In the midst of acting in a zombie apocalypse on The Walking Dead, actress Lauren Cohan has found a fantastic sense of peace.
Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) – The Walking Dead – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC
I got to talk to Lauren Cohan while she was on mini vacation, just a day after her Conan O’Brien interview had aired on TBS. During our interview I had to apologize for my dog barking in the background (the presence of a strange cat outside made her flip) and Cohan assured me it was no big deal, and that she’d just kicked her dog out of the room for farting too much. Well, if I wasn’t already a fan of this American-born, British actress after seeing her on Supernatural, Chuck, The Vampire Dairies and The Walking Dead - I would have been after that. Girlfriend spoke the truth about dog farts, and I respect that in a person.
When talking about the now infamous episode where Maggie delivers Lori’s baby, Cohan’s voice slowed down and had a reflective tone. Several times she paused, giving anything be pre-packaged type answers. I could hear her thinking, and I suspect that in those moments she was thinking back to the days she was shooting that episode in the hot Georgia sun. I wouldn’t romanticize it, except that we’re talking about that episode, and those scenes. You know? You cried. I cried. Everybody cried.
Along with talking about a very creepy haunted house, and hinting at The Walking Dead season 3 spoilers, Cohan surprised me by touching on a new venture on her horizon.
Lauren Cohan Interview
Small Screen Scoop: I want to congratulate you on Conan last night. I thought you did really well. What was that like?
Lauren Cohan: Yea, it was great. It was my first talk show actually, so it was pretty exhilarating. It was calm all day. You stand by that curtain and they give you that 45 second call… and all of a sudden my heart was absolutely in my mouth. I was like, “I’m cool, I’m cool, I’m cool…”
I was so glad Conan helped me up the steps. It was so cute. And I hadn’t realized how tight my skirt was around the knees, so it was like, “wait, I can’t actually take more than three inch steps.”
I loved your hair for that.
Yea, it’s fun to get gussied up.
Before this call a weird truck was pulling into my driveway and I started thinking of what I’d use as a weapon in case this was someone trying to break in. So now I’m wondering if working on the show made you more feel more paranoia or ready to act on aggression in your daily life?
That’s a good question. I feel like I’m actually a little bit more aware, but not necessarily in a bad way. I feel more receptive to things since I’ve been doing the show. It’s such a gift… we shoot so much out in the countryside, which is great for my spirit and my spidey sense. But I definitely have a pretty vivid imagination.
I’m visiting some family… and we had the door open last night and in the distance is this silhouette of a cactus. It looked so amazing, and it wasn’t the cactus that scared me. It was just so surreal to see that in the distance. I went through this whole visual of somebody, like, walking through the door, and sitting down… And I guess I’ve had kinda, ghosts on the brain. I’ve been hanging out with a friend who’s sort’ve obsessed with the occult. I was in L.A., and I feel like there’s a lot of ghost stories and weird stuff there.
It’s a haunted town, for sure.
There’s this house that my friends live next to. It was bought in the 50′s, and when the family found out that there had been a murder there before they bought the house, they literally just left it. And it’s competently untouched. And the Christmas tree with Christmas packages is still underneath. It’s covered in inches of dust and it’s like a completely preserved 1950′s haunted, bona fide un-lived in, preserved house. It’s very creepy.
Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) – The Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
The Walking Dead Season 3 Spoilers below!
The Walking Dead Season 3 – Baby, Boyfriend, Daddy
This question is about the last episode that aired when we had those tragic deaths and the birth. I saw you walking out to the group and I was wondering if it was difficult to be playing up your emotion and also hold that baby securely? Was that a real baby?
Yea, that was a real baby. We actually had some twins on set that have been with us for a couple of baby episodes. But yea… walking out… that whole episode was just gut-wrenching to me. Andy (Andrew Lincoln) was just my rock in there. I’m just walking out as Maggie, trying to tell Rick, knowing there’s no way of telling him. … It was all just a matter of being in the moment.
