Q: What are some of the recent projects that youve been working on?
A: Oh, The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead." Its been about nine months that weve been shooting season three. I also did a great episode of Childrens Hospital, which is a completely left-field parody thats on Adult Swim that came out this year. Then, I have a little recurrence on The Vampire Diaries, but my year has been pretty much taken up with the apocalypse. So, its been a good 2012 so far. Interesting season three.
Q: What can you tease us about the upcoming The Walking Dead season and about your character?
A: Were going to see a changed Maggie. Shes still the same girl at heart, but she has risen up to the challenge of becoming a warrior. She sort of joins the men as one of the stronger members of the group to clear the way to a new home and to a new safe-hold for the group to live in. We see them at the end of season two, leaving the farm in a storm as they run from the sea of walkers that are sort of taking over that land and they really are a group that has no place to lay their head. We had a hint of that at the end of season two, which the group ends up finding in season three. We now have a very pregnant Lori and we have Maggie and Glenn who are still intact as a couple (so very, very strong as a couple) sort of taking more of a leadership role. Maggie still is lucky enough that her father and her sister are alive and its just trying to maintain that family security, trying to keep people safe and in the process, learning to wield a lot of weapons and really learning what it takes to survive, not just against the Zombies and in this derelict world, but also against a new human threat, which is the governor and the people Woodbury who wish no good to our group. So, just when you think theyve been through enough and theyve kind of earned the right to rest easy, things only get more difficult.
Q: We love Maggie as a Zombie killing soldier. How has it been filming the fight scenes?
A: The fight scenes have been some of my favorite parts of the show. Were very lucky that we get to do this deep character drama and then turn around the next minute and were in with this full-on action, Braveheart-esque thriller. The little girl inside of me that always sort of loved horror as a kid and sort of put it to one side as I grew up. It has now had a complete return to everything gore related. I was watching the season premiere and its so cool, because I watched and remembered how much I loved sort of screaming for my life, thrusting blades through the skull of a Zombie and beating up our stuntmen. Its definitely my favorite part of the job. You hone your own war cry and you really feel what youre made of when you do this stuff and its just absolutely awesome. All of us go into doing these scenes and we just feel like kids that are at the best summer camp of our lives. Its really cool. I wish everybody could have this experience.
Q: What has been your hardest scene to shoot this season?
A: My hardest scene is definitely when my family comes under threat and you sort of realize that nothing is safe and that no one is safe. Its very difficult because you become so close with your cast as well as the characters become close with their family members. So you sort of face a few challenges over time. The hardest thing is to say good-bye to people, definitely. Its a great challenge as an actor and a great challenge as a human being.
Q: You filmed in rural Georgia. How do you spend your down-time on set?
A: Down time? Dont get that much of it, but when we do I definitely go to some fun place to go out dancing in Georgia. I love to go to wine bars and just walk around. Georgia has so many beautiful parks and now that its cooling off its really nice to be outside. They also have amazing vintage shops. Im a huge vintage shopper, I absolutely love it. My one thing that I love to do most is decorate houses. Im in a rented house so its sort of difficult for me because Id love to be tearing down walls and painting and stuff like that. So, thats my one hobby I have to reserve until Im back home in England. But yeah, the crew and cast, were all very very tight. We spend a lot of time just sort of hanging out. We go away for the weekend, visited Charleston and different places that are a few hours drive from Atlanta. Its a beautiful place to be.
Q: How will relationships be tested this season?
A: Sometimes theres a challenge and a danger when youre in love with someone and how that can be held against you. Youll get to see some of that this season.
Q: What do you think it is about the show that continues to draw so many viewers?
A: I think that people can see themselves in the situations that these characters are in. Theyre people that have been thrust into this challenge. They havent chosen to be in an apocalypse and when youre faced with death and survival, you do what you need to do and I think it shows what sort of character you really are. I think were all in our heart really, really curious about how wed fare. So thats why I think we as a cast are always trying to keep it and the whole production team are trying to keep it as honest and real as possible to let people sort of hopefully see themselves in this position.
Q: Youre part of the social networking site Twitter. Why is that important for you to connect with fans this way, and were you surprised that you have such a large international fan base?
A: I feel incredibly lucky for The Walking Dead to be released internationally, for myself and for the fans. I know that its such a fun show to connect with people on and its such a cool transformation from the comic to the television show that I know people like to have a forum to sort of talk with us, talk with the creators of the show and talk with each other. Im so grateful to Twitter for that because its the fans that make the show. The show would be nothing without them. I really love them, I love their support. We get nothing but such great ideas and great questions. We pinch ourselves every day for how cool it is to be on that show and how cool it is to make it with all of you guys. We love it, bring it on.
Q: Is there anything about your "The Walking Dead" character that wasnt written that you chose to add yourself to enhance the character?
A: Every day, everything thats written expands tenfold when we bring ourselves and our characters. Youre always coming to evolve, making choices you believe Maggie would make and youre getting to know Maggie through the course of the thing (and me as well). Im getting to know Maggie through the course of filming and making the show. There are things that you are conscious of being and then theres all kind of unconscious things that you bring to the show and that Steven [Yeun] brings to the show and Norman [Reedus], Andy [Lincoln] and Sarah [Wayne Callies]. Its such a pleasure to see these characters become three dimensional. Its what excites the writers and its what excites us. We have this great communication between the production and the writers room and us as actors and its really a fun thing because if theres a great idea that somebody has, everybody wants to sort of talk through this idea and make the show as good as possible. So, sometimes me as Maggie or Lauren will be interacting with the group and Ill say you know, "I dont know that character that well. Id love to have a scene where I really get to know Carol, where Maggie and Carol get to sort of get to know each other and who they were before all the world went to shit." So, its such a symbiotic thing. Were very much in touch with each other about how to make this as interesting as possible, because if were excited about it, that plays on screen and that plays to you guys. That gets everybody thinking, and thats really what keeps us alive. It keeps The Walking Dead live.
Q: Youve teased about a return to "The Vampire Diaries," is there anything you can share further about about Rose with fans?
A: Yes, Ive just done a little return to The Vampire Diaries this year, but Im not sure whats going to happen. If there was something meatier Id definitely go back and say "hello."
Q: You touched on it briefly, but what would you like to say to people who are fans and supporters of you and your work?
A: I think I said before just how grateful I am, but I just really love meeting people. When I meet people at conventions and I meet people in the street who have been fans, definitely a lot of stuff Ive done (my trajectory so far) has been a lot of science-fiction and its what I love. Getting a chance to do that with Chuck, showed a little bit more comedic and I'm engaged with The Walking Dead, which has been a very fun. It just been fun. I definitely feel this immense gratitude. The amount of people I meet that are like, "Youre just so cool! You go from one of my favorite shows to the next of my favorite shows!" I just think, I grew up watching "Star Trek" and I love story and I love heightened reality and fantastic realism. Its one of my favorite things to do. So, Im really glad to meet everybody there and Im really glad to be so lucky to do such great shows. That theyre watched by people, and that so many people are fans of them as much as I am, I just hope to keep doing challenging stuff, do some good movies and do some things.
Interview by: Lisa Steinberg
Photo by: Simon Perry (Lazy Sunday Magazine) - edited