'The Walking Dead': David Morrissey, Robert Kirkman talk The Governor's introduction and what's ahead in Woodbury

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laurie-holden-david-morrissey-walking-dead-season-3-episode-3-walk-with-me-amc.jpgLast night's "The Walking Dead" introduced The Governor, an iconic character from the comic books and a key player in Season 3 of the show.

Today, The Governor himself, David Morrissey, fielded questions along with comic book creator and series executive producer Robert Kirkman about what's ahead for the powerful new figure, his peaceful town of Woodbury and more (including fan favorite Michonne and Dallas Roberts' brainy Milton, who doesn't exist in the comics).

For those specifically interested in how the show will mirror or depart from the comics, Morrissey noted that he considers this version of The Governor to exist somewhere between prequel book "The Rise of the Governor" and his actions in the comics. Kirkman said any comic fans wondering whether we'll see Penny on the TV show, or if the storyline between The Governor and Michonne will stay the same will just have to stay tuned.

Kirkman describes the comic book incarnation of The Governor as "a devious, horrible, terrible human being. A villain you absolutely love to hate."

"When it came time to adapt that character for the show we're doing as much as we can to add nuance," Kirkman notes. "We're accentuating the politician side to show he can be a lot more seductive than he ever was in the comic book series. David Morrissey is doing a fantastic job of that."

Here are more highlights:

Robert Kirkman explains why the episode was set exclusively in Woodbury...

"It really just shows how important this side of the story is for this season of 'The Walking Dead.' As we progress you're gonna see that Woodbury is featured as heavily as the prison cast. It is going to be a season of television where it is two camps and those two camps are eventually going to interact to a certain degree that will be revealed later. It's very important to get to know these characters. We also wanted to do something different. We've had two very successful seasons of this show and I'm very proud of the fact that for our third season we're not going, 'Hey, we're still in the woods killing zombies! Isn't that cool?' We're doing new things and going into new territory. The fact that we can have an episode like this and it's received as well as I believe it's being received is really a testament to how cool this show can be."

David Morrissey on how The Governor wants to be seen...
"The important thing for me is that the people who meet him for the first time aren't being tipped off [to his dark side], that they feel they're in a safe place. The presentation to them is, 'You're safe here.' He's someone who looks strong and dependable, a man with his community's safety at heart. What I like is the audience has a different relationship with The Governor than the other characters on the show. The audience gets to see him in a personal place, they know him better than anyone."

Morrissey describes how The Governor runs Woodbury...
"Any leader of a community knows that certain people have to do certain jobs within the community for the community to exist successfully. [The Governor] can pinpoint those people. It's not just Andrea. He can recognize in Michonne someone who can be very valuable. He doesn't want the national guard there, or someone who will challenge his authority, but he wants people who can work in this structure he's laid down."

And that's why those soldiers had to go...
"I think anybody would know why it's not a good idea to have a band of soldiers come into your community when you want to run it. It's a very logical thing for me. What he's created there is very idyllic and it runs through him. It works and people are grateful to him. He wants to choose the people to come in and the people who go out, there's no one else making those decisions for him."

Morrissey says The Governor is more than just a cult leader...
"I looked into many ideas of leadership, not just cults but also standard leaders that we have ourselves. Any successful leader has to be able to know the people around him, how he can manipulate them or trust them, mold them to his vision. Any good leader will not be frightened of people who are stronger than him both mentally and physically. I think it's a bit safe to say cult, because we all like to believe we don't live in that type of domain. But all of us are subject to that type of leadership mindf--- really. We are played with that way in society whether we like it or not. Some of the tactics The Governor comes up with are used in everyday politics all the time."

Kirkman and Morrissey on what's ahead for Milton...
Kirkman: "Milton's a really interesting character for us. He's not necessarily a scientist per se but he's a very intelligent individual who more than anyone else is looking around at this world saying, 'Wait a minute, this is a problem that's not going away. Let's do our due diligence to try to figure out a little bit more about these things, and possibly better ways of handling them.' He's come up with a lot of theories, and as the season progresses we're going to see a lot more of him and things he's come up with to help people survive and cope in this world."

Morrissey: "Because The Governor has built Woodbury they have time to think about the future in a different way. Rick's group is trying to get through the day. Whereas the people in Woodbury have time to think about, 'Where do we go from here? This is the start of something new and how do we deal with that?' Milton is very much a part of that."

Morrissey on the importance of The Governor's private lair...
"If you're going to survive in this world you better have a thick skin and be able to desensitize yourself to the things you're gonna see around you. I certainly think there's a sense of The Governor doing that [in that room]. It's also his man cave. It's about where he looks inside himself to the deepest place inside himself. That room is very special to him."
Photo/Video credit: AMC