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David Morrissey (’The Governor’) talks ‘The Walking Dead’ and the ‘man cave’

David Morrissey gives The Governor a depth of malevolence that's hard to fathom. CREDIT: AMC

David Morrissey gives The Governor a depth of malevolence that's hard to fathom. CREDIT: AMC

“The Walking Dead” finally gets itself a real human villain in all its shades of darkness: The Governor. David Morrissey is yet another British actor, along with lead Andrew Lincoln, to grace the show with his presence.

During a press conference Monday, Morrissey talked a bit about his character and how he doesn’t see him as a cult leader, rather as a good leader “whether we like it or not.”

He listened to a lot of different Southerners to create his accent, which is actually relatively mild compared to, say, Kyra Sedgwick’s honey-dropped Brenda Leigh Johnson. He admits that a few syllables here and there may have been cribbed from Bill Clinton.

He also said we will get some back story about the Governor in bits and pieces.

As a Brit, he was taken aback a bit by the heat here, though relatively speaking the summer of 2012 wasn’t nearly as bad as 2010 or 2011. “It’s very hot,” he said. “It’s very buggy. There are snakes and ticks and chiggers and all sorts of things. It’s a challenging environment. But I love it.”

How about the room full of dead heads, and not the Grateful Dead kind? “It’s his play thing. It’s his man cave where he goes. There, he looks into that deep place inside himself. That room is very special to him.”

Creator Robert Kirkman joined in as well. He noted that Milton, the scientific-like dude, is not really a scientist but merely a “very intelligent individual who thinks, ‘Wait a minute. This isn’t going away. Let’s do some due diligence and figure out how to better handle the zombies. We’ll get to see a lot more of him. He comes up with theories as the season progresses. There are a lot more things he can do to help them survive and cope in this world. I’m looking forward to everyone seeing that stuff.

He noted that the Governor has built a world that has enabled the survivors not only to harbor hope but to think about their future. Rick’s crew has mostly been focused on survival.

Naturally, the two camps will interact. “It’s important to get to know these characters” in Woodbury, Kirkman said. “We wanted to do something different. We had two successful seasons but we didn’t want to just have them in the woods killing more zombies. We’re doing new things, going into new territory.”

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UPDATE: “The Walking Dead” ratings actually climbed from week two, from 9.55 million for episode 2 to 10.51 million Sunday night, approaching the 10.87 million opening night. The 18-49 rating bounced up from 5.1 week two to 5.4 week three.
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The fourth episode this Sunday will feature both the prison and Woodbury. We know from the end of episode two that someone is spying on them. Based on the teaser, we know more walkers get into the prison and the two prisoners who were supposed to stay by themselves don’t. A sanctuary this is not.

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22 comments Add your comment

Mercedes S.

October 30th, 2012
11:41 am

The tea, Rodney!! What aboutthe tea?? Did nobody ask?

Dead Fan

October 30th, 2012
1:25 pm

I am surprised how many actors on the show are faking accents. I believe you have two Austrailans and now a Britt. Good actors. Can’t here it. Glad to see Dallas on the show (makes the Tea apparently. He has been on the good wife, Elementary, and a bunch of other TV shows. He was also had big roles in 3:10 to Yuma and the Grey. Hope his character gets developed. Good actor and a very nice guy.

DeadFan

October 30th, 2012
1:40 pm

I had a really sickening thought that they were using the dead walkers in the tea for some reason…I don’t know why I thought that. All I know is that he was working the lab around all the dead walkers and they started talking about “good tea”.

Then at the end when all the heads were floating in water I kept waiting for him to grab a cup, turn a handle, and have him some delicious walker flavored tea! Maybe decaffinated because it was bed time!

AnotherDeadFan

October 30th, 2012
1:41 pm

Whoops…Didn’t mean to make my name EXACTLY like yours…I will change it!

Zombie Tea: Made from Aquarium Water

October 30th, 2012
2:37 pm

Why does The Walking Dead have to go across the pond get so many bloody wankers from England to come over here and do (fake) Southern accents?

Since they are already filming in Georgia, can they not find any regional, SOUTHERN actors who can both act and do A-U-T-H-E-N-T-I-C Southern accents????

