The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira: ‘Richonne’ Romance ‘Was the Hardest Spoiler to Keep’

The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira always had an inkling her katana-wielding character, Michonne, might hook up with best buddy Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Still, when she got the script with their love scene this season, “I was taken aback,” she tells Us Weekly exclusively. But after four seasons of friendship, “Richonne” (as they’re dubbed by fans) don’t let kissing get in the way of killing the undead on the AMC drama (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET). Says Gurira, 38, “They still get done what they have to get done.” The Zimbabwe-raised actress and playwright slays Us.

Us Weekly: When you read the script, did you call Andrew to get his reaction?

Danai Gurira: We were on set. I had it on my iPad, and I knew he hadn’t read it because he doesn’t bring electronics to work. I needed him to know, so I just told him. He screamed!

Us: Was it tough to keep the secret?

DG: This was the hardest spoiler to keep! Friends of mine cornered me and were so upset Rick and Michonne weren’t together. I already shot the scene, but I couldn’t say anything.

Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln
Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln in 'The Walking Dead' Gene Page/AMC

Us: Michonne, Rick and their crew have been battling the group led by Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Is he their toughest adversary yet?

DG: We’ll have to see. As we know him, he’s a boogeyman, as Daryl (costar Norman Reedus) said, who’s domineering and being a big bully. He’s bullying those he finds less able. And we don’t see ourselves as weaker or less able.

Us: Are you recognized much when you’re out in public?

DG: More than I would expect. My assumption is I’m not going to be recognized. But when I am, I’m like, "Dang, you know who I am?" I always think I look so different.

Danai Gurira
Gurira Rob Kim/Getty Images

Us: Do you have any funny stories about encounters with fans?

DG: TSA agents always ask me where the sword is when I’m [at an airport]. Like they’d let me through with that!

Us: Have your costars seen Eclipsed, the Broadway play you wrote?

DG: A lot of people came. Andy, Lauren Cohan, Tovah [Feldshuh], Lennie James. It’s a very supportive family!

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