During an appearance at Walker Stalker Con Philadelphia, former The Walking Dead cast member Laurie Holden spoke candidly on her run as Andrea, a fan-favorite character in creator Robert Kirkman’s comic books. Holden, who played the character from the second episode of season 1 until Andrea’s death in the season 3 finale, said the character’s adaptation to live-action was poorly handled.
“I think the departure from book Andrea to the screen was a mistake,” Holden told the audience during a Q&A panel with former co-stars IronE Singleton (T-Dog) and Scott Wilson (Hershel). “I mean, it’s not like I couldn’t pull it off.”
In the Comics...
In the comics — spoilers ahead — Andrea was a skilled sharpshooter and one of the group’s most valued and longest living members, surviving from issue #2 to issue #167. Andrea was married to Alexandria leader Rick Grimes and surrogate mother to Carl Grimes, a role filled in the show by Michonne (Danai Gurira).
After a fourteen year run (real time) in the comic books, Andrea met her end this summer in issue #167. While protecting Eugene from Walkers, Andrea was bitten in the neck and was visited by every Alexandria resident on her death bed. Andrea ultimately succumbed to the resulting infection and was put down by a tearful Rick, who later fell asleep at her grave.
Comic book Andrea's fate was similar to show Andrea's, except comic book Andrea died and turned, whereas show Andrea — in the presence of her closest friend, Michonne — went out on her own terms, shooting herself in the head to prevent turning into one of the monsters that cost Andrea the life of her younger sister and eventually her own.prevnext
Holden on the Andrea and Governor "Nonsense"
Comic book Andrea’s live-action counterpart had physical relationships with troublemaker Shane (Jon Bernthal) and the Governor (David Morrissey), the villainous leader of the seemingly idyllic Woodbury community. After trying to play peacemaker between the warring Woodbury and the nearby prison — home to her original group of survivors — Andrea succumbed to a Walker bite and ultimately took her own life after the Governor trapped her in a room with a soon-to-reanimate corpse.
“I think the whole stuff that they wrote about Andrea and the Governor was complete and utter nonsense,” Holden said. “I did the best that I could to tell that narrative, and to justify it where Andrea kept her heart. I love [showrunner] Scott Gimple for giving me a gorgeous death with redemption so that you understood, and she wasn’t a victim — she died on her own terms. But I think that there was so much beautiful narrative that was lost and that she should have been there a long time, and been the leader that Kirkman created in the comic book.”prevnext
Scars of the Past: Holden vs. Mazzara
Today wasn't the first time Holden expressed her displeasure with the way season 2 and 3 show runner Glen Mazzara handled Andrea: during a Q&A at Walker Stalker Con Chicago in 2014, Holden said she was contracted for eight seasons and the intention was for Andrea to become the new leader of Woodbury. A last minute change resulted in Andrea’s death and a rewrite by Mazzara’s successor and current showrunner, Scott Gimple.
"There was somebody in charge for Season 3, who thought that it was cool to kill Andrea, because he wanted the world to go 'Whaaat?'” Holden said in 2014. “So it was for shock. It wasn't a plan, it wasn't supposed to happen. I found out the day before, and it could've been anybody. He just wanted to kill somebody big… you know, for shock.”0comments
“It was very sad, because Andrea was supposed to be there for the very end,” Holden said. “So, it was sad for me. It was sad for my Walking Dead family. The man lost his job because of that decision. But it was never supposed to happen, and you know Andrea was supposed to end up with Rick. So this was one man's decision, who changed history. But it wasn't something that anybody supported... It wasn't supposed to happen."
The annual Walker Stalker Con runs September 30 and October 1 in Philadelphia before heading to Atlanta October 27 — 29. The Walking Dead returns to AMC with its season 8 premiere, the series’ 100th episode, Sunday, October 22.