Category: News

Press: Lauren Cohan opens up about leaving The Walking Dead — and her possible return

 

EW – Andrew Lincoln is not the only huge name leaving The Walking Dead. Lauren Cohan (who plays Maggie) is also departing the AMC hit. And considering the way Cohan has been killing it on screen lately — you could easily make the case that she has been the show’s MVP this season — her loss will be just as deeply felt.

However, Cohan will be returning to TV soon enough on ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier (premiering in 2019). And her time battling zombies may not be over. Depending on Whiskey Cavalier’s future and Cohan’s burgeoning film career (recently starring alongside Mark Wahlberg in Mile 22), the actress may return in some capacity for season 10, especially after being so excited at the new direction of the program under showrunner Angela Kang. (Like others, Cohan has nothing but praise for Kang and the job she’s doing in keeping the show fresh.) We spoke to Cohan about her decision to move on, and the uncertainty as to whether we will ever see Maggie Rhee again on The Walking Dead.

 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with your decision to only come back for a handful of episodes in season 9 and then leave for Whiskey Cavalier. What was at the root of that decision for you?

LAUREN COHAN: So much of it is really simple because eight years is a long time to spend in one character. Eight years is a long time to spend in the emotional mash-up that Maggie’s in and that Lauren is in by virtue of osmosis. I honestly just was looking at this on a multitude of personal levels, and it just made the most sense for me to do this.

I love Maggie and I’ll always love Maggie, and we had a really good time so far. And I do say so far, because the beautiful thing I get to experience right now — which I think is such a cherished thing for me in life — is to live in the not knowing, and to embrace it. And I just feel in life generally a sense of that more than I ever have on a personal level. So naturally that was going to bleed over into that, and just taking the information at hand and making a decision based upon the facts in front of me.

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Press: Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Maggie’s Scene With Negan Will Give You ‘Goosebumps’

This is a few weeks old but I just saw it after I read the last article I posted and thought you guys might want to see it as well.

 

US – It’s revenge time. Ever since The Walking Dead Opens a New Window. ’s Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) took away the one person that Maggie (Lauren Cohan) loved, she’s wanted him dead. When season 8 ended, Rick decided to keep him alive against her request but eventually, she will get the chance to face her nemesis, showrunner Angela Kang told Us Weekly exclusively.

“I was sitting there watching and I got chills from just their work,” Kang told Us at PaleyFest in New York City. “I love the writing, did but also their performances are so incredible and moving and surprising.”

Morgan, 52, echoed her thoughts, adding that he was just thrilled to finally work with Cohan, 36.

“We were very excited to have the opportunity to work together because other than the initial meet with her in clearing on her knees, I never had the chance to do anything with Lauren,” the Supernatural alum told Us. “These two characters, her especially, have been waiting a long time to have a little one-on-one time. And Negan knows it. Negan knows that she’s been looking for him and he’s waiting on her.”

He added: “When they get together, it’s very intense. It’s very emotional. I think the audience is gonna get goosebumps. It’s very heavy.”

Morgan also talked about Negan’s headspace now that he’s been living in solitary confinement for so long.

“He has always been in control and that has been completely stripped from him, from every angle. Also, he’s not able to talk to anyone. He may get up some gusto for a couple of moments with Rick because I think he, unlike anyone else on this show is ever gonna do, gets under Rick’s skin and he will still find a way to push his buttons,” the father of two added. “But when Negan is alone, he’s having a very, very hard time.”

Besides human interaction, there’s also something Negan’s missing: Lucille.

“He misses her a lot. He will verbalize it,” Morgan said. “She’s not just a weapon, it means a lot more than that to him. For him, it’s a crutch for getting through this world and without it, he’s not whole. He’s having a hard, hard time without Lucille.”

The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

Press/Video: Michonne Confronts Maggie in ‘The Walking Dead’ 905 Sneak Peek

 

COMIC BOOK – Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) have a chilling and intense confrontation in an extended sneak peek look at The Walking Dead 905, “What Comes After.”

Maggie has reached Alexandria after having Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the other relays detour Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who is now preoccupied with a fight for his life after sustaining a gruesome injury when attempting to reroute an approaching herd of walkers away from the in-between camp located near the bridge that Rick hopes to see link Alexandria, Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the Sanctuary.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) is all that stands in the way of Maggie enacting her vengeance on the jailed Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) for his murder of Glenn (Steven Yeun), an unforgivable sin his widow believes has gone unavenged.

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Press: How ‘Walking Dead’ Just Set the Stage for Lauren Cohan’s Exit

Showrunner Angela Kang weighs in on a big clue about Maggie’s upcoming departure.

 

 

[This story contains spoilers for season nine, episode two of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “The Bridge.”]

EW -As Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his companions work to build a bridge between communities, AMC’s The Walking Dead itself is busy with some bridge-building of its own: the bridge toward Lauren Cohan’s exit from the series.

Cohan, who has played Maggie Greene Rhee since season two, is poised to walk away from The Walking Dead, at least temporarily, later this season due to her series regular role on ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier. (The ABC role followed what sources say was a salary standoff with AMC gone sour.) Unlike the talk surrounding Andrew Lincoln’s looming exit as Rick, Cohan’s coming departure has been discussed as more open-ended in nature, with hopes for her eventual return.

How will Cohan as Maggie leave The Walking Dead, a world in which there’s rarely a way out beyond death? The second episode of season nine, “The Bridge,” provided the first major clue to that answer.

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Press: The Walking Dead to Bring Back Three Characters for Season 9

VULTURE – During their panel on Saturday at New York Comic Con, showrunner Angela Kang announced that The Walking Dead would be welcoming back three former characters in season nine. Entertainment Weekly reports that Jon Bernthal, Scott Wilson, and Sonequa Martin-Green are slated to appear in the upcoming season, reprising their former roles as Shane, Hershel, and Sasha, respectively. It’s not clear if the characters will be appearing in flashbacks, or as visions, but their appearance will definitely hold a special meaning in what will be Andrew Lincoln’s final season on the show. The announcement became even more poignant, however, as shortly after the panel, news spread that Scott Wilson had died of complications from leukemia. It is believed his appearance was shot earlier this year, over the summer.

Press/Gallery: Lauren Cohan On Life After Zombies — And Why We May Still See Maggie Again


 

Gallery Link:

  • Photoshoots > 2018 > 009

 

BUSTLE – As Maggie on The Walking Dead, Lauren Cohan kicks some serious butt. And just like her character, Cohan has come a long way since those days on the Greene family farm. She currently stars opposite Mark Wahlberg in the action-packed film Mile 22 as the fearless CIA operative Alice, and is also set to play a CIA agent in the spy dramedy Whiskey Cavalier when it comes to ABC in 2019. But despite the fact that her time on The Walking Dead is soon coming to an end (she’ll appear only in the first half of Season 9), Cohan isn’t concerned about what she’ll be doing when she’s no longer killing zombies on AMC. As she explains to Bustle, she’s always been pragmatic when it comes to her career, and she’s excited for what’s ahead.

When the British-American Cohan walks into the Bustle offices on a muggy New York City summer day, she exudes the sincere approachability that charmed Glenn Rhee and audiences alike back in Season 2 of The Walking Dead. She is far removed from the worlds of the zombie apocalypse and black ops missions here, but it’s easy to see why she often plays leaders worthy of following. And her portrayals of female leadership seem particularly significant in the current social climate.

Starting all the way back when she played con artist Bela in Supernatural, Cohan says she has never been limited by expectations people may have about female characters. “I can’t help but not be constricted by the stereotypes,” she says. However, she’s guarded when it comes to speaking on behalf of all women in the entertainment industry, preferring instead to focus on her own experiences. While she notes that she’s “glad that we’re in a time where light is being shown” on gender inequality, she’s personally drawn to roles that she feels accurately portray the human condition in general.

“Take Maggie in The Walking Dead, as well as [Alice] in Mile 22,” Cohan says. “Alice is at the top of her class. She’s able to be in a situation, assess what needs to be done, and either know already or learn how to navigate very, very complex and life-threatening situations. That doesn’t sound like a gender-specific thing to me. That sounds like something a human being has the impetus or desire to do.”

Cohan notes that she’s prone to being “completely over-analytical,” which could explain her cautiousness when it comes to speaking in generalities. This leads her to be extremely thoughtful and measured when it comes to seeing the whole picture. It’s also helped her navigate the waters of being known for a particular character for the last eight seasons while trying to plan for her post-Walking Dead future.

Though Cohan has been giving most of her time and attention to her role as Maggie, she has appeared in other projects during her Walking Dead tenure. She starred in the 2016 horror film The Boy, played Bruce Wayne’s mom in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and portrayed Tupac Shakur’s mentor in the biopic All Eyez On Me alongside fellow Walking Dead star Danai Gurira.

Mile 22 is Cohan’s first major film role since The Boy, and her character Alice may remind Walking Dead fans of Maggie: She’s a competent leader who is struggling to balance the responsibilities of being a mother with what Cohan calls “a potential world crisis of atom-bomb proportions.” And Cohan doesn’t hesitate to draw parallels between her characters.

“The physical pressures of these environments in Walking Dead and in Mile 22 help become a pressure cooker for the emotion of said character. So with Alice in Mile 22, she is at this juncture of maybe wanting to be done with this life because it’s compromising having a normal life and having a relationship with her daughter,” Cohan says. “So she has a great responsibility to that and there’s [an] immense push and pull of career and motherhood. It’s almost impossible for her to leave, to choose one over the other, and it brings people — as I would imagine — to a great breaking point.”
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Press: ‘Walking Dead’ Kicks Off “Decade” Of Expansion Plans

DEADLINE – Looking to go for many more years, The Walking Dead premieres its upcoming ninth season next week in Los Angeles with a full-on Hollywood screening at the Directors Guild of America. However, with a plethora of photographs of the new season dropped today also (see below), it is the Big Apple that the AMC blockbuster intends to take a bite of more immediately.

With the departure of lead Andrew Lincoln and changes behind the camera in the form of new showrunner Angela Kang, TWD will hold panels at both PaleyFest New York and New York Comic Con in early October just before the Season 9 debut. Just like at San Diego Comic-Con, those shindigs will be packed to fire marshal capacity. Even with ratings declines the past couple of years, TWD has still been the top drama on all of TV in the key 18-49 demo for the past six seasons.

As notions of potential spinoffs, more crossovers and other platforms of the show have been long teased by former showrunner and now-Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, AMC CEO Josh Sapan made TWD‘s future slightly more concrete when he told a recent investors’ gathering that the idea is to go for another decade in some form or another. As AMC’s SVP and Co-Head of Corporate Communications noted:

All of which adds to the drama as TWD is aiming for a reset of sorts with its ninth season.

Leading into that and coming just 24 hours before the Season 9 opener on October 7 on AMC, the 8 PM ET NYCC gathering will feature Lincoln plus castmates Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays now seemingly conquered villain Negan on the show based on Robert Kirkman’s comics.

Also in attendance at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, as in past years at the confab, will be EPs Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero, who directed the season opener. EP and COO Gimple will also be onstage at MSG, along moderator Chris Hardwick and new showrunner Kang, who penned the first episode of Season 9.

As always at both NYCC and SDCC, expect a sneak peek or two at the new season.

However, if you are going to be at PaleyFest on October 6, you’ll get much more than a peek. The 3 PM ET TWD panel at 25 West 52nd Street with most if not all of the same participants will serve as the East Coast premiere of the full first episode of Season 9.

As original cast member Lincoln exits, first reported by Deadline back in May and confirmed by the Love Actually actor at SDCC, the post-apocalypse world of TWD is very different at the beginning of Season 9, which picks up a year and bit after the big showdown between Lincoln’s Survivors and allies and Negan’s gang. Along with Lauren Cohan scaling back her participation because of her new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier, the series offered another glimpse into the new reality of things with a series of photographs unveiled today of both of the new episodes and BTS.

 

 

 

Gallery Links:

 

Press: ‘Walking Dead’ Star Lauren Cohan Breaks Down AMC Contract Dispute

 

VARIETY – “Walking Dead” star Lauren Cohan delved into her contract dispute with AMC on SiriuXM’s “Andy Cohen Live” on Wednesday

 

Cohan said her request for a pay increase was a standard business practice which came while she was negotiating a new contract with the show.

 

“It wasn’t actually that I was asking for it, it was that my contract had finished,” Cohan said. “So that’s pretty standard renegotiation.” Cohan went on to say that she is hoping to explore “comedy and happier fare,” like her upcoming ABC spy dramedy “Whiskey Cavalier.”

 

The actress also reassured fans the salary dispute doesn’t mean the end for her “Walking Dead” character, Maggie, and she is still focused on working on the show.

 

“My ‘Walking Dead’ story is open, it’s not finished,” Cohan said. “You don’t break up with someone and forget about them and delete them from your life, no, things transition into different places.

 

Cohan is reportedly only going to appear in handful of episodes in “The Walking Dead’s” upcoming ninth season. This comes as series star Andrew Lincoln formally announced that Season 9 will be his last with the show.

 

“This has been the most extraordinary, amazing, and beautiful experience of my career,” Lincoln said at the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel last week. He also said that he would be taking a break from acting to spend more time with his family back in England

Video: Good Morning America!

 

 

Video: Live with Kelly and Ryan

 

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