As Maggie Greene on AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, Lauren Cohan isn’t the type you’d imagine to scare off easily. But in a revealing new interview, Cohan confesses there was one particular scene on the gruesome show that almost had her headed for the hills.
During a sit-down alongside other cast members (including her adorable onscreen hubby Steven Yeun aka Glenn) on Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio, Cohan said when she got the script for Episode 4 in Season 3, she wasn’t sure she could do what was being called for.
Superfans may well realize that episode was major in more ways than one — the survivors lost both T-Dog (IronE Singleton) and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), but it was the loss of the latter that nearly sent Cohan spiraling.
You remember the scene, don’t you? The survivors had been safely entrenched at the prison until, unbeknownst to them, a throng of walkers sneaked in while Rick and most of the top zombie slayers of the group were away. In the middle of the melee, Lori said the thing you hope to God you never hear in the midst of a bloodthirsty stampede of the undead: “The baby’s coming.”
So, hunkered down in an old cell, Lori begins to push. Only, there’s too much pain and too much blood. Lori knows something’s not right and she does the most heroic thing she could in that moment — she tells Maggie to take Carl’s knife and cut the baby out of her.
Maggie does and Lori dies. Yikes, that’s some heavy stuff. Cohan thought so too upon her first read of the material.
“I knock on Steven’s door and I said I have to leave the show, I don’t think I can do it,” she said. “It affects you so deeply to the core to touch on — to dive into so much of this material and then I realized that’s why I have to do it, because the outcome of that as heinous and as sleeplessly that affected me… we watch to feel and to, hopefully, honestly portray something.”
In fact, when we recently had the chance to catch up with Cohan about her creepy new film, The Boy, the charming actress revealed diving into the tougher stuff has since become her go-to approach.
“It’s almost the deeper you go in and the more unfettered my approach is, the easier it is to come back out the other side,” she told us. “Because in a lot of instances, it’s this out of body experience — you know, if it’s either with The Walking Dead or as it was in The Boy, just completely forgetting that this is not a real situation and just trying to be present in the moment.”
She then shakes off the macabre and keeps moving forward.
“I feel the same way in life. It’s like if I’m upset and I just let myself have a good cry about something or communicate about something, it just kind of courses through me and then it’s over. And it’s not that there’s no residue, but it’s been much healthier for me than how my approach used to be with a lot of this stuff,” Cohan said.
Catch Cohan on Inside the Actors Studio next Thursday Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. — along with costars Yeun, Danai Gurira (Michonne), Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) and executive producers Robert Kirkman and Scott M. Gimple — talking about the moment Maggie Greene almost ceased to be.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.