Actress Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about her character’s final moments and the alternate “happy ending” she created for the fans.
Q: What a Season Finale! Did you have any input into Andrea’s final moments?
A: No, but what was written… the actual words that were spoken, felt absolutely perfect. It was organic and true to the character and I am grateful that her intent, what was most important in her heart, was finally spoken and shared.
Q. How do you feel about Andrea’s fate?
A. I will never think of her as a victim… I see her as a casualty of war. Andrea had a tumultuous journey this season, but at the end of the day, in spite of everything, so many positive things came out of it; the people of Woodbury did escape and reach their sanctuary and none of the people at the prison were killed.
Q: Andrea spends her last moments talking about why she didn’t kill the Governor when she had the chance. You’re a human rights activist; can you relate to her dilemma?
A: Absolutely, 100 percent. Listen, do I think it’s sad and a bit depressing that this woman got caught up in a bad situation and ended up losing her life? Yes, it is obviously a tragedy. But I truly believe Andrea’s death was not in vain. She went down fighting for the people. She believed in humanity. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters, really. Sometimes one must fall for the others to rise. And I am glad it was her and not any of the people she loved and cared for.
Q: What do you think about your character’s arc on the show?
A: It’s been such an incredible journey; the fact that this woman who was once suicidal and had no will to live, was able to grow, evolve and emerge not only as a survivor but as a leader? That’s been such an amazing gift for me as an artist. And I feel blessed to have had a three-season run. I am truly proud of this woman’s journey; I love who she became and what she stood for at the end of the world. After losing everyone and everything, she never lost her heart.
Q: What are some artifacts or mementos you have that you’ll hold onto to remember your time on the show?
A: I have been sent the most amazing artwork from people all over the world. The most beautiful lithographs and sculptures — I’ve been so touched by people’s creativity. I would have liked to take my gun, but I don’t think they would have let me on the plane with that!
Q: If you could have given Andrea any advice at the beginning of the season, what would it have been?
A: Andrea should have never allowed Michonne to leave those gates. She should have pressed further, because Michonne was dancing around the issue and not giving her the full story. If Andrea knew that there was any sort of real threat in Woodbury, she would have high-tailed it out of there with her bestie. But what’s done is done. I just wish they had better communication. Andrea loved Michonne with all her heart. It breaks my heart that they were separated.
Q: Andrea has had a handful of on-screen love moments thus far on the show. What’s the secret to getting a love scene out of the writer’s room?
A: Ok, first of all, it’s not necessarily a coup! I find it hilarious that other actors want love scenes. I’m like, “Guys, you have to show up on set in front of all your friends and colleagues, and millions of people are going to watch it.” It’s not exactly an easy day at the office. Listen, David Morrissey is a gentleman and he’s lovely, and I work with the utmost professionals, but it’s a strange thing to be intimate and naked in front of other people. It’s nuts!
Q: How did the on-screen rivalry between Woodbury and the prison play out on set?
A: In the beginning it was very playful and we would put pictures up on the makeup and hair trailer. Norman [Reedus], who is a very good friend of mine, would write notes saying, “You betrayed us, when are you coming back?” They liked to kid me, because they would see pictures of me showered and wearing clean clothes, and they’d be like, “What kind of show are you on, 90210?”
Q: There’s a great picture online of you strangling David Morrissey. Did you ever consider taking him out, so his character couldn’t take yours out?
A: I think that was the real “happy ending.” But since they weren’t going to get that ending, that was my cheeky way of giving it to them. The Governor is well beyond any sort of redemption.