The following story contains massive spoilers from Sunday’s
leading man Andrew Lincoln literally screamed when he found out the show was finally pulling the trigger on a Rick-Michonne romance. Although Lincoln says co-star Danai Gurira “had an inkling” producers were heading in an intimate direction with the characters, the actor maintains that he “had
Below, Lincoln opens up about how he first learned that love would blossom between the “two warriors,” reveals what he and Gurira did to prepare for Sunday’s big love scene and teases the obstacles that threaten to stand in the way of their “burgeoning, beautiful romance.”
Walking Dead: EP Scott M. Gimple Reveals Why He Finally Went There With Rick and Michonne
TVLINE | When and how did you find out that this was happening?
Danai had been acting weird in the makeup trailer a few days before [the episode started shooting]. The midseason premiere was quite busy for me, so I hadn’t had a chance to read the script for [Episode 10] yet. She was just acting weird and bashful and kind of shy [around me]. And I was like, “What is
to me?” And she said, “Have you read it yet?” And I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “Have you read [Episode 10]?” And at that point I had only read through Act 3, so I said, “Yes, it’s great. The episode is tonally very different. It’s funny and light.” And she said, “No, have you gotten to the
.” And I said, “No.” And then, of course, I [went back and] read it and I just
?! Why didn’t you tell me!” And she said, “I couldn’t! I was freaking out!”
TVLINE | Once the shock wore off, how did you feel about their coupling from a creative standpoint?
It was amazing. Certainly, people have been waiting for so long for this to happen. When we [shot it] we wanted it to have a feeling like these two great friends just looked at each other and realized, “
” It was just natural… And Michonne has been a mother figure and best friend to Carl for so long. And she saved Rick’s life and Carl’s life on countless occasions. There’s something rather moving about these two warriors getting together.
TVLINE | How did you and Danai prepare for the scene? You’ve worked together for years, but never on this intimate a level.
You kind of hold hands, walk to the edge of the cliff and jump — and continue holding hands. It’s that thing where you just trust someone. I’ve been working alongside the brilliant, bright and superbly talented Danai Gurira for three-and-a-half years now. I’ve admired and respected her as a workmate. Also, it
part of the job description. It’s there in the small print, Michael. [
] This is what we’re paid to do. Fortunately, I got such an amazing and beautiful leading lady… But it
My only reticence is that I hope people realize there was a six-week-to-two-month time jump [since last week’s episode]. When I read it, it jarred me a little bit coming on the back of [Jessie’s death]. But Jessie was vastly important in opening up a side of Rick that was shut down since Lori’s death. And this is an evolution of that. Jessie was a valuable [part] of him exploring that side of himself.
TVLINE | You mentioned that it’s in the job description, but romance and happiness rarely come into play on
. Was it refreshing to be able to play those beats on such a dark, violent show?
Yes. It was. And all the stuff with [Rick and Daryl] in this episode was a
. We had such fun. It was just a completely different energy on set. The crew was quite amused by it, as well. But it felt natural. And I think [showrunner] Scott [Gimple]’s intention was to give people a glimpse into a potential civilization. What
be. What are we fighting for if you can’t fall in love? If you can’t have humor and laughter again? That’s hopefully what this episode was about. These are whole people who can laugh and can live again… Also,
To be fully committed as a fan to this show is, sometimes, a matter of endurance. And I commend you all. [
] It’s an amazing commitment. Because you do suffer alongside the characters. If you love a character that gets killed, it’s
TVLINE | That morning-after overhead shot of Rick and Michonne laying in bed was very artful. How much discussion was there about the placement of your hands and legs?
Honestly, we could’ve written a thesis about the placement. [
] There was a lot of conversation about how much body contact there should be. And how intimate it should be. I’m really thrilled that it came through. We wanted it to feel like this was the first time, that they were in love and that they were equals in all areas. And we wanted it to feel natural, beautiful and grownup.
TVLINE | What can you say about where their relationship goes from here? Do they panic and pull back? Do they go full-steam ahead?
The story moves very fast from here. [
] Unfortunately, like with most moments in the show, things get in the way of a burgeoning, beautiful romance. But where there’s life, there’s hope. It was a lovely respite, but we
get back to more of a normal show in the next six episodes. We meet a lot more people, and the world opens up in beautiful, brilliant, but also quite terrifying way. So, hold that thought. I don’t think the romance is going anywhere. I think that they love each other. But you may have to wait a little while before the next moment of intimacy.
YASSSSSS….RICHONNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY. Overall great episode.
