Q&A – Laurie Holden (Andrea)

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Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea on AMC’s The Walking Dead, describes her own shooting skills and attaining a Zen-like calm.

Q: Now that it’s approaching winter, do you miss the summer heat on set?

A: The thing that’s great about our new location is that there are more trees and more of a breeze in the summer. It was not as hot and unbearable as it was last year. So we were dying when we shot it but that’s the intent.

Q: Andrea looks pretty comfortable with a gun. Have you acted with guns before?

A: On The Shield, I played an agent so I used guns a little bit, but I’ve never… had the training I’ve had for The Walking Dead. I got hooked up with a shooting expert and we were going into the backwoods of Georgia on weekends for like two hours at a time. He would put bulls-eyes throughout the woods. They were tiny. When I saw that, I was like, “Come on!” He told me just to try it — and I started nailing all of them! He said he’d never seen anything like it. I guess I have a knack for shooting I didn’t realize I had.

Q: Kind of surprising for someone studying human rights at Columbia.

A; None of it makes sense! It’s very bizarre.

Q: Last season Andrea was an emotional wreck. Have you enjoyed the shift in her character this season?

A: I really love what they’ve done with my character. Last year was awful! All I did as Andrea was cry the whole summer. She was such a sobbing, bereft, suicidal person and now she’s a warrior. I am a tomboy and I love being with the boys and shooting guns and stuff. There was more acting required to be, like, scared of zombies — it’s more natural for me on the show now.


Q: Andrea and Shane get ambushed on a cul-de-sac in Episode 6 this season. Was it fun to get out into the suburbs?

A: I love the dynamics of the scene — we go from being upset about not finding Sophia to the zombies coming. Andrea freaks out and the gun misfires and then she really finds her own strength.

Q: Did you have to practice your killer stare?

A: It’s a Zen-like calm that I work on, a state where you don’t think. Athletes, or golfers for example, they get in this state. It’s organic and it’s instantaneous — there’s no nerves or pressure or over-thinking. That’s Andrea with a gun. And that’s me when I’m swimming.

Q: Interesting comparison. Athletes prep in the off-season. Do actors?

A: Yeah! I had a trainer and I swam a bunch and I did some Pilates. This season, I decided on my apartment just because of the pool. That’s how married I am to water. I love being physical. It’s my favorite thing to see how far I can push things — I feel like I’m stronger now than I was as a teenager — I was doing the butterfly the other day and I never could do it before. I like to push and see how far I can go.

Q: As someone who’s interested in human rights, do you believe in the rights of zombies?

A: I do. The episode this season where Andrea is with Daryl and they see the hanging zombie for example. That was a man who got bit who did not want to turn into a monster, so he hung himself. He had the right to take his own life. This is a guy that didn’t want to hurt other people. So yes, certain zombies have rights.

Click here to read an interview with the actor who plays Andrea’s shooting instructor, Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh).

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