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The Walking Dead Preview: Steven Yeun on The Governor's Return, "A Really Beautiful" Season 4

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It’s October, which may mean Halloween to some. But to TV Fanatics, it’s time for a new season of The Walking Dead on AMC.

When we last left our gang of apocalyptic survivors, the Governor (David Morrissey) was conquered (but not killed, remember) and the prison remained the safe haven. But that won't be the case for long.

The fourth season begins with many of the Woodbury citizens living in the jail and life is as normal as it can be... when zombies are trying to infiltrate your home. However, things won’t be calm for long, as a new, deadly virus begins to spread.

Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn on the popular series (and who is pictured below fighting off a zombie), jumped on the phone with me recently to tease the new season under the helm of a new showrunner, the state of the Glenn and Maggie relationship and what the quiet moments on the show mean to him.

Steven Yeun S4 Photo

TVFanatic: As a viewer watching the new season, I found this new season to be more emotional than in the past. Do you feel like I’m right in saying that at least for these two episodes that start the season?

Steven Yeun: You know, I think that’s just the tone that we’re taking. Scott [Gimple, Exec Producer & new showrunner] really has a great way of, I guess, visualizing what the intent for the show is. It’s a show about humanity. It’s overcoming a lot of horrible situations. Because of that, in the previous seasons we told great stories but we also told them in a way that was really hard hitting and dangerous and loud. I think this season is also going to play a lot of those quieter notes, too…I think you need to have those quiet moments because those are real so that you can also bring in the audience. It’s not realistic either. I think Scott is doing a brilliant job.

TVF: We see Rick gardening in the season premiere and I feel like that’s keeping him sane a little bit. What do you think is keeping Glenn sane through all this?

SY: I think Maggie. I think Glenn’s sanity and world are just really dependent on Maggie and his relationship with Maggie. Also, coming into his own as a man [and] really asserting himself and being part of the [group]. I think these are all things that he’s striving towards.

There was that scene where Glenn is terrified, potentially having a child. That’s not a fear out of not wanting that responsibility. It’s a fear out of ‘I don’t want to bring a child into this world.’ I think, for him, he’s very cautious and he values life quite a bit.

TVF: Those differences we’re seeing a little bit with Glenn and Maggie, is that going blow up into something bigger as the season moves on?

SY: Well, I think Glenn and Maggie are sound. I think their relationship is very sound. They just happen to have differing opinions, which is pretty normal. It’s more of a difference in perspective and difference in drive that continues on.

TVF: I assume we’re going to see the Governor at some time this season, but do you think Glenn is still holding onto a lot of those feelings of anger and hatred towards that guy or do you think he’s let go of some of that?

SY: Glenn, I think, is focused more on what they’ve built right now. I think he’s focused on what they’ve built for himself, his family and in that prison. I think the Governor, if he were to rear his head, it would definitely not be a pleasant time for him nor for Glenn.

TVF: Do you think the climate of Atlanta - I know you guys were shooting in the summer – does it actually helps at times with what you’re doing in the show? I mean, it gets hot in Atlanta in the summer!

SY: Absolutely. I mean, the weather, we always say, is a character in itself. It’s pretty bad so for us to look pretty miserable it takes a lot of effort.

TVF: What are you excited for people to see in this new season?

SY: I’m really excited for people to see the expansion of the season. It’s a really beautiful season. It’s heavy in places and it’s light in places. In our prior seasons, they were great, but I thought we did give more of a heavier tone…when you’re hearing a whole season, if you want to equate it to a song or a piano concerto or something like that. I think it’s like having a beautiful note over and over and over and over, I think this season Scott has a way of building the season’s quiet moments and going with the ebb and the flow and I think he’s just done an amazing job.

TVF: This time of year, we’re always just about to jump into the new season. Is it kind of an anxious time for you or are you just still focused on the work?

SY: You know, I’ve got to get better at not paying attention to it. It can be a distraction. Actors are sensitive [laughs]…I look up to Andy (Lincoln) quite a bit. He doesn’t watch. He’s not focused on that.

The Walking Dead Season 4 premieres TONIGHT at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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