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Fans love Gurira’s new role
April 02, 2013
with her dark skin and average sized body, is something of a creative
tour de force. As a playwright and actress her body of work is the
result of an eclectic lineage and is an investigation of the immigrant
experience in America.
on the subject has already written plays such as The Convert and
even stars in Andrew Dosunmu’s forthcoming film, Mother of
of Zimbabwean immigrants, Gurira is something of a cultural expat.
Speaking about what it is that regularly attracts her to this subject
matter, Gurira notes that it is a need to understand the identity
politics around her.
being a part of creating stories around the immigrant experience
because that is my background,” she said.
feel like they are unique and they are not something that we regularly
experience in the culture, so we need to acknowledge that and the
best way to do it is through art.”
Gurira is taking on a challenge of a different kind.
She is in South
Africa promoting her new role as Michonne in The Walking Dead.
As one of the
lead characters in the series, she is at the front line of the TV
what it has been like to visit Mzansi, she says this is not her
first trip, but she has enjoyed how well received the series has
always good to visit other countries and see what they think of
the work we do. So I have really enjoyed being around South Africans
and seeing how much they love the show,” she added.
taking the role of a sword-wielding zombie slayer was a lengthy
process and not as romantic as one might assume.
been initially approached by the casting agent to audition for the
part. But after I had done several auditions things went silent
and I thought I didn’t get it,” Gurira said.
But get it she
did and she has already made a name for herself as one of the most
endearing characters in the series with witty one-liners and intricate
some of the strange reactions she has got since taking the role,
Gurira notes that she has been surprised by the fact that women
find Michonne to be an empowering character.
as I am playing the role I thought a lot of people would hate this
character,” she notes.
have been pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of women understand
Michonne and that she is a very guarded person. And they relate
to that, so that has been refreshing.”
all been a walk in the park, however. Gurira has been subjected
to a strict training regimen and has even helped choreograph some
of her own scenes for the series, something which she says has been
a learning experience for her as an actress and as a person.
hard, especially with the acting and then the physical aspects of
the role,” she said. “I have had to work with two trainers
and have had to learn to handle the weapons I use correctly.”
what has also been interesting for her is knowing that she is able
to adapt herself to stage, TV and film, something which she feels
adds a lot of value to her repertoire as an actress.
definitely more demanding, but I think each of them has their discipline
and I have to give my all to each one. So it’s important to
be versatile and take
things that interest and challenge you,” she added.
Among her plans,
Gurira says she is looking forward to the theatrical release of
Mother of George and seeing public reaction to the film as well
as working on her own TV series. “It’s been a really
exciting to work with Andrew Dosunmu on Mother of George because
he has such a strong directorial vision,” she mentioned. “I
have also been approached to write a TV series, but am still thinking
about that and hoping to get it together soon.”
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