Fans who can't wait for AMC's The Walking Dead to return this fall can get a taste of Season 3's new villain this summer. British actor David Morrissey will play Dead's twisted Governor, who's expected to lead an attack on Rick's crew after they take refuge in the prison glimpsed at the end of Season 2. But first, David stars in two TV-movies airing on Encore — Thorne: Sleepyhead (June 12) and Thorne: Scaredy Cat (June 13). I chatted up the actor just before he headed to Atlanta to begin his Dead role.
TV Guide Magazine: Besides working with an accent coach, how have you been preparing to play The Governor?
I've got the graphic novels but have only read Robert Kirkman's [prequel] Rise of The Governor, which I thought was brilliant. There was so much in that book that I could [use], like the desire for survival above everything else. I'm finding out what his fears, anxieties and loves are so I can make him my own.
TV Guide Magazine: Have you shot in a prison before?
I did a show in the U.K. called Out of Control, where we worked in an actual juvenile prison. I shadowed an officer, which gave me insight into how we treat prisoners.
TV Guide Magazine: What are you most looking forward to about joining The Walking Dead?
It's the right show at the right time. My family will be joining me in Atlanta. I've known Andrew Lincoln [Rick] from around London; we have mutual friends. And I get to go to Comic-Con.
TV Guide Magazine: Your TV-movie character, Tom Thorne, sounds pretty badass. Almost like Det. Vic Mackey from The Shield.
I loved The Shield. Tom Thorne is a detective inspector who definitely will bend rules. But he really cares about the people he's out to protect and has great empathy for some of the victims. One of the victims in Sleepyhead is a young girl who has been put in a pseudo coma by a serial killer whose intent is to keep girls in vegetative states. Thorne's so desperate to solve the case, he interrogates her in a very violent matter and manages to get a reaction out of her. That's very telling for who this character is. There are eight books, and we're hoping to adapt another next year.
TV Guide Magazine: So Thorne vs. The Governor: Who'd win?
That's a hell of a question. A real rumble in the jungle. Tom would fight to the death, but I wouldn't be a betting man on that. I'd sure like to see it, though!