LAUREN COHAN

The once và future Maggie Rhee speaks with The Hollywood Reporter about her action-packed comeback: "It gives me chills."


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The Walking Dead, “A Certain Doom.”>

To paraphrase another iconic horror franchise: “She’s back!”

More than a full season after her original departure, The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan is back in the thick of the zombie apocalypse. Following her season nine exit from the series for a lead role on ABC’s short-lived Whiskey Cavalier, Cohan’s eventual return as Maggie Rhee was announced right before the season 10 premiere in October 2019. It took some time, but the comeback is now officially underway: Maggie’s back, và not a moment too soon, both for the survivors she’s come back khổng lồ save, & for Cohan herself.

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“I knew she was going to lớn come back, we just didn’t know exactly when,” Cohan tells The Hollywood Reporter about returning as Maggie in Sunday’s “A Certain Doom,” the (sort of) season 10 finale. “I mentally always had her in a quadrant of my brain và soul. and I just kept this conversation alive and flexible. And this is the way that we were able to do it và it has obviously, we now have room to tell this giant story in these 30 episodes next year.”

In “A Certain Doom,” Maggie receives a letter from Carol (Melissa McBride) urging her lớn come back and help her old community. She comes back just in time to save her fellow Alexandrians, Hilltoppers & others in the safe-zone from the imminent threat of the Whisperers. Now that she’s back, she’s going lớn have to lớn contend with some of the old ghosts she tried lớn leave behind in the first place.

“I think her relationships with everybody at trang chủ is extremely complicated, as I’m sure people can imagine,” says Cohan. “There was the difficulty of trying lớn remain there và carry on with your life with Negan being, even if he was in prison, he was there và alive. And it was so much khổng lồ contend with. But these letters from Carol ultimately have lớn override any reasons that she may have had for leaving. And there were positive reasons too; it wasn’t just about removing herself from the place where Negan was. It was also going lớn explore, & going khổng lồ keep the fire and hope alive for herself. Going to witness the ingenuity of things that people like Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) did and could teach her, & that she could bring back lớn the group. & then just an exploration for herself.”


“If we think about it,” she continues, “and I’ve been able to lately, everything that happened lớn Maggie happened in really quick succession: the losses of her family, friends, Hershel, Beth và Glenn. It’s almost lượt thích a belated processing of that whole thing. & to go off on this, I don’t even know what we would gọi it… not even a journey, there’s this word that’s missing my mind, that’s escaping me right now. But to lớn go off on this time and figure out what the next steps were, because I think that’s one thing that really felt paramount to lớn her character for me lately, making the effort khổng lồ keep the hope alive. We need to lớn continue lớn inspire ourselves and we need to continue to lớn move in a direction that is, first of all, that’s just at least moving. & secondly, to lớn just continue to lớn gain perspective.”

In the spirit of perspective, there’s a moment in “A Certain Doom” that drives the passage of time home: the scene in which Maggie & Judith (Cailey Fleming) reunite after so many years removed from one another. Obviously, much has changed for Maggie, but Judith is now a full-fledged character — a far cry from the baby Maggie rescued all the way back in season three.

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“It’s such a marker of time,” says Cohan. “It’s crazy because we see the other characters, the adult characters, và you can sort of tell their hair is longer and maybe everybody looks a little bit more weathered. We tell the story of time passing, but then it really does hit you lượt thích a ton of bricks when you see the children grown up và how they cope in a world… Not even how they cope, but how they just take this as standard. And then seeing characters like Cailey’s, especially with an actress like Cailey, who’s able to lớn transmit this amazing wisdom… She’s just such a wise soul. & it is one of those things that’s like this bright light in this dark world, khổng lồ see a child lượt thích that who’s just able to lớn offer comfort to people, lớn offer friendship.”

While she’s just now returning to the Walking Dead universe, it comes at the over of the line. There are still 30 episodes left on the clock, but the finish line is within sight — itself a massive marker of time, as the kết thúc of the road is finally in sight after a decade on television, a monumental time in Cohan’s own personal and professional life.

“It gives me chills,” Cohan says about approaching the end of The Walking Dead. “And I think part of the self-preservation of anybody is lớn be like, ‘Well, I don’t need to lớn think about that yet. Let me just compartmentalize this.’ và you can know that you’ll always have these people in your life, but it was interesting because when you said this period of time, that the show has been in existence has been a significant period for a lot of people. For some of our fans, maybe if they’re 30 or 25, that’s a third of their life that the show has been on or that they’ve been watching it, which is pretty phenomenal và a pretty big honor. And for me to reflect now & to say, ‘Oh my gosh. I’ve done this for more time than I’ve done anything else, aside from just breathe or know my family or whatever.’ It will definitely not come into full focus, I don’t think anything does until you’ve gone through it and had some time. & we have a long way to go & we’re really excited khổng lồ give it everything.


“Knowing the end date, I think is really a gift,” she adds. “It’s a gift for the writers and it’s a gift for us lớn really cherish every single moment & to pour the literal blood, sweat, and tears into the show like there’s no tomorrow because we are going to be getting some killer stuff to lớn do. I know it because we have these six episodes now lớn do. I might have said this before about other things, but these are the best episodes that I’ve ever read.”