The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira Was “Freaked” by Alternate Andrea Death: “That Messed Me Up”

Danai Gurira admits she was "freaked" by the grim fate met by Andrea (Laurie Holden) in her exit episode of The Walking Dead, where a drugged Michonne imagined shocking alternate deaths for already dead loved ones. Given a dose of jimson weed by Virgil (Kevin Carroll) during her mission to find weapons on Bloodsworth Island, Michonne tripped through horrific hallucinations revealing what might have happened had she made different decisions, including allowing Andrea to die instead of saving her from walkers when Andrea was separated from Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) group of survivors in Season 2 episode "Beside the Dying Fire."

"It really was like being on a trip. Even her reaction to Andrea. That was melded footage," Gurira told The Hollywood Reporter about the what-if scene, which called on archival footage from the Season 2 finale, where a stand-in played the hooded Michonne. "I saw it on a screener, just like you, and I was really freaked by that, just to see her walk away from Andrea."

"That was my first connection on the show! It's very indelible inside of me and my character, Michonne's soul: Andrea. To see her just walk away? That messed me up," Gurira continued. "Seeing her stand over this carcass of Andrea that they designed really well … they made it look exactly like what she would have looked like. It was just horrible."

The Walking Dead Andrea corpse
(Photo: AMC)

In this version of events, the lone Michonne coldly turns away from Andrea, only to come back and lift possessions off her mangled corpse.

"But for this version of Michonne, who chose not to care? She was capable of that, at that point. For me, I'm playing it as, 'She's just another dead thing. Let me find its knife and its water.' That was pretty trippy to play," Gurira said. "It was really nutty. In a creative way, it was very fun, but also horrible, if that makes sense. (Laughs.) It was so trippily crazy, but also horrible as Danai to play, if this had been the actual reality."

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The episode, which cut a "very dark" exchange between Michonne and son Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), also left Gurira disturbed when this alternate version of Michonne — a Savior and the right hand gal of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — was ultimately cornered and killed by enemies Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rick Grimes.

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.