Gene Page/AMC
Dalton Ross
October 27, 2013 AT 11:00 AM EDT

Michonne showed up last season on The Walking Dead slicing and dicing with her big katana sword. She was a force of nature, but one with a wall built up around her. Emotions were few and far between. But this season we have been introduced to Michonne 2.0. Instead of merely glaring and brooding, Michonne has actually made connections to people in her community — connections which have led to the most shocking development of all of season 4: Michonne smiling!

How does the woman who plays Michonne — Danai Gurira — feel about this evolution?  She stopped by the Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) studios to offer up her take. “I’ve gotten to have such a fascinating arc with her,” said Gurira “In the beginning she was reserved, she was tough, she was impenetrable. But that was intentional. The beauty of episodic television is you can actually start to roll out other aspects and colors and start to get to know her more, and I think that’s really fun to play with.”

But Guria takes offense when other people ask her about Michonne’s “softer side.” “If she was softer, she would be dead! It’s an apocalypse, she’s got to have some toughness! But it is fun to modulate and it’s fun to find the other colors. It has a lot to do with the way she’s connecting to this community. And so it’s really enjoyable to get to explore that.”

Gurira also discussed what led to the tears this past week while holding baby Judith (“There’s something there that is eliciting those emotions, I can concur with that”), her connection with Carl (“She sees this kid and she has compassion for him”) and how she injured her hip flexor while flipping a zombie in last week’s episode. It’s a must listen conversation for any Walking Dead fan and you can hear it in full right here on the InsideTV Podcast.

But that’s not the only Walking Dead interview we have on tap for you. Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, also stopped by to chat about the pros and cons of raising a baby in the zombie apocalypse, and what this virus means for the future of Glenn and Maggie. Cohan also explains how this season is different in pace and tone under new showrunner Scott M. Gimple.

Finally, controversial Survivor contestant Brad Culpepper called in to chat about where it all went wrong for him on the island. Brad may have been on the offensive during the game, but he sounds a wee bit defensive here as he attempts to explain his reasoning for voting out one of his closest allies in the game. It’s a lively chat, to be sure.

Click on the audio player icon below to enjoy the whole thing for yourself. You can also download the entire podcast right here. Or, since we’re on iTunes, you can subscribe for free and take the podcast with you. No iTunes? No problem. To send a question to the InsideTV Podcast team, follow us on Twitter @InsideTVPodcast. And to hear more interviews and television discussion and debate, check out Entertainment Weekly Radio channel 105 on SiriusXM.

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