I went to high school with some eventual dropouts here in Georgia who could to a true-to-life “Merle Dixon.”

Zombie Tea: Made from Aquarium Water

October 30th, 2012
2:43 pm

Will The Governor make Andrea one of his interns and turn her into the next “Lewinsky,” especially since David Morrissey is basing part of his character on Bill Clinton, or will Michonne make sure he is good & circumcised before that can happen?

In the first couple of episodes so far, I have perceived a great deal of sexual tension between Andrea & Michonne.

Just HOW did those two attractive ladie keep warm together throughout the winter with no heat or power and no one (living) to turn to but each other?

Zombie Tea: Made from Aquarium Water

October 30th, 2012
2:45 pm

Jill

October 30th, 2012
3:29 pm

As an aside, I think it is interesting that Emory has created an Ethics symposium to cover what ethical concerns would exist if the Walking Dead ever occured. http://news.emory.edu/stories/2012/10/esc_zombies_and_ethics/campus.html?utm_source=ebulletin&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EmoryReport_EB_103012

Mercedes S.

October 30th, 2012
3:51 pm

Water, maybe declawed and defanged zombies have body heat to offer

JustCS3

October 30th, 2012
4:48 pm

Yes, I was curious about the tea myself. I was waiting to see what was going to happen with it. And they KEPT showing him pour it. Now, I want one of those pots. Maybe it was just editing or something. If it was sweet tea, then I would’ve understood the obsession.

KenneMa

October 30th, 2012
4:51 pm

I heard a story that the ‘tea’ topic is for one of the crew who LOVES tea, so it is an inside joke among the cast & crew. Not sure if that is true or not. I agree that the Governor needs to work on the accent a bit more – he goes in and out with the Brit & Southern accents and it is distracting.

Bi-Curious George

October 30th, 2012
8:59 pm

Does Michonne like boys or girls (or both)?

Given her militant disposition and muscular build, I am unable to pinpoint which.

Truthpaste

October 31st, 2012
4:10 am

On Talking Dead, they said the tea was an inside joke.

JB

October 31st, 2012
4:54 am

OK, I’ve read all of the Walking Dead comics so I know how the Governor is…but David Morrissey was so good and convincing in this that I found myself wanting to believe there are shades of grey with

danish

October 31st, 2012
8:22 am

David Morrissey sounded exactly like Liam Neeson trying to do an American accent to me. I noticed it at least 4x in the episode.

Deirdre

October 31st, 2012
8:44 am

I love this line in the interview:

It’s very buggy. There are snakes and ticks and chiggers and all sorts of things. It’s a challenging environment. But I love it.”

The “but I love it” comes across as just a teensy bit insincere. I can’t blame him however. Georgia IS challenging in the summer.

Rodney Ho

October 31st, 2012
8:47 am

I agree Deirdre. “The Walking Dead” is not an easy show to do for any of the actors relatively speaking.

Mercedes S.

October 31st, 2012
9:07 am

“But I love it” – maybe he winked.

Deirdre

October 31st, 2012
9:14 am

Especially the foreign actors. Maybe in Australia they have summers like we have but NOT in the UK. If they’ve never faced a Georgia summer before, I’m sure it comes as a bit of a shock to them. The heat is enough to deal with all by itself but add all those other “elements”……and “challenging” becomes an understatement.

Deirdre

October 31st, 2012
9:15 am

I know much of the filming is done in the summer and I keep wondering is they are wearing snake boots while tramping through the woods.

Mercedes S.

October 31st, 2012
9:24 am

David Morrissey has mostly done TV in the Old Country (he was Col. Brandon in a 2008 series of “Sense and Sensibility and Gordon Brown in “The Deal”, where Michael Sheen AGAIN played Tony Blair), but I can think of two worthwhile feature films: “The Other Boleyn Girl” (he was the Duke of Norfolk) and an old favorite, “Hilary and Jackie” (1998). The latter is worth checking out – fantastic cast, with Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths in the leads, and James Frain, Charles Dance and
Nyree Dawn Porter (she was ur-Irene in the 1967 “Forsyte Saga”) supporting.

icons designs

November 3rd, 2012
7:42 pm