With Michonne's final season of The Walking Dead upon us, Danai Gurira is living in what she refers to as the "day after" in her life beyond the AMC zombie series. After joining the saga in its third season, Gurira quickly became a staple of The Walking Dead before ultimately announcing her departure from the TV series at San Diego Comic-Con in July. By the time she had made the announcement, she had already concluded her efforts on the series, as her final "wrap" call came earlier that month. Of course, the beloved actress whose schedule is staying full got quite a sendoff from her co-stars.
"It was overwhelming," Gurira admits to ComicBook.com in the interview above. "I mean, I haven't talked about it yet because we haven't really said I was done yet, so it was kinda just talking about it for the first time now but it was really overwhelming, the love. They got me because I thought I was going home."
Daryl Dixon actor Norman Reedus is getting quite of bit of credit for the show the cast and crew put on for Gurira's farewell. "It was actually the night before I was finishing, I was finishing on the 4th of July so I just kinda, I didn't think anyone was gonna really be around," Gurira said. "So they caught me the night before and I was totally off guard and it was just, everyone was gathered, there was this gorgeous cake that was Michonne with the sword and everything. Norman did this amazing, Norman and, of course, Darrell Pritchett, the amazing man in charge of our special effects, they had this massive, really gorgeous, overwhelming fireworks display."
Showrunner Angela Kang echoed a similar sentiment while talking with us at the Season 10 premiere. "You know, we did some really special stuff for Danai," Kang said. "Norman, I don't know if I'm kind of giving something away, but Norman really organized something great for her. You know, we set off fireworks for her and she just had a beautiful end run on the show where she was just, just the acting work was so intense and so fantastic as always. And I think, just there was a lot of respect and love there from the cast and the crew and so it was just really lovely."
Although Gurira wrapped production prior to the mid-way point in the season's overall efforts, she will be appearing in episodes throughout the second half of The Walking Dead's tenth season due to a production schedule coordinated to accommodate her final availability. As for whether or not Michonne's exit is conclusive, open-ended, or somehow both: "We will have to see," Gurira said. "You can do nothing with those words! We will have to see. I know you!"
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC.