‘The Walking Dead’ Actress Lauren Cohan on Maggie’s Precarious Future

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she says of the Season 6 cliffhanger



WS Journal – Lauren Cohan’s job is in jeopardy.


That might sound odd. Cohan is a star on one of the most popular shows on television, playing Maggie Greene on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The show wrapped up its sixth season, however, with a cliffhanger: The core group of Alexandrians is captured by a new group of enemies. The villain Negan murders one of them. Nobody know who it was, not even Cohan.


The stakes are even higher for Maggie. She is pregnant, and suffering from some kind of severe pain in her abdomen. The last anybody sees of her, she looks like the cause of that pain alone might kill her. For somebody who doesn’t know if their job will exist in a few months, Cohan was in a good mood.


On Thursday, we caught up with Cohan, who was in Manhattan making an appearance at a local Subway restaurant to publicize the launch of its carved-turkey sandwich, as well as on behalf of the charity Good+. The actress, who was born in New Jersey, has been splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York lately, and as part of that she wanted to be involved in a local charity here. Cohan is friends with Jessica Seinfeld, who started the charity, and liked its goals, which aims to offer assistance to impoverished families with young children. Subway had pledged to give away food and gift certificates. Cohan makes it a goal to find a charity to work with wherever she’s living.


“I wanted to find something that felt super-local here and hands-on and immediate,” she said.


Cohan doesn’t have children, but motherhood was a big theme on the show this past season. Childbirth is important anywhere, but it takes on even more importance in the collapsed society portrayed on the show, and for Maggie, it’s an acceptance of that reality, and a determination to rebuild, according to Ms. Cohan. “You need to make life here,” she said. “That’s the core of the show.”


Then we got down to the only question that really matters: Who did Negan kill? She laughed at the question.


“I’d love to tell you,” she said, and trailed off. The reality is she doesn’t know. The actors have yet to see the scripts for season 7, which will start filming this spring. There are some possibilities, of course, and there is the source material from the comics, but the writers don’t always follow what happens in the comics.


“I don’t know what’s going to happen.”


Filming that climactic scene in the woods, where Negan captures and taunts the Alexandrians before beating one with his baseball bat, was “brutal” and “heinous,” Cohan said, but “on some sort of masochistic level it’s one of my favorite experiences in my career, just because we were so connected.” They spent about 16 hours over two nights in the woods filming it, and welcomed the challenge. “It’s kind of a ‘method’ cast,” she said, referring to the acting style, “and sadistically I think we all just wanted to be in it for those two days.”


She watched the finale last Sunday on TV herself, and said it was as emotional for her to watch as for the fans, even though she was in it. Filming it was one thing, but seeing the final, edited product with all the music and violence and sound effects affected even her.


“I watched the episode and got gut-wrenched even though I knew what happened,” she said. “It was pretty crazy, and I think that the fan reaction is definitely testament to the depth of that.”


There’s no getting past the fact that none of the cast members want their character to die, she said, but Maggie has had a long, significant story and character arc. “If her time comes, it won’t be unfulfilled.” Of course, she sees even more things for the mother-to-be in the future. “So I’m hoping it’s an appendicitis.”

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