Lauren Cohan: 'The Walking Dead' Is a Huge Artistic Beast

Fan-favorite Maggie on Frank Darabont and her relationship with Glenn

Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan as Glenn and Maggie Greene on The Walking Dead
Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan as Glenn and Maggie Greene on 'The Walking Dead'
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Last week, in anticipation of The Walking Dead's fourth season premiere, Rolling Stone published exclusive interviews with six cast and crew members, including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and David Morrissey. But we were just getting started. Check back tomorrow and everyday this week for more conversations with your favorite characters, including Carl, Michonne, and today, Maggie.

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How did you react when you were cast on the show?
I watched the first season on the flight over. Getting off the plane, I realized completely what I was walking into. I was nervously excited, I was really eager to – I was fucking shit-scared, actually. [Laughs]

Are you reticent to form close ties with the cast knowing that people are killed off?
In actuality, you just dive in, because it's so vulnerable. You don't choose to get close, you just end up getting pretty close. We've been through a lot in the show and outside it. We've changed two showrunners and we've all had to band together and try to not let any other changes affect the art and the safety that we feel with each other. So in a lot of ways, some of that has been great creatively. We really do feel like a family.

Frank Darabont brought you in. How difficult was it when he left?
It was a tumultuous time, generally, because the show is so high stakes. It stressed me out in the beginning – emotionally you're in so many places. I developed a serious coffee and sugar addiction. It was a sad goodbye for somebody who I also really hadn't had a chance to get to know too well. It was difficult for me because I was witnessing these people who had borne the original baby saying goodbye, and it was very shaking for them. But we were okay. There were feelings of not knowing what was going on. It was kind of like the kid that doesn't know if their parents are getting a divorce.

Was it more difficult for you when Glen left?
No. I just think this show is a big piece for anybody to chew off. Power to the people that have done it, and to Scott who is doing an amazing job now. It's a huge artistic beast. The scope is massive, the expectations are huge and I just think anyone who takes that on is already a hero for jumping into the challenge.

How has the show changed your life?
I get recognized, especially when I'm out and about with someone else from the show. The cast, we all live within two buildings and five seconds from each other, and we all go to coffee and drinks at the same place, so we always get recognized. "Hey, that girl looks like the girl with the Asian guy. Oh, it is them!" There are entire websites dedicated to the proof that Steven and I are in a real relationship. Which is always funny, because it's not. Obviously there's huge fanaticism about the show, but it's nice to be known for something like that. Then there are the people who just shout across Trader Joe's: "Maggie! Maggie, I love you!"

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