David Morrissey, Keeley Hawes, Abigail Hardingham and Tcheky Karyo in a scene from The Missing.
David Morrissey, Keeley Hawes, Abigail Hardingham and Tcheky Karyo in a scene from The Missing. BBC

Walking Dead villain takes on new role in The Missing

A STINT as the scarecrow in a junior school adaptation of The Wizard of Oz started David Morrissey's life-long passion for acting.

"I finally got on stage and I thought, I could do this, this has given me something, I've found my thing," Morrissey recalled.

He was just 14 at the time but it sparked a 30-plus-year career in which he has played more than 80 roles across film and TV.

"I get into trouble with this at home but I'm never happier in my life than when I'm on a film set or a rehearsal room or on stage. The most frustrating thing is the periods in my life where I'm not able to do it," he said.

That is a situation Morrissey has avoided for some time. He struck gold as one of the most despised villains in both television and comic books when he became the Governor in The Walking Dead and followed that up with a starring role in sci-fi series Extant.

"I do miss (The Walking Dead) for many reasons," Morrissey said.

"It's great writing and great acting with great performers in it but what you don't see as the general public is how great it is behind the camera. It's a great family down there and I do miss that."

Morrissey will return to the small screen in the second season of The Missing.

 

David Morrissey stars in The Missing.
David Morrissey stars in The Missing. BBC

He assumes the role of Captain Sam Webster, a proud military man based in Germany, who is a husband and father of two children - one of whom disappeared in 2003.

The story begins as daughter Alice reappears in 2014 and the eight-episode season unfolds over two time frames: the time of her reappearance and how it has affected not just the Webster family but the entire community by 2016.

"There's lots of things that have happened in the meantime that we as the audience don't really know what's gone on and we have to play detective ourselves and find out what happened to these characters in the meantime," Morrissey said.

"The truth is when something happens like this, it's devastating for the family but it kills a community."

The effect on community and the surrounding mystery are what drew Morrissey most to the series.

"What I love about it is it's a grown-up drama," Morrissey said.

"You're not being spoon-fed a narrative.

"I've done shows where you're constantly telling the audience what the story is, you're constantly making sure they're getting it and making sure they don't get lost in the plot.

"This is a show that is intelligent (and is) for an audience that wants to play detective."

Morrissey will next appear as the head of a Roman army in Amazon Prime series Britannia, a story that covers the Romans' second invasion of Britain.

The Missing starts on Sunday, airing on BBC First at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW.



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