Do you never worried about being emotional and dropping the baby?(Editor’s Note: Can you tell that holding babies is something that truly scares me? Yea.)
No, cause in that moment my priority is just holding that baby. And this baby is literally like the Messiah. There’s that moment though where I sort of reach for him (Andrew Lincoln) to stop him from going inside and when I watch that back I think you can really tell that I’m trying to keep the baby safe.
That was an incredible scene for all of us. And Andy, in that scene?
I really just connected with him. I just walked out that door and focused on trying to get to him. And of course it was not easy.
Glenn and Maggie are a cute couple. Do you think the key to having a relationship work is having something so big going on – like a zombie apocalypse- that you never focus on the little problems? Or do they still have tiny issues?
That. Is. It. You hit the money. You hit the nail on the head.
There’s problems that you get, that come up in the relationship, but it’s just like you don’t have time for that kind of analysis.
The situation makes everybody better people. The show and the situation is so great for all of us. Your sense of priorities when you do this every day is so great becuase you don’t worry about anything that’s not… that doesn’t pertain to the big questions, I guess. At least not ’til you go home or phone runs out of juice.
The Walking Dead has permeated my own life, it’s made me feel completely… I don’t know. I’m quite cloesr to my own family since I’ve done the show. I’m closer to people. We’re lucky. We’re so damn lucky to make this.
Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) – The Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
This will sound heartless.. but would it be easier for Maggie and the others if Hershel had just given in and died after his leg injury?
No. She definietly questioned that, Maggie did. She wanted to let him go for his own good. But I think the fact that he survived is so encouraging for the group. Because there’s actually a reason to go on. And I think they would be hard pressed not to take things as signs, now. That kind of gives Maggie a real anchor. I think Hershel coming back from impossible odds is just what they needed. And lo’ and behold it doesn’t last very long. We take it where we can get it!
The Walking Dead Season 4 – Suicide or Strength?
Have you read enough of the comics to have things you’ve seen written out that you hope they include for you to do?
Yea, I’ve read through the comics into the prison. I’ve seen not very far beyond there. And I know Maggie becomes quite suicidal at one point. I don’t know necessarily if that storyline will come now, as we’ve seen the suicidal portrayal with Andrea feeling that way and coming back from the brink.
What I actually really think is interesting about Maggie is she has lost a lot but she still has her family and she has gained this really special relationship with Glenn. I like her sort of deepened spirituality from all of this. And I think Maggie only gets stronger as we go on. And I think that’s actually an interesting choice from the comics.
But she couldn’t do it without Glenn. They have… we’ll see, this season, they pull each other back from the edge.
A Musical Future
A few episodes ago, Maggie and Beth sang a song that you and Emily then recorded. Can you talk a little about that?
It was so nice. Emily’s like a real sister to me so singing a song with her was… she’s so sweet and encouraging and amazing. I have always loved singing. I’ve just never really took it seriously until now. I sing and play piano with my boyfriend, and it’s really fun. And so, getting a chance to record that … I think it’s the start of something for me. I think that’s definitely the start of more of that for me. I’m thinking about what I wanna actually do.
It’s very joyful. And I go to church. I’m actually not Christian, but I go to church in Atlanta. It’s the best place in the world for Gospel. I’m definitely doing my tour of the best Gospel in ATL.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
You’ve mentioned in another interview that you grew up loving Star Trek. What other awesomely nerdy things do you love?
Ah, The Famous Five. Do you know The Famous Five? It’s a kids book series. I basically read every single Christopher Pike novel. I was such voracious reader as a kid. I was R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike obsessed . And all those things.. Ouija… That was definitely where it all started for me. There was so many geeky things, they’ll get revealed slowly over the course of my career.
We can’t wait to learn more. And Lauren Cohang singing? Whether or not she records an album, it’s great to hear when people discover new passions. Plus, how cute is it that she said “gussied” – right? If you can’t tell, I had an absolutley wonderful time chatting with her.
The Walking Dead season 3 airs Sunday nights on AMC. Seasons 1-2 are currently on Netflix Instant Watch.
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