Omg I love Andrew Lincoln and the entire scene was so sweet how they were looking at each other and the ending was so good. Loved this episode
Yes it was so very sweet with a natural, mutual respect for one another. Michonne is part of his family. It fits. Well Done TWD!
Cannot believe that just happened! What is wrong with yal. You just lost some fans that have been with the show since the beginning. We’re done so you go right ahead and keep muddy up the water if thats what you think the PEOPLE want. Dumb… move…thanks for ruining it for us.
Eeesh not even going to try to guess what you mean by this….
Yes, I would like to know what you mean by this….muddying waters? But you had no problem with Rick and Jessie right?
By “us” you mean the very tiny portion of viewers who are too closed minded to accept the concept of an interracial romance? It’s a shame that such a thing can have such a negative impact on you, but to each their own.
What the hell you talking about interracial? It’s wrong because Rick and Michonne are like brother and sister, there was absolutely NO romantic chemistry between them, just respect and friendship, except in the “closed minded” who keep cheering for couples like teen age girls!
A person complaining about an interracial relationship using the phrase “muddy up the waters” isn’t doing it on the grounds of chemistry or plot.
Right. Especially since when it was “Jessie” it didn’t “muddy up the waters.” They love each other. And Michonne was already living with Rick and his kids. She is practically Carl’s mother, so what is the problem. It was natural and wonderful. Made perfect sense. Yeah Richonne!!!!!!!
Hold the phone, so are you saying the way Rick looked at Michonne in ‘When the Dead Come Knocking’ ‘Clear’ ‘Welcome to the Tombs’ ‘Claimed’ ‘What’s Happened and What’s Going On’ ‘The Distance’ ‘Claimed’ ‘Conquer’ and ‘Heads Up’….That’s how you look at your sister? That’s just wrong man….
So if someone doesn’t like the same forced ship as you the only possible reason is cause they’re against interracial romance? What IS a shame is that people like you reach out to make use of the fact that they’re from different races as an argument against those who don’t support the same ship as you. People like you are what keep racism alive. There was absolutely no chemical romance between Rick and michonne. It’s just very forced. They had the most brother and sister relationship ever. Now, if we were to talk about Abraham and Sasha, now THOSE two were starting to have something. I’m sorry but this is going to disappoint a very BIG portion of the fan base, especially those who have been since the very beginning.
All the series they’ve been watching each other’s back, being the most badass friends without a single romantic hint, then suddenly in a single episode michonne is living and banging with rick. Slightly forced. It would’ve been much better to see them develop a romantic relationship.
Right. This is literally exactly how it happened in the comics with Andrea. She said something like “Might as well” and the next scene Carl called her mom.
There was absolutely no chemistry between Jesse and Rick. None. And Michonne and Rick had this tenderness of love and respect between them. It was wonderful.
LOL, Can you give me the lotto numbers for next week???
I agree. This is what the true fans have been waiting for.
Now now, let’s not start with the “true fan” comments. Just because some people don’t like the pairing does not mean they are not passionate about the show. People have different likes and dislikes, can we deal with that without the labeling?!?!?!
STFU ignorant a$$ racist — get with the times — it is the apocalypse, idiot!
If you’re a fan from the beginning, you should have seen this coming. You weren’t very good at English literature were you? RICHONNE! RICHONNE! goodbye one fan, the other 14mil will let you know how it works out.
I totally agree. They have no chemistry I hope they find that out. First they make Rick and Daryl dumb enough to lose the van and now this? No need to keep watching if stories continue like this.
My guess is that the OP is referring to the comic books as Michonne and Rick don’t get together in the comic books. So far this season has been pretty faithful to the comic books and this is a pretty big departure, although I think it really works for the TV show at least. Funny how people automatically assumed the term ‘muddying the waters’ had racist intonations. I think that says as much about the individual commenting as the post they were responding to.
Aww Danai’s reaction…acting all shy & bashful is just so cute.
Yes, I gushed over that reenactment from Andrew! Same way I felt, I guess. Seems like the actors have usually been pretty clear about them not thinking things are headed that direction, though I don’t read EVERY TWD interview or article. I liked that he still adamantly said he didn’t see it coming, but she was starting to wonder. Gaww!
I’m confused and bothered by Richonne. Can they both just stay single? >_>
Idk, I loved them more as friends than lovers. This just goes into a story where they try to make a family and it never works out on TWD. As a couple it risks her life. Rick’s love interests always die. Did anyone think of that?
