The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus Says He Can’t Be Mad at Danai Gurira for Leaving

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus says he “can’t be mad” over the exit of friend and co-star Danai Gurira, who makes Season 10 of the zombie drama her last.

“Yeah, it was really sad for me. I had become so close to Danai and I just adore her,” Reedus told EW. “She’s somebody that always shows up at and brings the noise every single time she’s on camera and she’s become a really good friend, a partner. I get it though, she has other things that she wants to do. Her dream is she’ll run a show. That’s what her dream’s been for a while, and now’s her time to do it.”

In September, it was learned Gurira, an accomplished playwright, will serve as showrunner on 10-episode HBO Max series Americanah. There she reunites with her Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong’o.

Reedus was similarly understanding when Lincoln opted to end his time with the series in favor of spending more time with his young family.

“I can’t be mad at her, like I can’t be mad at [Andrew Lincoln] to want to be with his kids. You can’t be mad at him if he missed them endlessly,” Reedus said. “Her last day, we had some fireworks and gave her a send-off. We miss Danai. She’s such a strong part of our cast and such a valuable member of our family and so I miss her all the time.”

Co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, said losing Gurira just a season after Lincoln was “another adjustment.”

“We miss him and then knowing that it’s a Danai and Rick-less world, it’s hard, it’s another adjustment,” Morgan told IMDb at San Diego Comic-Con in July, where Gurira for the first time confirmed Season 10 would be her last.

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“But year ten of this show, that’s rarified air, and I think [showrunner Angela Kang] and the writers have a really good grasp of what’s happening moving forward, and we’ll see what that world looks like,” Morgan said. “But I think what we did last year after Andy left, I was very proud of, and hopefully we’ll be able to do the same thing now with Danai leaving. But it’s a hole that you can never fill. That’s the truth of the matter, you can’t fill Andy or Danai leaving the show.”

The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.