Fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ were crushed to see Andrew Lincoln leave the show, but how are cast members handling his departure? Danai Gurira opened up to HL EXCLUSIVELY about the ’emotional’ transition.
It’s hard to imagine The Walking Dead without Andrew Lincoln‘s character Rick Grimes, but his departure is the real deal! After his final episode earlier this month, the AMC show took a six-year time jump — and Danai Gurira, 40, talked to Hollywoodlife.com EXCLUSIVELY about what that was like on set. “The transition was so brilliant of my boss because it really allowed the loss of Andy to be given a salve. The pain of losing Andy was very emotional,” she said. “It was so brilliant of her because it allowed us to move forward into this exciting next step of our characters — who they now were and how they were connected or disconnected. It really allowed us to move forward with a gusto even though we were pained by it at the same time.”
How incredible is that? It’s reassuring to hear that Danai and the other cast members were able to use this plot device to kickstart the rest of the season without Andrew by their side — especially with so many other changes to get used to. Danai’s character alone has not only gotten a “new hairdo,” but she has a young son as well! Lauren Cohan‘s character Maggie hasn’t been featured in any scenes since the time jump, unless word of mouth counts, which is how Tara and Jesus found themselves taking care of Hilltop. And remember Rick’s baby daughter Judith? She’s suddenly all grown up — and as good-hearted and stubborn as her father and brother!
Danai obviously spends a lot of time filming this hit show, as well as incredible movies like Black Panther and All Eyez on Me, but she’s more than just a talented actress. She’s also involved in charity work, most recently teaming back up with with Johnson and Johnson for the 30th anniversary of World AIDs Day. But why is this cause, in particular, important to The Walking Dead actress?
Since she was raised in southern Africa, she has watched the epidemic hit communities hard. “The fact of the matter is, 37 million people are living with HIV AIDS across the globe and a thousand girls a day are infected,” she said. “It is an issue that we have not eradicated by any means and the fact that #MakeHIVHistory is something we have to strive to make a reality! We need to educate people and give awareness to it. We have to all be deeply engaged with it all.”
It’s amazing to see powerful women in Hollywood like Danai using their platform to support incredible causes like this one!