The way they came together was so real and organic, I LOVED it. They’ve been a family for a long time, and the entire scene was very sweet. I’m glad we have some hope during the apocalypse!
I don’t think the show tries to create “relationships” with people in that way. Realistically there is no time! I think Michonne and Rick had a real life type of reaction to the connection they have shared for years. Michonne has had Rick’s back for a LONG while. In the real world, what man would constantly overlook that?
Rick has horrible time keeping his women alive. Now I’m worried about Michonne, LOL!!
No need… Michonne doesn’t need Rick to keep her alive. She just saved him in the previous episode. Unlike Jesse and Lori, she can and will take care of herself if she needs to.
Hahaha, I knew somebody would reply saying this. I know she is fully capable of taking care of herself. That’s not what I was getting at.
Michonne is taking over comic book Andrea, and the power couple romance with Rick is part of it. Anyone that has a problem with it obviously has never read the comics and seen it done OR they have another “issue” with it (we know what that is)
Accusations of racism are even more forced than this horrendous plot twist. They should’ve at least taken a couple of episodes to start and build up a relationship between the two, one that is ROMANTIC.
Of course the ” I like them better as friends” comments will run rampant.
What’s the problem with that?? Everyone gets to have an opinion.
No way! Like BOTH characters, but this was a HORRIBLE move. Talk about getting soft. Ruined the show for us. And the episode was “GREAT”? What were YOU watching??
I’m worried that now that they’ve gotten together Michonne is going to die by the end of the season.
I have no idea what you’re talking about. So some people like them better as friends, that’s okay, doesn’t bother me.
Omg. I can’t believe Rick and Michonne are actually (finally) together. Now I know that all of those small moments I noticed actually were leading up to something and weren’t by accident.
Absolutely disgusting. I changed the channel at the end so I didn’t vomit.
Not sure how to feel about this. I love them both (mostly Michonne lol) but I was never wanting them to be together. It was beautifully done so I think I’m more open to it! It just makes me nervous knowing that Negan is coming and anyone close to Rick is at risk because of that…
It was a gorgeous moment and both actors did a wonderful job bringing this new aspect into their relationship. I think they did an excellent job in showing that this was the moment when they realized their feelings for one another went beyond friendship. As someone who loves the friends-to-lovers trope, I was very happy about this development.
Interesting comments, many from people who missed all the leading up to this and subtext. The only way this was out of the blue is if you overlooked a lot. And even having missed all that, the scene of domesticity at the beginning made clear they were a family and a couple in all way except one.
I was just disappointed that we didn’t get to catch up with everyone in this episode. We didn’t get to see alot of key people in this one. I am curious how this Jesus guy is gonna play into all of this.I don’t read the comics as I’m sure you can tell..I feel they wasted a lot of episodes in first half of this season . So hoping that isn’t going to happen in the second half. This episode was good but nowhere near as good as last weeks. I personally like the Rick and Michonne romance they have had a close bond for a long time and she is very close to carl as well.
Have you thought it could be a one off thing before they started kissing they said they wanted to shut there mind off and doing a rumpy bumpy might be want helps them or they were just really horny lmao it can happen two friends turn to each other and find comft in each other maybe something more happen maybe not who knows will have to walk next week to find out
Most awkward moment in TWD series. Rick and Michonne, just 0 chemistry. This is just a shock factor by the writers trying to throw us off from the comic. It is a well known fact that warriors at arms do not become mushy with each other.
Hell, I kinda thought it would have been Daryl there for a minute. Lol. All the hater keep hating. Rick has been into her for a long time. ITS HOT!!! Got my blood pumping.
Great episode. Loved the end scene after the sex. Them laying in bed. Rick has his gun next to him , and Michonne has her sword nearby. In love, but never really off the clock. Awesome low key and fun episode after the bloodbath last week.
Richonne has been building up for seasons. Sorry that some of you are apparently blind or willingly chose to ignore it. The creator, both the actors, producers etc have explained how it was building it up and even Andrew (who literally plays Rick grimes) wanted it to happen so your “they should just be friends” opinions are irrelevant. Also there’s a very large richonne following so good riddance to those ignorant few who will no longer watch because for some “reason” it’s not bearable to watch Richonne on screen.
Finally! I’ve been waiting on Richonne since season three…..so happy!
The ending felt forced just like most of the show the past few seasons. They drag certain storylines out and then fast forward others.
Great interview with Andrew. The scene where Rick and Michonne look at each other at the end was great. Glad they finally kissed. Glad to find out there was a time jump after last episode.
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