The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira Is “Absolutely Devastated” By Carl’s Death

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Fans of The Walking Dead are currently preparing themselves for the impending exit of Chandler Riggs from the show in the upcoming midseason premiere. Carl Grimes was revealed to have been bitten by a walker in the final moments of the last episode, meaning that Rick’s young son doesn’t have long left. It’s a big deal, too – one of the most significant deaths the series has ever served up, in fact – as Riggs has been part of TWD since season 1.

It’s no surprise, then, that his loss is hitting his co-stars very hard. While talking to The Huffington Post, Danai Gurira – who plays Rick’s girlfriend and Carl’s surrogate mother figure, Michonne – opened up about her feelings on the storyline. She said that she’s in tune with her character over this as she’s both “absolutely devastated” by Carl’s/Riggs’ exit in front of and behind the camera.

“I got a little depressed for a while. Straight up. You’re in the story. You’re in it, and you’re also in a family. It was hard.Carl and Chandler are a blessing to Michonne and to Danai, you know what I mean? I adore Chandler, and [for] Michonne, Carl is her healer. Everything she and Rick do is to protect Carl, so this is kind of the worst nightmare realized for him to reveal [the bite] at the end of the last episode.

These are very resourceful people who do everything they can. Rick and Michonne don’t really stop easily. What do you do when that’s what you’re facing? So, yeah, I was devastated. Michonne was devastated.”

Gurira isn’t the only TWD cast member to reveal how cut up they are about the loss of their longtime co-star. Norman Reedus AKA Daryl Dixon admitted that he was “desperately unhappy” over Carl’s fate, too, and Rick Grimes himself, Andrew Lincoln, described it as “the hardest” to stomach of all the on-screen deaths he’s witnessed.

While Gurira hasn’t worked alongside Riggs quite as long as Reedus and Lincoln, who’ve also been there since the very beginning, she’s still one of the more senior players left standing on the show. Michonne made her first proper appearance in season 3, after briefly cameoing as a shadowy figure at the end of season 2. Carl and Michonne’s relationship has grown a lot over that time on screen, too, so it’s easy to imagine how close the actress is to Riggs in real life.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 25th, when viewers will finally get a chance to say goodbye to the young Carl Grimes.

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