The Governor has worked hard to establish himself as the caring leader of small town Woodbury in The Walking Dead’s zombie apocalypse environment, but what influenced David Morrissey in his portrayal of the new character?
We get the idea that the Governor isn’t just in post-apocalyptic politics to help the people, he’s also in it to make a name for himself and gain as much power as possible. David Morrissey shares with Access Hollywood that he turned to past times of crisis for inspiration for the Governor’s character.
“I think one of the things that the show explores is the idea of human nature in crisis. One of the things I’ve been reading a lot of is about how the Black Death in the 1300s affected Europe and how people sort of ghettoized themselves, how that spread fear and blame, but also, how that was seen by some people as a cathartic thing, a new thing, the world starting again.”
In terms of finding a terrible epidemic that wiped out a good chunk of the population, Morrissey researched the most tragic. We also see these things happening on The Walking Dead – the fear, the blame, the mistrust – as well as trying to start the world again in a way that makes sense.
Morrissey also adds, “So I think The Walking Dead has always explored big themes.”
He even cites a specific book as his source of inspiration, and he urges fans (and all people, for that matter), to read it.
“There’s a great book called The Black Death and the Transformation of the West, which I would urge anybody to read and that’s all about how, every aspect to society in Europe changed during that time – it’s religion, it’s education and it’s industry – all those things.”
We’re not sure that sounds like a gripping page-turner, but it would be interesting to see how Morrissey is getting his influences for the Governor. Of course there are the graphic novels and the two prose novels by creator Robert Kirkman, but we like that Morrissey is branching out beyond the original source material.