The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira on Michonne’s Satisfying Final Season: It’s “Bigger Than Any One Part”

Exiting Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is “absolutely” satisfied with Michonne’s Season 10 story and believes the world of TWD “is bigger than any one part.”

“I think there’s a stunning amount of work that [showrunner Angela Kang] does with her team, the way that they come at story, and even allow you to participate, is really fantastic. And so I really felt able to not only participate and collaborate, but I also felt they created such a great structure for how Michonne would leave the show,” Gurira told MTV at San Diego Comic-Con, where she confirmed Season 10 will be her last.

“I felt very taken care of, and I felt really honored, actually. They really put you to task as an actor, as a storyteller, and you want that, you want to leave depleted. And they definitely set that up for that to be the case.”

Following the exits of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee — who is poised to eventually return to the show — is TWD still bigger than any one character?

“I think so,” said Melissa McBride, whose Carol is one of just two still-surviving characters on the show since its first season.

“I don’t think in terms like that, ‘Who else could go and still survive the next season?’ I don’t think in terms like that. I feel like there is enough story, there’s enough interest in the characters in the story, and the characters that are left, there’s so much built on top of them and they carry so much — and leave so much behind — I mean, it could go on and on.”

Gurira also attributes that longevity to “the amazing narrative that the new characters brought,” pointing to the additions of Siddiq (Avi Nash), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and group, and an aged-up Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming).

“When every one of them stepped in, there were momentous narrative terms. When Ms. Cailey coming in right as her father exits, she comes in the same episode, and it was a fantastic way to say, ‘Here’s the future.’ And now we just follow her lead,” Gurira said.

“Then of course with Avi and with Ryan [Hurst], everybody has brought a turn, and a new energy, and a new character’s backstory, and forward story, that just makes you keep leaning in. So it really is bigger than any one part, and the world is so complex that way, and these guys bring so much new, great stuff, and so it keeps going.”

When explaining the approach to Michonne’s final season at Comic-Con, Kang said the story queued for the Alexandrian leader was handled with the same level of respect and responsibility shown to the exit of former leading man Lincoln.

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Chief content officer Scott Gimple has since hinted Gurira could join Lincoln in the coming movie franchise, due out in theaters under distributors Universal Pictures.

Gurira’s final season of The Walking Dead launches Sunday, October 6 on AMC.

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