The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun broke his silence since leaving The Walking Dead on Sunday night. During a packed panel at Walker Stalker Con in the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the actor played host to the convention’s main event.
Taking the stage, Sunday afternoon, Yeun was greeted to an enormous reaction from thousands of fans after an introduction from Walker Stalker founder James Frazier.
He is first asked about leaving The Walking Dead.
“It’s hard to leave family after seven years of being together but also it feels very complete,” Yeun said. “Something needed to happen to propel this next season.”
“It’s been over a year and everybody is still so cool. They’re so sweet and they’re very sad about the death but that’s awesome. I think the coolest part about the death in and of itself is, I don’t know if there’s ever been a character like Genn before in any facet,in the way he walks and the way he talks, … to have died and to have in death such a lasting impact. I think it’s like awesome. I think if Glenn were to continue, he could at some point fade into the back but there’s this great explanation point.”
Then, Abraham actor Michael Cudlitz took the stage to give Yeun a hug with Yeun saying, “He died, too."
How does the death effect him as he is still acting on the show, knowing it is coming?
“I actually haven’t really thought about this,” Yeun admits. “I think it’s more like, at least from my perspective,e I was so new to Hollywood… I was just happy to be there. Yeah, I’m sure there was points like, ‘Oh, crap, am I gonna die this year?’ There was a little bit of worry but I just was really having a good time doing it. I actually found out I was gonna die almost two years before it happened.”
“It was like, not talked about. It was unsaid but it was understood…You look at that journey and you realize, that is marked in such a dramatic way that to change it, I think, is a cheat.”
“We did it and people remember it, so that’s cool.”
Then, Yeun is asked about the violence of the episode.
“I think it was a lot of things. People think it was the gore but was gory but it wasn’t anymore gory than anything we had shown before. I think it was just watching someone you feel like you’d known getting killed that way. Getting killed in a way that was not like, Oh, man, look at Noah getting ripped up. That was gnarly but it just happened to him. This was like you could have stopped but you just keep going.”
“It’s great that Glenn can have that type of place to effect people that way.
Frazier asks about the secrecy of the series which had surrounded Yeun on multiple occassions.
“I like secrets because it forces you to not have to talk to people and I love not talking to people,” Yeun said. “On regular life, I love not talking to people. It’s probably unhealthy.”
He does admit that he messed with fans regarding Glenn’s fate. One more from a taco restaurant in Atlanta questioned whether or not he died to which Yeun played dumb. He adamantly told the man he hadn’t died then said, “yeah,” and then back to, “Dude, no.” The man was extremely confused and Yeun was just having fun, never telling him otherwise and leaving.
“That I think is a testament of where we are in technology and media and Internet, thatI think wasn’t tested truly until that moment. I think the intentions were not to deceive but the intentions were to make a fun plot but what happens is the internet, spoiler sites, people camping out, which are all good indicators of the success of your show…but at the same time, I don’t think any other show had to deal with that until that point. Now you look at how shows deal with that and it’s completely changed.”
“It sucks that it had to be a case study but it was a case study,” Yeun said. “I will probably forever get dumpster jokes for the rest of my life.”
He is asked if there are any regrets or empty wishes.
“The selfish part of me as an actor really wishest that we got to explore more of his backstory,” Yeun said, “But then I realized it’s also kind of cool to be kind of mysterious.”
“Let’s be honest, you don’t see Asian people on Tv and when we do see Asian people on TV and when we do, they’re how we assume them to be,” Yeun said. “What’s cool about Glenn is we didn’t have to go into his backstory to reveal his integrity, his pedigree, his sense of humor…” He goes on to say how much he admires people who may look like Glenn or look nothing like Glenn adore the character.
The panel is opened to fan Q&A, with the first asking about Glenn’s last words to Maggie but what they would be to his baby.
“Baby, I’ll find you, too,” Yeun joked. ”Maggie, I’ll find you! Also, you as well.”
The next questions is about the baby’s name.
“It’s gotta be Hershel, though, right?” Yeun said. “Clarence? Probably good.”
“Or just Hershel. Hershel’s good.”
Next he is asked about how the story would change if Glenn didn’t die.
“I don’t know. I think the storyline that came after had to happen, which is this rise of these awesome women characters on the show… It’s because, if they keep getting pushed around like that, they’re gonna get pissed and they’re gonna whoop your a—! … I don’t know how much would’ve changed…”
Top 3 lessons for the baby to know moving forward.
“I would say, ‘You do you.’ ‘You do us.’ And, ‘You do you for us,’” Yeun said.
Yen is asked about what Glenn would’ve done if Negan killed Maggie.
“If Negan were to kill Maggie, he probably would’ve died to,” Yeun said. “I mean, what’s the point, then?”
He is asked which is worse: the zombie apocalypse or living with The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon.
“Zombie apocalypse, it kind of sucks, but everyone is kind of friends again. There’s like a things that scary but you can avoid it, whereas Sheldon is a guy who coughs in your face over and over every two minutes and he has bad breathe and he has a slight cold. That sounds terrible.”
Now, he is asked about what Glenn would’ve become if he had not met Maggie.
“I bet Glenn also would have died,” Yeun said. “He wanted to prove himself quite a bit. He wanted to go out like a hero. He would’ve put himself in dangerous situations like he always has and eventually that would have caught up to him.”
How Maggie carries Glenn’s legacy.
“She’s strong, she’s tough, she’s like a bad-a— woman,” Yeun said. “You look at really and wonder what makes her so strong tough and bad-ass but I think it’s because she never lived selfishly or for herself. She always lived selflessly for either her child or the legacy of her sister or the legacy of her father or the legacy of her husband. A person like that will continue regardless.”
He is asked if he is a Predators fan, in honor of Nashville, but he is a Redwings fan. He ultimately wishes them luck and says he’ll cheer for them because he hates the Penguins.
He proceeds to answer a few more fun questions from fans.
Yeun is acted about performing out intimate scenes with Maggie actress Lauren Cohan.
"Lauren and I are really tight. First of all, she's such a professional and I aspire also to be professional," Yeaun said. "But, also, we were foreced into a situation where we were living in a remote area, we working in a remote area..."
"I think it's a bond that develops It's a trust that develops," Yeun said. "Trust will get you through it not because you're into them but because there's also other peopel that are watching you do it."
Now, he is asked about Glenn killing for the first time in Not Tomorrow Yet.
"Glenn is doing what he ultimately deemed necessary is becasue, he has a son coming, he wanted to prove to himself he can live a regular normal life and still continue to thrive.
"He wanted to teach his son that that's what was possible without being an example of just the direct episode. He did what he had to do," Yeun said. "And it came back to bite him."
"As gnarly and terrible as this guy is, he's a sleeping, helpless guy, and he kills him."
Glenn was asked about whether or not Glenn's death is Daryl's fault.
On the AMC series, Daryl has since taken on a huge guilty feeling since it was he who popped up and punched Negan in the aftermath of Abraham's death, which prompted the villain to kill Glenn, as well.
Like Maggie, however, Yeun does not blame Daryl Dixon, at all.
"No, no," Yeun said. "Glenn's death is sad."
"It wasn't his fault."
From here, Yeun goes on to talk about some of his projects coming up, with several animated projects on the horizon and others which he is not currently able to discuss.
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Fear the Walking Dead returns for its third season on June 4 at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.