Danai Gurira is not only the sword-swinging, ass-kicking Michonne on “The Walking Dead” — she’s also a playwright. In an interview with DuJour magazine, the 37-year-old actress talks about her second off-Broadway screenplay “Eclipsed.”
Starring actresses Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh, the play highlights five Liberian wives of a warlord and a Liberian peacemaker during the country’s civil war trying to define their identities among the widespread violence.
Gurira, who was born in America but raised in Zimbabwe, told the magazine that she was fascinated by an image she saw of women in the Liberia Civil War in 2003 and vowed to tell the story on stage one day.
“There were some women rebel fighters who were getting attention in the Western press because no one had ever seen anything like this,” she said. “I was raised in Africa and I had never seen anything like it, women with AK-47s, dressed very hip and looking formidable.”
Gurira her research for the play in Liberia in 2007. With “Eclipsed,” she explores the women’s complex perspectives as they laugh, cry and love throughout the story, Gurira also told DuJour that the issues of violence and limited resources she tackles in the country that still exists today.
“Unfortunately, these are very current issues,” Gurira said. “And it is appalling that they are very current issues. One would think we’d have figured them out by now, but we haven’t and we still live in a world where women are disproportionally victimized, attacked, put into inhumane circumstances and left to feel perpetually unsafe. This is a huge global human rights issue that has not been resolved.”
“Eclipsed” is running at New York’s Public Theater through November 29.
Check out more of her stunning photos from DuJour’s spread below. (Click on any image to enlarge).