The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN actress Danai Gurira has revealed that she had to walk away from her blockbuster role on The Walking Dead to concentrate on her writing, as it begins to take more prominence in her career.
The Hollywood actress left the highly popular AMC show this past season, becoming the latest high-profile figure to leave the series. It was largely assumed that Gurira, who had a breakthrough role in Marvel’s Black Panther, had left because of her growing profile in Hollywood. Gurira, who featured in the record-breaking Avengers movies, is set to star in the Black Panther sequel scheduled for release next year.
In addition, the Chipawo product is show-running the upcoming Americanah adaptation from the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and she has also signed a deal to create new content for ABC studios. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gurira revealed how difficult the decision to leave the show had been after eight seasons of success.
“It was incredibly hard to even imagine leaving. I loved that show. I loved the family that I had there, and that I always have. The beauty of coming to work and loving the people you’re around and the work that you’re doing and the things you get to do and call it your job, is like nothing I could have imagined,” she said.
Before fame in Hollywood, Gurira had already made a name for herself as thespian, penning plays that seek to throw light on the experiences of Africans going as far back as the dawn of colonialism. She revealed that she realised that in order to refocus on her writing, she had to relinquish her role on the TV series.
“But there are aspects of my work as a writer, and I needed to allow it to have space. To really let it have its space in my life and in my artistic pursuits as well,” she said.
“It’s always hard to accept that it’s time to allow yourself to go in another direction. And it was incredibly hard to come to that place, but I had to. I had to start articulating it to myself and then to others, and it took a while to do that, because it was my home.”
Rumours are still circulating that Michonne, Gurira’s character on TWD, will make a reappearance in the upcoming trilogy of TWD films continuing Rick Grimes’ story after his mysterious departure in season nine.