‘The Walking Dead’: Why Danai Gurira Calls Playing Michonne One of Her ‘Greatest Blessings’

Tough yet vulnerable. Graceful, but lethal. Danai Gurira made a splashy entrance as The Walking Dead character, Michonne, in Season 3. On screen, she was able to beautifully bring to life all of the complexities of the character. But to the dismay of fans, The Walking Dead will say goodbye to Michonne in Season 10. With that in mind, Danai Gurira spoke with Entertainment Weekly about her last day on set, what message she wants to leave with fans, and what’s next for her.

Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira | Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Gurira goes out with a bang

Gurira’s last day on the set of The Walking Dead was on the Fourth of July. She told Entertainment Weekly about some surprises on the eve of her final shoot day that the cast and crew delivered to mark the bittersweet occasion. The actress described a firework display that Norman Reedus organized for her as “really beautiful.”

Gurira also revealed that the celebration included a specialty cake that was decorated in Michonne’s image, katana, and all. In the interview, she reflected, “There was just such a free flow of love, and that’s kind of what sticks with me the most about that.”

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Gurira’s on-set experiences with her colleagues parallel Michonne’s arc on The Walking Dead with the core group of survivors. On the show, Michonne was welcomed into a tight-knit group of allies with a shared history. Likewise, Gurira stepped into a television production environment in which the cast and crew had existing relationships before she arrived.

Similar to Michonne, Gurira became a vital part of the team. Another snippet from EW (below), shows the actress reflecting on the family-like culture that she enjoyed while shooting the show.

Gurira counts her blessings

In a clip posted by EW, Gurira conveyed her sincere appreciation to the viewers, cast, and crew of The Walking Dead.

“To all those out there who have shown love and support to the show, The Walking Dead, over the years, I just want to express so much love and thanks to you.”

Gurira went on to describe the bonds that the cast and crew have formed during the production of the show. She described leaving the show as a “heartbreaking thing because it’s such a beautiful family.”

Of the Michonne character, Gurira said, “Playing Michonne has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. And I have deeply learned from her, and grown with her, and adored how I have been challenged by her and the amazing relationships I got to form with her and through her. And I will not just miss her, but her weapon.”

Gurira concluded the video by offering thanks and a final goodbye to the fans, her colleagues, and Michonne.

Gurira plugs the power of the pen

Now that Gurira has said her final farewell to The Walking Dead, she told EW that she is focusing on writing full-time. She is the creator of the new television series, Americanah, which is based on a novel of the same name.

The series stars Lupita Nyong’o, Tireni Oyenusi, Uzo Aduba, Zackary Momoh, and The Walking Dead alum Corey Hawkins. Americanah is currently in production and will stream on HBO Max.

Read more: Danai Gurira Reveals Her Favorite ‘Walking Dead’ Scene Ever