The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green Previews The Winter Premiere

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

It’s been a long three month hiatus but this Sunday, The Walking Dead is finally back on our television screens. We know don’t know about you all, but our Sunday night’s just haven’t the same without those zombies and we couldn’t be happier to have them back in our lives.

The fall finale ended with the walkers invading Alexandria and we were introduced Negan’s men. As comic book fans know, Negan is a huge villain, so his introduction is sure to stir up a lot of drama. Leading up to the premiere The TV Junkies spoke exclusively with Sonequa Martin-Green who plays Sasha Williams, who promised us “As wild of a ride as that first half [of the season] was, the second half is even more so. Just hold on because it’s as intense as it can get.”

Read on to see what else she has to say about the rest of the season as well as what it’s like filming and being a part of this complex show.

The TV Junkies: I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at my TV as much as I do while I’m watching The Walking Dead. Do you guys have the same reaction when you get the scripts or are you kind of used to it now?

Sonequa Martin-Green: Oh gosh no, I don’t think that I ever get used to it. I was a fan of the show before doing the show and I was the same way. Now when I get the script I’m clutching the paper and grabbing the couch. I feel like I have become an audience member again and then I get to the end and I’m like ‘ugh, what happens now?’ I don’t get the next script for another two weeks.

TTVJ: Obviously no one is safe when it comes to survival on this show. Do you know ahead of time who is going to die or is it a nerve wracking experience to open up your new scripts?

SM-G: I am so happy to say that that is not actually the case. We don’t go through scripts and try to rush to the end to see if we survived. I’m very grateful for that. We actually do find out ahead of time, which we appreciate. We all find out as a family a little bit ahead of time so we can all prepare.

TTVJ: What is it like filming the scenes with all of the zombie extras in them? Some of those scenes have dozens, if not hundreds, of extras in them.

SM-G: Those are really surreal to shoot. Usually we are dealing with a dozen or so and that’s pretty normal, but there was the one time when we were shooting Episode 3 or 5 and there were over 300 extras. And it was insane. Just the affect that it has on you seeing that many people, that many walkers. Just seeing it in front of your face, this gigantic hoard, it really takes it into reality rather that just solely in your imagination. It’s really something to see.

Gene Page/AMC
Gene Page/AMC

TTVJ: With the exception of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) it seems like any time two characters seem to get close romantically one of them dies. Do you guys get a little nervous when you see a romantic storyline starting to develop?

SM-G: [laughs] You know I don’t think at this point that any of us get nervous about anything. I think we all know the nature of the show. We all know it’s a moment to moment story. It’s very unpredictable and no one is safe. That’s the world that we live in, and that’s the story that we tell and we have grown accustomed to it and we have also grown to appreciate it. It helps you stay in the moment and live that moment to its fullest. So yeah, I think that’s how we approach anything that might come along in the script. We take it as it comes.

TTVJ: Sasha and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) seem to be getting close in the last few episodes. Is there a chance of it becoming something a little more serious between the two of them or are they just going to continue on as friends?

SM-G: Oh man, well those are the possibilities. I actually really love what’s happening so far. I think it’s a really compelling storyline. I think that these people have parallel issues and parallel strengths so I think anything could happen and we’re just going to have to see because there are a million possibilities.


TTVJ: In Sasha’s final scene in the fall we saw her, Abraham and Daryl (Norman Reedus) meet up with Negan’s men on the road. How much of a role is Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) going to play in this second half of the season?

SM-G: Nh man, Negan, Negan, Negan. Negan is huge, he’s huge. He’s the biggest villain of the comics and he packs a lot of heat. He comes in a storm, in a fury and the affect that he has on the world or on us, it’s huge. I’m excited to see how people react to him coming off of the comic book pages onto the show.

TTVJ: Well I know everyone was really excited about the casting, so I suspect anything with him is going to cause a huge fan reaction.

SM-G: Absolutely. Jeffery Dean Morgan is great and a lot of us are fans of his work and so yes, we are very happy with him joining the show. I do think it’s important for everyone to remember that the show has its own identity. A lot of people who read the comics think that they know exactly what’s going to happen but one of the great things about the show is that things change. Things are altered, the show has its own ways and its own path, so I think its just going to be the best entertainment ever. It’s going to be so wrenching in so many ways this back half of the season.

TTVJ: What other challenges are we going to see the people of Alexandria face this season, if they even remain at Alexandria?

SM-G: Well that’s the question isn’t it? That’s the big challenge. Are our people going to be staying at Alexandria? It seems that sanctuaries fall in this world or it seems that sanctuaries were never really sanctuaries in the first place. But I think it’s time to fight or fall and that’s the biggest challenge. What are we doing here and what can we do? Can we save this place or do we have to go? Is this place done or is it salvageable? Those are the challenges in the back half of the season.

TTVJ: What else can we look forward to seeing with Sasha this season?

SM-G: Oh yeah, there’s so much to look forward to. I wish I could tell everyone what was going on because this stuff is so good but I can’t. There is a lot to look forward to though. I’m on my journey of restoration and that presents challenges on its own. That is the riskiest way to live in this world honestly is being engaged and I certainly am now after crossing over to the dark side and coming out of that hole. So we will continue on this journey and we will see where it takes us.


Are you happy to see that The Walking Dead is back this week? Are you curious to see what Negan will add to the show? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Hit us up with your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.