'The Walking Dead': Danai Gurira and Greg Nicotero discuss Season 3, episode 5 'Say the Word'

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danai-gurira-michonne-walking-dead-say-the-word-season-3-amc.jpgThis week on "The Walking Dead," Rick attempted to deal with the news of Lori's death, Michonne made the decision to leave Woodbury without Andrea, we met someone very close to The Governor and Daryl stepped up as a leader in Rick's absence.

To help process all that, executive producer Greg Nicotero (who also directed the episode) and actress Danai Gurira participated in a conference call with journalists.

Among the many topics discussed were when we'll find out what happened to Carol (Nicotero promises all will be "revealed shortly") and what exactly happened to Lori's body. Read on for highlights:

Danai Gurira on Michonne's decision to leave Woodbury...

"I think it was pretty obvious from the beginning she wasn't happy at Woodbury. It was really working against what her instincts were OK with -- being in this place with these men who had taken her weapon, living under someone else's rules all of a sudden. She didn't choose to give them any of that power.

"It's a complicated thing. You can understand why Andrea wants to be there, there are comforts she hasn't seen since before the apocalypse. But Michonne has learned to survive and thrive through really listening to her instincts and never doubting them. Her instincts just get further and further confirmed up to a point where there's no way she can stay there, after her experience with The Governor."

walking-dead-walker-stuffed-ate-lori-say-the-word-amc.jpg Greg Nicotero on what happened to Lori's body...

"The idea is supposed to be the walker has dragged her around the corner of the boiler room. There's a blood trail that continues past the walker, at that point when it's sort of engorged itself -- as disgusting as it is. When you first see the walker you see its distended belly and we wanted it to give a little callback to Lori, even though we clearly know that Lori's not pregnant anymore. We added bits of hair in its mouth and hand when it reaches up towards Rick. We wanted to show that this thing had feasted on her, as horrible as it is.

"It's sort of a callback even to episode 1 in Season 2 when they're going to do an autopsy on the walker to see if it had eaten Sophia and they find the woodchuck. So when Rick gets down and pulls the blade out there's that moment when you think "Oh God he's gonna cut it open because he just needs to see..." It's like a horrible, sick connection. [Rick] walks into the room, he sees [Lori's] clothes on the ground and he picks up the bullet that Carl shot at her. It's really the beginning of his descent into madness. He never had a goodbye with her, never had any resolution. Going into the deepest depths of the prison, that's a really horrible way for him to have a last connection with her."

But the audience doesn't see Lori's remains for a reason...

"We told that story with T-Dog in episode 4 [when the survivors find his half-eaten body] ... You may not believe it but there are a few boundaries here on 'The Walking Dead' that we want to preserve."

Greg Nicotero on working with Andrew Lincoln to portray Rick's descent into madness...

"What was really important to both of us was we shot all his stuff in sequence. We spent one day and really let him delve into it. The scene with Rick and Glenn where he grabs Glenn and throws him up against the wall, that was a really important moment. I remember reading the script and going to Steven Yeun and asking 'How do you feel about it getting a little physical here?' Clearly Rick has gone off the deep end. He doesn't want any interaction with anyone. He's clearly just on bloodlust, he's going to kill every walker he comes in contact with until he finds Lori. Both of those guys just loved becoming physical, you've never seen Rick do that to any of our other characters, especially Glenn of all people.

"Andy was ecstatic because he had one line in the whole episode, which was 'Hello' at the end. He didn't have to worry about learning any dialogue, it was just about him descending into this place. There's basically three key sequences once he gets inside the prison, the first was that stedicam shot. The way it was scripted, it could've just been chop, chop, chop. But I wanted [the camera] to be on his face and then pull back as he goes past us and we see him kill two walkers. To me, Andy's eyes, how piercing his gaze can be, especially when he gets into the mode, is fascinating to me."

Danai Gurira on what drew Michonne to Andrea...

"I think when she saw Andrea that first time, she saw a fighter. Andrea was fighting tooth and nail to survive. If you're a fighter, you recognize a fighter. Her instinct also led her to her, she saw someone who made her say 'This chick I could really hang with, she's not a liability, she's gonna fight to the end just like me.' I think that really attracted to her as a friend. I think she was lonely, she'd been on her own with these walkers, she wanted company."

david-morrissey-governor-penny-walking-dead-season-3-amc.jpg Greg Nicotero on the introduction of The Governor's zombie daughter Penny...

"She's actually eating a piece of flesh that we're supposed to assume is human flesh. Just like they're feeding the walkers in captivity before Michonne kills them, we're supposed to believe that The Governor is feeding her flesh. You see the blood around her face and hands. We will probably learn in a future episode a little bit more about that."

Danai Gurira on whether or not Michonne can reconcile with Andrea...

"The great thing about how this show works is that the characters have dimensions. You haven't seen all that [Michonne] is. There's a range of possibilities in what can happen next between them. She has a self-protection that is fierce. It is heartbreaking for her to leave her friend, but she has to stay true to who she is."

Greg Nicotero on Glenn and Maggie's kiss...

"The kiss is actually something I wanted them to do because we don't [usually] see [affection] in this world that's so devoid of life and love. When we rehersed that scene I felt like it was important to see that love, how committed these two are to each other. Especially after the fact that we just saw Maggie cut open Lori."

Greg Nicotero on a deleted scene he hopes will be on the DVD...

"After episode 4, [Daryl] is really put into motion. When he sees Rick is gone, he steps up as the leader and says 'We're not gonna let anyone else die, not on my watch, we gotta keep moving forward.' There was one scene I shot that I loved that sadly didn't make the final cut. It was Daryl and Maggie driving to the daycare. They see an overturned tree and they stop. Maggie starts to cry and Daryl asks her, 'Was she dead?' Maggie says 'No she wasn't, but I had to cut her open' and starts reacting to it. Then she looks over and says 'Oh my god, I'm so sorry about Carol.' The look on Norman's face -- it's like he just got punched in the stomach. Carol's death really pushes Daryl forward."
Photo/Video credit: AMC