For the first time in their 30 year history, PaleyFest has teamed with Fathom Events to bring the festival’s most popular panels to theaters and I was able to see the “Walking Dead” panel yesterday. It felt very much like being in the theater where the panel was taking place and, since I’m a serious fan of the show, totally worth the $15.
Moderated by “Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick, the panel included “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman, producers Gale Ann Hurd and David Alpert, SFX expert and director Greg Nicotero, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Steven Yuen (Glenn), Scott Wilson (Hershel), and Emily Kinney (Beth). Hardwick started off the night by showing a 20 minute clip package featuring the first 10 minutes of “Clear” and several behind the scenes featurettes. Hardwick asked several probing questions and then moderated a brief Q&A with the audience.
During the panel, we learned:
- Carl is only going to become more of a badass throughout the show. (Pretty sure this revelation means that Carl will make it through to the end!)
- Michonne is going to continue to open up and become closer to the group.
- Andrea is 100% done with The Governor.
- We’re going to see more of Merle’s sensitive/positive side.
- Rick is on his way out of Crazy Town, thanks to his interaction with Morgan and his relationship with Carl.
It was awesome to get to see the cast and show runners interact. Danai Gurira is a gorgeous human being and seeing her on the panel made me realize how polished and well-spoken she is, which we don’t always get to see in her amazing portrayal as Michonne. The panel also made me feel bad for Laurie Holden, who arguably plays the most disliked character on the show. She revealed that people stop her in her everyday life to question Andrea’s motives and she is very protective of her character, whom she feels is extremely misunderstood. It would be hard to play a character that has good intentions but continually makes poor decisions. (Andrew Lincoln touched on this as well, admitting that Rick has made a lot of ill-advised decisions throughout the show.)
You can watch the panel portion of the event on Chris Hardwick’s site Nerdist.com. All of the PaleyFest panels will be available the following day on HuluPlus for subscribers.