Fans of The Walking Dead know Tovah Feldshuh as the late Deanna Monroe, the original leader of Alexandria. What was great about Deanna was her optimism. She believed that people are basically good, and she had a vision for the future where residents of Alexandria could live peaceful, relatively happy lives. She wanted to rebuild what was lost as a result of the zombie outbreak. Her fatal flaw, though, was that she underestimated the danger posed by the walkers, and by rival communities.
In an interview at this weekend's Walker Stalker Con in Edison, New Jersey, Feldshuh revealed that, in her role as Deanna, she drew largely on a real-world politician, Hillary Clinton.
"I based her Hillary Clinton, because she was my senator," Feldshuh said.
She went on to explain that there were aspects of Deanna that also reminded her of Margaret Thatcher.
Feldshuh had other interesting nuggets to share, as well. She revealed that, had she been a writer for the series, she would not have killed off Deanna quite so soon. Instead, she would have given Deanna enough time to help build mutually beneficial arrangements with other communities.
"I would have used her [Deanna] as the head of state to forge relationships with other communities. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) would have been Colin Powell, and I would have been the president of the United States."
In addition, she suggested that, had Deanna still been alive, the group's encounter with the Saviors would have gone quite differently.
"It would have been a mix of different intelligences. He [Rick] would have been my muscle and I would have been his brain," Feldshuh said.
Feldshuh had an interesting and goodhearted take on Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, joking that, "You're not even in the comic, and they never let you go. That is the fantasy of The Walking Dead."
As for the rest of the cast, she believes that being on The Walking Dead is something of a study in real-life mortality.
"Everyone goes on The Walking Dead to die, and they don't want to face it. And what that brings up is that you don't want to die," she said.
Acting wasn't the only career path Feldshuh pursued. As she explained to the audience, she applied to law school at Harvard, but was waitlisted. As fans of the Walking Dead, we are certainly grateful that she didn't become a lawyer, because she was the perfect person to play Deanna.
Finally, Feldshuh expressed her feelings on the show and its stars being deserving of the Emmy Award.
"The Academy dismisses it…There is no reason on God's Earth that Andy Lincoln and Melissa McBride [who plays Carol Peletier] shouldn't be nominated for an Emmy," she said.
All in all, it was a fun interview that gave us some interesting and thought-provoking insights into the making of one of our favorite shows. Season seven of The Walking Dead is expected to premiere in October.