in the very beginning before anyone knew what the show was. You play to your instincts and try to make the best show possible.
David Alpert: I think the fan scrutiny and attention has made us raise our game to a certain degree. If we’re going to break a rule, we can’t just say that no one will notice. We know that everything we do will be scrutinized and that fans will know if something doesn’t smell right. We have to make sure that everything fits with our rules, which makes it a tighter show. We don’t try to respond to people hating or loving a character, because we know that will grow and change. In some cases, that’s what we’re actually trying to provoke.
Lauren, One of the first photos we had seen from season 3 showed you about to drive a machete right into a zombie’s head. It seems like your character is getting a lot more physical. There is a lot of fighting going on in the prison. Have you been enjoying it and will we see a more physical Maggie for the rest of the season?
Lauren Cohan: Yeah, I loved Maggie the minute I first started and now I really found Maggie. This really physical side of it has been so fulfilling. You’re on the farm and surrounded by zombies at the end [of Season 2]. You feel shrouded and victimized. In Season 3, it was amazing to say “enough” and become kind of crazed. You scream and hack into things, and it’s really fun…
From watching the new Season 3 trailer, it seems like quite a bit of time will be spent in Woodbury. Were you able to flesh it out more than you did in the comic book series and will we get a deeper look at the inhabitants of the town?
Robert Kirkman: I don’t know that we necessarily see more Woodbury than we did in the comics, but it definitely is restructured and we see it in a different way. I’m in the room with the writers and working with Glen Mazzara to craft what Woodbury is representing, who these characters are, and what they are doing in the show. There are a lot of differences from the comic, and you’ll see it coming out as you watch the show, but it’s all there and pretty much what you’d expect.
I know that you plan to continue the comic book series indefinitely and the group will always have new antagonists. However, the TV series will likely end much sooner and Glen Mazzara has mentioned that he’d like to see seven seasons. Since you have to keep that in mind, do you see The Governor as the main antagonist of the series or simply one major antagonist of the series?
Robert Kirkman: I can say that Morrissey has been doing a fantastic job. Fans of The Governor, that have been looking forward to his appearance, will be absolutely thrilled with the different things we do with him. What we do with the story once we introduce him, is something you’ll have to watch. It’s not like it’s going to be Rick vs The Governor for seven seasons, so there will definitely always be new threats.
David Alpert: We continue to see that evolution of threat. When we saw the marauders and Randall, we saw real antagonism between humans for the first time. We’ve seen Vatos previously, and we thought they were a threat, but everything worked out ok. With Randall and his group, we saw the first opportunity for real threat and danger. Once we get to The Governor, it will get dirtier, messier, and deeper than it has gone before. We’re going to continue to play that string as long as it feels natural, and when it resolves will be dictated by the performances and what feels right for the story.
Comic book fans have suspecting that Randall’s group is associated with The Governor. Is that actually the case?
David Alpert: There are a lot of reasons to suspect that he’s with The Governor, but he’s not definitely with The Governor. I understand what the fans are saying and we read with the fans are saying. They are picking up on a lot of good clues, but it’s not necessarily going to add up to anything…. but it might…. but it might not…
We may be done with TV series interviews, but fans of the comic book series can look forward to my one-on-one interview with Charlie Adlard very soon. Missed out on any of our recent coverage of The Walking Dead? Check out the following articles: