If you’ve ever wondered how stars of The Walking Dead handle it when their fellow cast members are killed off, Lauren Cohan’s telling TV interview on Thursday should give you some indication. Hint? Not well. And, in Cohan’s case, with lots of tears.
As Maggie Greene on the hit AMC series, Cohan may be able to kick some zombie a** — but, appearing on a special edition of Inside the Actors Studio, she couldn’t fight off her emotions.
It became clear Cohan was struggling to keep her composure when a clip began playing of her character with her onscreen father, the now deceased Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson). As the video cued up, Cohan closed her eyes, put her fingers in her ears and tried to hold onto her cool.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. When host James Lipton asked about the measures she was taking to block out the clip, Cohan admitted “I’m trying to do all these breathing exercises, because when I found out we were going to come on your show, the first thing I promised myself was I wasn’t going to cry.”
And with that, she couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“I covered my ears because this is one of my favorite moments on the show for more reasons than I have fingers and toes,” she explained through tears. “I just love Scott so much,” she added, confirming that it’s always “hard to lose the people that we’ve lost.”
Which is, in a weird way, good to hear. You obviously suspect and hope the stars share a genuine closeness. As a fan, you get so emotionally invested in these characters that you feel the loss when someone leaves the show. So it’s validating in a way to know the stars of the show experience the losses right along with you (on a much more personal level, obviously).
During the special, Cohan — who appeared alongside fellow cast members, show creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple — revealed the decidedly non-glamorous way she auditioned for her role as Maggie.
She read for the part, she said, “in this tiny room in my parents’ house.” What’s more, she had never watched the show prior to auditioning for it. It wasn’t until she made the journey from England to America that she binged as part of her research.
“I watched the show on the plane over here, the first season, and I got here and thought, ‘Oh, don’t screw this up. This is really good,'” she said.
Obviously, she didn’t screw it up and has gone on to become one of the most beloved characters in the series — and should anything ever happen to Maggie, Cohan certainly won’t be the only one crying.