So, you had a pregnancy scare in the first episode of Season 4. Now that Maggie and Glenn are engaged, how does that realization change the game for her?
"Well, Maggie and Glenn come at it very differently. It's not ideal, but because we've had the semblance of safety for the last few months, it doesn't feel impossible. So, when they start this conversation, it sort of weakens Maggie in the respect that she is no longer able to go out there and fight. But, at the end of the episode, Glenn has almost died, but she's not pregnant. But, she is accepting of it. She would be willing to have the baby. There is something in Maggie's disposition this year that is...strengthened? By all the trauma she went through with The Governor. She's got this sort of inner strength and inner peace that makes her feel like she can handle it. It is not ideal. You know, they love each other and, of course, they want to have a baby together, but..."
She's always been kind of a tough lady, and you get the sense that Glenn is the one who is a bit more sensitive out of the two. So, when you said she was accepting of her pregnancy, that's surprising.
"It's a really big change. She's gotten stronger and softer at the same time. So, she's not shaken this year — and she's not shaken by tenderness this year. She's becoming a woman. She's really becoming a woman. Her feet are firmer in the ground. If the next part of this challenge for her is having a baby, well, okay. She's always been the really matter-of-fact one, and Glenn is sentimental."
Well, from a fan perspective, there is so much loss and hurt that the possibility of love and trust as demonstrated by Maggie and Glenn is a real touch of humanity that we need!
"A lot of what we tackle in this season...well, I always think about relationships, in general, as either being sort of healthily independent or a codependent relationship. And, I am trying to figure out where Maggie and Glenn fall. You can see a level of desperation in their love for each other that always make people question, 'Is it safer to be with someone or is it safer to be alone?' What, for me, has been so fun about playing this is that Maggie and Glenn are younger than (me and Steven), so they are struggling through a codependence."
What do you think Maggie and Glenn really love about each other?
"That's so funny. I was just talking to Danai (Gurira, who plays Michonne) about the parts of a man that are attractive, and seeing them become the man that they know they can be. In their world, you won't survive unless you become the best version of yourself. With Maggie and Glenn, they meet each other at a similar point in their transition. They are both striving to become the best versions of themselves, and the key to that is supporting each other. Maggie gets the chance of explaining to Herschel in Season 2, and she quotes the Bible, and she says, 'Love one another, that is what you've always told me.' She's so surprised at her dad's own prejudices and reservations about Glenn, but she sees everything that she has been brought up to recognize as good and honorable in him."
"I think Rick and Laurie set such an example for them, and there was so much regret in an unmended relationship. That regret was felt throughout the whole group."
"For her, it was her putting up that shell again. Maggie is not an unemotional person, but you also see her put up the facade. If she felt The Governor would see weakness, then it was all over. She was going to go through, and for lack of a better word, take what she had to take if it meant that Glenn wasn't going to die. If she could do something to save Glenn, even if it had the potential to jeopardize her or her relationship, she would do it. Her objective was to detach her brain."
It was such a sensitive moment, and a lot of people weighed in about how it was and wasn't done correctly. Is there anything you were hoping to avoid when depicting trauma like that?
"From my perspective, I thought: 'He didn't deserve her emotion.' And, that is what I went in there with. That was not a safe place for her to breakdown. But, as soon as she went into the room with Glenn, she felt for him the shame that he feels for her. That's when it hit her: S**t, we really messed up getting caught. In the scene itself, I just let myself feel complete hatred for The Governor. I hadn't worked with David (Morrissey), so I just let him represent the ultimate evil."
We spoke with Norman Reedus...and he told us about his crazy fans. Is that true? Do you get crazy fans, too?
"He gets boxes and boxes. It takes him hours every week to open everything. The entire interior of his trailer is plastered with pictures."
"Well, I really love interacting with fans. On a level, it is different for men. It is less...well, especially when you play a vulnerable character, you really need to disconnect from it and come back to the real world. It takes a while. At the end of last season, I had to find my way back to my own life. But, I am starting to really enjoy social media as a resource...I don't know if it is unique to this show, but you get these very personal and unique interactions with people watching the show, and it makes the world seem so much closer and smaller. All this is talking to somebody, and then talking to somebody else, and it becomes this very intimate thing. I love how popular this show is. It feels so human."
Do you think that this TV show has made you more accustomed to gore and violence?
"Definitely. Definitely. I can now talk matter-of-factly about stabbing a walker through the eye socket and the squelching sounds that it makes. I still feel a little nauseous, but not really."
How is the accent working out for you?
"Mostly, the key with the Southern is just staying in it when I'm in Georgia. Going to breakfast with Andy (who plays Rick Grimes) is really funny, because Andy has a really heavy English accent. The accent is a great gateway into the character. It's a way of life. Georgia has been so good for my soul. There is such a sweetness down there. I get to play this character who is really very romantic. She has very romantic leanings. And, I find so much of that romance down there."
So, can we talk about being dirty? You guys have very little, but are relatively, like, hair-free. I know it's TV, but where do you draw the line at screen dirty and actually dirty?
"Well, you start at the armpits. At first I wasn't shaving my armpits, but then you go back and do flashback scenes and you have to shave them. It's partly a continuity issue, and it is partly that one episode may be a week. There is a lot of room in their lives for hygiene. Also, razors don't take electricity. I used to think about that all the time. Like, even when I watched Shakespeare In Love, I'd think, 'Ugh, I don't want to kiss him! He doesn't have a toothbrush!' I have to get navy sheets, because no matter how much I shower, I always get blood on my sheets."
Okay, let's talk spoilers. Any new couples?
"Yes! A number."
Any terrifying deaths?
"Yes. It's the only bad part of the show. We lose people."
"Oh my God, so many things! She kind of gets a little mischievous. Not sexually or romantically or with anyone else, but this season you see her interact with more people in different lights. There is a very gory journey, but a gorgeous character insight we never had before with people who have been on the show for ages."
Okay, obvious question: Who out of the cast should be with you when the zombies attack?
"Steven. Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green)...she's so fun. She, Steven, and Danai, and I have a lot of laughs. I don't think people realize that everyone on set is really dry and funny. Michonne...I can't tell if I am talking about the people or the characters. Norman. But, also, my sister and my dad. Emily (Kinney, who played Beth). Andy...I can't pick! I don't think strategically. I just want to have fun!"