Former Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan doesn’t yet know when or where she’ll return as Hilltop leader Maggie Rhee, but the actress says she’s “definitely not done” with the role or the zombie drama as it heads into its tenth season this fall.
“We’ll see what happens,” Cohan told EW Morning Live of her long-discussed Season Ten return. “There is definitely a lot of exciting ways [for it to happen]. And the universe, I’m still very much a part of it. And it’s not over. So, for me, that’s exciting. And I get so excited because we talk about different possibilities.”
Though Cohan is unlikely to rejoin The Walking Dead as a series regular — she exited alongside former leading man Andrew Lincoln in November in favor of a leading role on ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier, after having what Cohan called “the pick of the litter” in terms of roles — she is committed to continuing the character, even amid logistical concerns with her new schedule.
“It is the timing of all characters involved that are also integral to how we would be able to do it,” she said. That ties into conversations Cohan has had with The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang and Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple, who in a November episode of Talking Dead issued a joint statement declaring Maggie’s eventual return after Season Nine left her story open-ended.
“I don’t ever feel like it’s [in the past],” Cohan added of Maggie, who is explained as being away helping Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) with a new community.
“It’s the weirdest thing and I would never know it until I was in this situation, [but] I think about Maggie all the time. She’s always, like, inside of me. This sounds weird, but she is. It’s partly knowing the story is continuing, the story is unfinished. It’s partly having active conversations all the time with Angela and with Scott. But it’s mostly [because] in one way I was like: Wouldn’t it be cool if he had just some epic hero’s death and it was over? And then I get so sad because I’m like: No, because the potential for what worlds we could create — it’s like, ‘Hey, guys, you didn’t know this was happening, but by the way, come with us and come and explore this.’”
An almost-crying Cohan then said Maggie was sharing space with Whiskey Cavalier role of CIA operative Frankie “Fiery Tribune” Trowbridge.
“I have goosebumps right now. I’m emotional,” Cohan added. “And I’m so glad and it’s so cool to kind of be this little walking house of stories that she’s there, and Frankie is there. And obviously the impact and amount of time with Maggie, that’s such a huge part of me, and my life, and my life as an actor, and my coming to as an actor, and everything. So no, it’s definitely not done. I’m way too sentimental a person.”
“I hope it’ll work. We’ll cross that bridge [when we get to it]. Lauren and I have had conversations, and she’s excited to come back, even if it’s not for a full season. We can work with that,” Kang previously told ComicBook.com of working around Whiskey. “That’s scheduling problems. We’ll figure out the story. She’s great. We have a great relationship, and she still loves the show. Sometimes our actors need to spread their wings a little bit. We get that.”
Beyond revisiting the mothership television series, Cohan could also reprise the role in a Walking Dead movie: Gimple is now developing the first Lincoln-led Rick Grimes movie, which could later involve Michonne (Danai Gurira) or even Daryl (Norman Reedus), and says the feature-length films are just one of many avenues open to tie-ins and crossovers belonging to the wider Walking Dead Universe.
If or when Cohan returns, Maggie would discover a massive shakeup at Hilltop: interim leaders Jesus (Tom Payne) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) have both been murdered by the Whisperers, as was Enid (Katelyn Nacon). The Hilltop colony now hosts refugees from the Kingdom and is overseen by King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) after his community was toppled by insurmountable damages.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with its tenth season this October.
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