HorrorNewsNetwork’s Sr. Editor, Christine Caprilozzi, recently caught up with Lauren Cohan from “The Walking Dead” to discuss Season 3, as well as “Maggie’s” transformation from farm girl to zombie killer.
Horror News Network: First off, let’s talk a bit about the change in “Maggie” Last season she was introduced as sort of the “farm girl”/”loyal daughter.” This season she is just an ass-kicking machine. How has that been for you to see the development of this character that you embody?
Lauren Cohan: It actually felt like a natural progression I think because the change of environment. Maggie’s always been a capable person and being on the road like that. It’s been an awesome season just with the cohesion with the great and just being out there off the farm obviously isn’t good. However, it’s made them a much stronger and different group.
Horror News Network: Maggie has taken a bigger role within the group. This season has been a little more intense on a human level. One of the more intense episodes, where Maggie delivers Lori’s baby, was one of the most intense scenes I’ve seen. There were not zombies involved, but the scene where the baby is delivered, and Rick sees Maggie come out with the baby was very emotional. Everyone was on their “A” game acting wise. What was that day like on the set?
Lauren Cohan: It was a really quiet and sad kind of day. As you say, everyone really was on their game and we were extremely focused. There were so many different elements. Even as far as FX and Sarah’s modesty to consider. We have me and Sarah in a private place shooting this intense scene, and then we have a live baby in the scene, There was so much that went into shooting it with all the cameras and the FX, especially with the FX with all that comes with childbirth. It was very serious, especially for the three of us in that scene (Sarah Wayne Callies and Chandler Riggs). I mean those are two of my biggest heroes. I’m very proud to be on such a great acting team.
Horror News Network: As far as Chandler Rigg’s performance as Carl in that moment, as really just a kid, he really did such an outstanding job.
Lauren Cohan: Definitely. That’s not an easy scene for a kid to play out, and I think he did just an amazing job. Especially the scene where he comes out and you see his face of steel and he just walks right by Maggie and the baby.
Horror News Network: Another really intense scene from this season was when the Governor questions Maggie, and threatens to rape her. As a woman, this wouldn’t be anything brutal do to anything “zombie related,” this is a very real crime against another person. How was that to shoot?
Lauren Cohan: I think that’s another really interesting part of this season is bringing those other human elements into it. Those are things that people obviously do worry about if we see the world’s demise. It introduces the danger of other humans and just lawlessness.
To me it makes total sense that scene would be in there . There would be people, like the Governor, seeing it as an opportunity to take total control. The same rules don’t apply in their world. In this world, what makes people powerful is security, money, political games they play. In the “Walking Dead” world it’s all about people playing games and manipulation. Yeah, it was a pretty disturbing scene to shoot because you want to disturb and scare people when they watch it. Outside of that, it was really nonchalant because of how close we all are on the set. David Morrissey is really quite the opposite of that character, he’s just a really, really kind person. It was good though” I had my kimono standing by.
Horror News Network: I think that’s one aspect that differentiates this season from previous seasons. It used to be mostly about surviving “walkers,” where now it’s about surviving other humans. The situations have become dire. One thing that remains is the bond between Maggie Glenn, which is very strong. How do you see that progressing or play out?
Lauren Cohan: I do see them taking more of a leadership role as the show progresses because they do work well together. They have learned a huge lesson from this situation where they were kidnapped and then the captors trying to use them against each other. I think that’s only going to make them stronger and be able to help lead the group. I think we’ve seen everyone on the show go through this mental tribulation, so we see this group that will never be the same. I think there’s no going back from here. Maggie and Glenn are a pretty tough couple in their strength and in their commitment to each other. If we are away to get away from the Governor, I see a bright future for Maggie and Glenn.
Horror News Network: I have to ask about your accent. You have this lovely British accent in real life. How do you conjure up that strong southern accent?
Lauren Cohan: I love the southern accent, it’s my absolute favorite to play. I always wanted to play a Southerner. So, I think this was just waiting in the wings for me. It’s more relaxing. I think you’re a better listener when you have a southern accent. It’s something about the South. I love shooting in Atlanta, living in Atlanta, and that helps.
Horror News Network: The cast is on set all the time in Atlanta, and you’ve played on other TV shows. What sets the cast of “The Walking Dead” apart from your previous experiences?
Lauren Cohan: Anytime you spend a lot of time with people and something is a success it turns out there’s a chemistry that really works. It’s a chemistry with the cast, crew, and producers. We’re just all in synch with each other.
I’ve had other experiences, but as an actor you get to go to exotic places, and then the shoot ends. It’s almost like starting a new school every 3 month. On “The Walking Dead” there’ not pretenses we’ve all been there and seen each other sobbing our guts out, screaming, angry, all the trials and tribulations, and even tripping over our own shoelaces. We genuinely like each other.
Horror News Network: With the nature of a zombie apocalypse, do you ever get nervous opening a new script?
Lauren Cohan: No. We actually DO get forewarned about what’s going to happen. Of course, you don’t want to die, but you know if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen for a good reason. You know it’s going to make for a great story and a great surprise for the audience.
Horror News Network: What can viewers expect on February 10th from the mid-season premiere?
Lauren Cohan: Well, I can’t give any spoilers, but it’s going to be very, very exciting!
Horror News Network: Thanks so much for your time Lauren!
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The Walking Dead Interview with Lauren Cohan