"Believe it or not, Danai Gurira sees a strong correlation between her fictional role as Michonne—the samurai-sword-wielding, zombie-dispatching fan favorite she's played for four seasons of AMC's megahit The Walking Dead—and her other life, some would say her "real" one, as an award-winning playwright. On the show, "I work with writers whom I believe to be true storytellers," says the 37-year-old. "And because I'm a writer, I pay very keen attention to their vision. I find that so fueling creatively, because in telling those stories, you use everything you've got. You come away with battle scars. It's gratifying and invigorating."
Proof that she's fighting a winning battle: Following a critically acclaimed run at New York City's Public Theater this fall, Eclipsed, the two-act play Gurira wrote in 2008 about a group of captive women in the second Liberian Civil War, [has been lighting up] Broadway's Golden Theater.
Called a "detailed and painfully moving exploration of the brutality and dehumanization that seem to be endemic to African conflicts" by Charles Isherwood of theNew York Times, the play also packs considerable star power. One of its four leads (all female, all black) is Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, a close friend of Gurira's who, even before debuting in the play at the Public, has championed the script since she understudied in a 2009 staging at Yale Repertory Theatre as an undergrad.Read More: