Between its rule-breaking storytelling and off-screen ratings success, The Walking Dead has been a headline behemoth, with everyone in and out of Hollywood buzzing about the third season of AMC's zombie drama.
With only one episode to go in the sensationally scary and better-than-ever season, ETonline caught up with star Laurie Holden to talk about Andrea's foray into Woodbury, her time in The Governor's bed and what it will mean when Rick rolls into town!
ETonline: First of all, I have been loving Andrea this season.
Laurie Holden: Even though I'm sleeping with The Governor? [laughs]
ETonline: Absolutely. Why, is that a big complaint you're hearing from fans?
Holden: I don't think it's going over so well ... but it's not supposed to.
ETonline: Well, the audience sees such a different side of The Governor than Andrea does. I mean, do you think she has any inkling there's so much going on behind the scenes?
Holden: I don't think Andrea thinks there's anything wrong with the town – she hasn't seen the fishtank, she hasn't seen Penny, she didn't see him attack Maggie or his assassinations of other people. He's a sociopath, but she only sees what The Governor lets her see. It's a different face – with Andrea, he's charming and respectful and generous. The only thing she found off-putting was the gladiator fights, but he explained that quite well. Plus, when she walks around and sees women and children smiling and the elderly planting in their gardens, she's like, Wow, this man created a community that makes people happy.
ETonline: What did you think about Andrea's journey when the producers spelled it out for you at the start?
Holden: At first I was really sad because I genuinely love my Walking Dead family – we're really tight and I work with the best people in the world. I mean, we spend our holidays together, so I had to wrap my head around the fact I wasn’t going to be with Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride. I felt like I was almost on another television show. But at the same token, we were going to explore subject matter that was completely deviating from the graphic novel and rather risque, so part of me was really excited about that. We didn't know if expanding The Walking Dead world in the way we did would work. It was a big gamble, but it paid off. Which is exciting because now that means The Walking Dead can go anywhere now in terms of the storytelling.
ETonline: Last week's episode ended with Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Oscar outside Woodbury. Is it safe to say that Sunday's finale will see Andrea forced to choose between these two sides?
Holden:I can't say if that happens in the finale, but that is definitely something she will be confronted with at some point. I am excited to see the world's collide on Sunday, which just makes the show that much more intense and dangerous and terrifying. I can say that the mid-season finale is going to make people want top throw their TV sets out the window. I want to apologize in advance to the world because it is a treacherous way to leave people hanging until the new season starts. But it's good storytelling.
ETonline: Part of that good storytelling has involved the willingness to kill off main characters, as the show did this year with Lori. Obviously no one wants to lose a job, but from an artistic standpoint, is it exciting to be part of such bold storytelling?
Holden: Yeah, that's the tough thing. I'm not going to lie, none of us like that – we all love our jobs, we love Georgia [where The Walking Dead films] and we love each other, so we'd like to be here forever. But the truth of the matter is we can go at any point. I don't think anybody is safe and in a way I think that makes us all the more grateful and makes us feel blessed every single day that we have that day, because we're all going to die eventually.
ETonline: Looking ahead, is there anything you haven't gotten to do with Andrea that you'd like to do before she, theoretically, dies?
Holden: To be honest, I don't even know what that would be because she's already been the most complex character and taken the most incredible journey. I mean, what I'm shooting now is like a totally different Andrea compared to the episode you're about to see. I feel like I've shot 10 movies in three years. I was suicidal and then I was isolated and then I was angry and then I joined the group and became empowered and became a warrior and then I fell in love. I feel like it's been such a gift already!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.