Former Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan says the Season Three scene in which Maggie delivers Lori Grimes’ (Sarah Wayne Callies) baby via C-section was so unsettling it caused her to throw up. The scene, which sees Lori say goodbye to young son Carl (Chandler Riggs) before screaming in anguish and dying in childbirth, proved so traumatic it nearly caused Cohan to quit the show.
“I think when something has the potential to unrest you so much, it’s the discomfort of change and something that’s quite monumental, and that show is such a success because that’s what it does, and facing up to that — I remember after we shot that scene, I threw up,” Cohan told Off Camera.
“I was so uncomfortable. Because it was so, within the story, it’s so necessary and it was impactful on the characters and on the viewer and just the rawness of it, and the real of it. But I look back on the moment, and I was like, ‘What does that tell you about yourself? That there was a moment like that that was so pivotal on the show and so exemplary of The Walking Dead that was terrifying and made you want to run away, and ended up being one of the most important things... and how do you now take that lesson and apply it to the rest of your life?’ When you feel really, really uncomfortable, just breathe and keep going through it.”
Cohan carried on with The Walking Dead until midway through Season Nine in November, ending an almost eight-season tenure and exchanging the comfortable for the uncomfortable in the form of newly launched ABC spy action-dramedy Whiskey Cavalier.
“Being real in front of people is uncomfortable, and falling in love, and being vulnerable, and letting your full self show up and be judged one way or another is uncomfortable, but what’s the point if you’re not going to do those things?” Cohan said. “And I remember being struck with this a week ago, I was like, ‘Oh my God, if it feels that way, you have to do it. You have a responsibility to let it wash over you and go through it. Go through the experience.’”
Though Cohan is open to reprising her Walking Dead role and is expected to make a limited return in Season Ten, the actress said in recent weeks it felt right to move on to her new role as Frankie ‘Fiery Tribune’ Trowbridge.
“I was just like, I’ve done this show for a long time,” she said of Maggie during the Television Critics Association press tour. “It was a long time to play a character, and sometimes you just get quiet and listen to your inner guidance and it’s time to multitask.”
Whiskey Cavalier airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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