The Walking Dead returns to AMC this Sunday, and David Morrissey talks in detail here about how his take on ‘Philip Blake’ differs from that of the comic books, what it’s like to work on the prison set and more! Digital Spy, got the goods and talked to Morrissey about his role and how he will make Rick Grimes life a living hell this season.
On Exactly How Much Research He Did Before And After Nabbing The Role
When they offered me the role, they said, ‘Look at the comics,’ but what Robert Kirkman asked me to do was read his novel, which is called ‘Rise of the Governor’, and before anything else I read that. I loved that – I thought that was a great piece of work and it gave me a lot to work with. I avoided the comics for a bit actually. I obviously saw the look of the Governor from the comic, but the first script came in and I liked what they were doing. Then I read the comic and it was very different, the thing about the Governor in the comic is that he’s a fully-formed person and what we do with him in the TV series is… he’s not as fully formed when he arrives and then we work on him from then on.
On Whether He Feels Any Pressure Bringing Such An Iconic Character To Life:
I guess so, but I feel pressure with any character I play whether there is anticipation about it or not. I’ve done interpretive parts before, in Dickens, with ‘Our Mutual Friend’, I played Bradley Headstone and people have great ideas about him. And there was South Riding and Red Riding in fact as well – there’s a series of books that people have great ideas about. Even characters that aren’t from any adaptations, I feel great pressure and the Governor is no different – I always put pressure on myself.
On Whether He’s Worried About The Character Being Seen As One-Dimensional:
I think that’s a concern about any character whether they are good, bad or whatever. You want to bring layers to any character that you play. Particularly in a series; we’re doing 16 episodes here, so you have to find different notes for him. For me particularly I would be bored stiff if there were just one note I had to play. The writers are aware of that as well and they’re really bringing in different levels to the character. I’m really happy with the material I’m being given and I certainly don’t feel bored by the challenges they are laying at me. Hopefully he will be very complex.
On What It’s Been Like To Work On The Prison Set
It’s a great set; I’ve worked with that designer before… it’s a man called Grace Walker who did the Mad Max films, an Australian guy. I did a film called The Reaping with him down in Louisiana. He’s an amazing designer – a lot of the time as an actor what you’re doing is filling in the parts that [the production crew] can’t do, but there’s none of that with Grace. He really covers all the angles and it means we can do the long-running shots because his set has no gaps in it. He’s a wonderful, wonderful designer.
On How He’s Coping With The Violence And Zombie Action:
Yeah, there’s a lot of it and one thing I love about this show is it treats its subject matter very seriously. I think that it’s a show about survival and humanity and what human beings will put themselves through in order to survive. I think the danger has to feel very real to pull that off and on this show, the danger is very real. I think that’s what makes it so brilliant.
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