What would you do to protect yourself and your family? How far could you push yourself to survive? And if everything and everyone you ever loved were suddenly taken from you, what might your life become? These questions—as well as healthy doses of blood, guts, and gore—are at the forefront of AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead.

“I think the forum [of the zombie genre] allows us to ask questions of humanity and ourselves that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to play out otherwise,” says British actor David Morrissey, who joined the cast of “The Walking Dead” as the menacingly mysterious Governor at the beginning of Season 3. “It’s imposing an imaginary apocalyptic world, and because the landscape is brutal and horrible, putting humans in that place allows us to explore them emotionally. We can push them to the edge, and I think that’s important.”

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