How ‘The Walking Dead’ Screwed Over Laurie Holden


Laurie Holden is best known by fans of The Walking Dead for her role as Andrea, and the actress has revealed the unfortunate circumstances behind her departure from the series.

I love The Walking Dead, but I can’t help but think how different the show would be had Frank Darabont never left at the start of Season 2.

As the acclaimed director behind such classics as The MistThe Shawshank Redemption, and The Green Mile, Frank Darabont is basically the reason we have The Walking Dead on TV screens today. As a huge fan of the comics, Darabont was so determined to adapt the graphic novels into a TV series, pitching it to several networks before finally landing a deal at AMC.

When Darabont developed the project, he essentially hand-picked most of the starting cast, including Laurie Holden for Andrea. Recently, at the Walker Stalker Con in New Jersey, Holden dished out several new details about the way she was brought onto the show, as well as how she was written out.

Originally, Holden had signed on for eight years. She was destined to become the total badass her character is in the comic book series, but when Glen Mazzara took over as the showrunner following Darabont’s exit, he proved to have absolutely no idea what to do with Andrea. She was basically written into a corner, making nonsensical decisions which turned fans against her, until she was finally killed off at the end of Season 3 in a last minute decision.

Here’s what Holden said at the event:

"“Well, I had an eight year deal. I was supposed to be there until the end. I was supposed to end up with Rick. I was supposed to save Woodbury on a horse, and I was buying a house in Atlanta.  I got the call at 10 o’ clock the night before, while I was shooting, from the showrunner who is no longer a part of The Walking Dead, saying that they couldn’t write the episode and that he was killing my character. So, we all got the script, [and] everybody on the set was sobbing. I felt like I got shot. None of it was supposed to happen the way it did.”"

It seems as if Holden was an innocent victim of Mazzara’s lack of creativity. His lack of planning and foresight for future episodes resulted in many production delays, on top of the writing inconsistencies in the storylines and with the characters. While Holden begged producers to reunite her character with the group at the prison, Mazzara took the easy way out by killing her for the sake of shock value— or possibly just out of spite.

Unfortunately for Holden— but fortunately for the show moving forward— Glen Mazzara’s last episode as the showrunner of The Walking Dead was the Season 3 finale which saw Andrea’s demise.

Scott Gimple has since taken over the direction of the show, and he probably would have been a lot more capable of doing something great with Andrea, as a fan of the source material. But by the time he took over, he was one episode too late to do anything about it.

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A lot of casual fans hated Andrea by the end of Season 3 of The Walking Dead, but that was certainly no fault of Holden’s. She was simply caught in the crossfire of AMC bafflingly choosing to fire one of the world’s most respected filmmakers in favor of a talentless, unproven hack to control the series.

As a result, the fans missed out on a proper adaptation of one of the most iconic characters from the comics.