‘Walking Dead’: Glen Mazzara promises ‘hard-hitting’ action

Oct. 10, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
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David Morrissey as the Governor in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Andrea (Laurie Holden) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride), Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), T-Dog (Robert "IronE" Singleton), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), T-Dog (Robert "IronE" Singleton), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) and Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), T-Dog (Robert "IronE" Singleton), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), T-Dog (Robert "IronE" Singleton), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Glenn (Steven Yeun) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), T-Dog (Robert "IronE" Singleton), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Melissa Suzanne McBride as Carol in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Emily Kinney as Beth Greene in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Chandler Riggs stars as Carl Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Sarah Wayne Callies stars as Lori Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln stars as Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

If fans of “The Walking Dead” had one complaint last season, it was pacing. Rick Grimes and his band of post-apocalyptic survivors camped at Hershel’s farm for a long stretch of episodes as they desperately searched for young Sophia (a quest that, of course, came to a heartbreaking conclusion once Shane insisted on breaking into that barn). But on the Georgia set of AMC’s hit zombie series earlier this year, show runner Glen Mazzara defended the creative decisions that kept the action steadily, if deliberately, moving forward, even as he promised an action-packed return to form when the show’s third season kicks off Sunday.

“It was a matter of pacing, like any show, it takes a while to find it — I think we did,” Mazzara said between takes. “Moving on, we know what the show is. We know what’s exciting about the show, we know that it needs to be suspenseful. It needs to be character-driven. It needs to be frightening. It’s a tall order to do every week, but I think we’ve cracked it. I would say our season opener just hits the ground running and it doesn’t let up. Any issues that people had at the beginning of last year? Long gone.”

The world of “The Walking Dead” promises to become more expansive this year, with Rick and the others setting their sights on a prison fortress as a new home base, while Andrea (Laurie Holden) and her traveling companion Michonne (Danai Gurira) stumble upon the seemingly idyllic town of Woodbury. Mazzara said he and the show’s writing team were excited to finally arrive at this juncture in the narrative of Robert Kirkman’s comic book, though he did point out that they plan to do things a little differently. At this point in the life of the show, absolute fealty to Kirkman’s text isn’t necessarily the top priority. (For a detailed look at the first episode of Season 3, check out the photo gallery above.)

“It’s incredibly exciting to get to the heart of Robert Kirkman’s comic book,” Mazzara said. “I think when fans talk about what they love about ‘The Walking Dead,’ they talk about the Governor, Michonne, the prison. We finally have that story line, we’re excited to explore it, to do our take on it, to let it play out. I think it opens up the show, it opens up the world.”

The Governor, in particular, is written to be a more complicated and complex character than the evil-with-a-capital-E villain from the comic book, Mazzara said, praising English actor David Morrissey for his interpretation of Woodbury’s fearsome ruler.

“The Governor in the show is different from the Governor in the comic book,” Mazzara said. “He’s more layered. He’s more textured, there’s a duality to the character. He’s not as arch a villain as he is in the comic book, although he’s still clearly a villain. He’s still an interesting, dynamic character. He’s fun to watch and David’s just been crushing it. He’s been doing a great job. We couldn’t be more excited that he’s doing it, he’s nailed it from Day 1. We’re lucky to have him.”

As for which members of “The Walking Dead” cast might not survive their encounters with the Governor, Mazzara declined to say. But he was quick to once again emphasize the fast-paced nature of the upcoming episodes, which pick up some time after the conclusion of Season 2 and see the core ensemble effectively dispatching walkers even as they prepare to encounter a real, and potentially more lethal, human threat.

“The first two episodes are really about finding our group out on the road,” Mazzara said. “They’ve evolved, they’ve become a hard-hitting strike team that is able to take out walkers very efficiently. They’ve learned how to live in this world, how to live on the road. They come across the prison and very quickly they take that prison, they move into that prison, they fight hard to take the prison. Rick and his crew spill a lot of blood to take that prison, that prison is worth protecting, worth fighting for. The prison is safe, it’s relatively hidden, it’s the place that Rick has been looking for.

“At the end of the [Season 2] finale, Rick says, there must be a place where we can be safe, where we can fortify, where we can get past just existing and start having a life,” Mazzara added. “As soon as they find that and they spill blood to take it and keep it and try to rebuild their own little civilization, they’re under threat, not so much from the zombies, from other humans.”

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


4 Responses to ‘Walking Dead’: Glen Mazzara promises ‘hard-hitting’ action

  1. EDY says:

    I HOPE THEY FOLLOW THE COMIC BOOK

  2. dopper0189 says:

    I love this show!!!

  3. Minki says:

    I am hooked on the show and I am 64. You guys have managed to capture the attention of all ages and both male and female fans.. I think this show is going to turn into another Dallas.Right now we are all waiting in anticipation for the February episodes. I love the Michonne character she is beyond tuff and she shows no mercy . I like darryl also but we need to see what direction they are going with the 2 brothers. A big thing for me is wondering how it will all end. Will a cure be found? Aditionally, this show is the cream of the crop. Believe it or not I was a person that detested zombie movies you guys are such masters at your craft that you have me asking for more and more the reason why I hated this type of show is a long time ago there was the George Romero's Night of the Living Dead that scared me speechless too much gore, too scary nothing interesting and even the name Zombie was a turn off. You guys show a human effect. People falling in love, lasting friendships etc not so with Romero's movie but he did pave the way so congrats to him. Thank you for a wsork wsell done keep it up hurry back to thrill us some more.

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