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The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira on Why Rick Is the Only Man for Michonne

Photo: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images

Those of us at the Sunday-night opening of Danai Gurira’s Broadway play, Eclipsed, missed that evening’s Walking Dead episode, but she reassured us about the status of her character Michonne’s blossoming romance with Rick Grimes. “They’re still together,” Gurira told Vulture at the after-party.

Gurira said she had inklings of the relationship as far back as season three, episode 12, when Michonne goes into a building teeming with zombies to retrieve a family photo for Carl. “It clicked to me,” Gurira said, adding that even the crew picked up on it then. “That’s a man who made her change, and she’s made him change. They can check each other, she can make him laugh, she can disarm him, but she’s also deeply loyal to him and she respects him. And for Michonne to really respect a man is no small thing. I was like, Who else is she gonna? This has got to be the guy, in my brain.”

This season, Gurira pinpoints the moment Michonne’s feelings for Rick became obvious: episode nine, when she saved Carl’s life as Ron was about to shoot him. “It was so clear to me how much she loved him, and his son, so much,” she said. “She’s going to, you know, run through a herd of zombies to get his son to the infirmary, and she’s going to run out into a herd of zombies to keep him from dying. I felt her panicking. I was, like, She never panics. But the idea of losing either one of these men today, she’s just not going to do it.”

As for becoming more intimate together as actors, Gurira felt no awkwardness kissing her longtime co-star. “As an actor, you’re looking for that thing that feels organic and truthful, and the next step for your character,” she said. “And when you find it, and it feels right for your character, it doesn’t feel awkward — it feels like you’re engaging in your craft in a way that’s right and truthful.”

Danai Gurira: Rick Is the Only Man for Michonne