‘The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan: “I Haven’t Left”

Lauren Cohan stepped away from The Walking Dead to lead ABC spy action-comedy Whiskey Cavalier, but the Maggie star clarified language surrounding her decision: she hasn’t left.

“I think the transition was totally, just so many different emotions in one time and place. It was exciting to go into a totally different genre, but you never really — I mean, I haven’t left Walking Dead,” Cohan said on BUILD Series when asked about transitioning from an ensemble role as Maggie to a leading role as CIA agent Frankie ‘Fiery Tribune’ Trowbridge.

“You guys kind of know at the random hints that have been peppered throughout [Season Nine]. I don’t know, I think one thing that’s really fun is that there’s a bit less secrecy in talking about Whiskey and we get to kind of reveal a little bit more, and so that’s some fun for Lauren, because I’m not always having an inner monologue of, ‘Don’t say that, don’t say this.’ But at the same time, yeah, the transition happened, but they’re still not done, so still transitioning.”

This interview went live a day after Cohan told EW Morning Live she’s “definitely not done” as the Hilltop leader, whose absence was explained in a February episode when Siddiq (Avi Nash) informed Michonne (Danai Gurira) Maggie was away with six-year-old son Hershel helping Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) with a new community.

Maggie was mentioned again as recently as the Season Nine finale, when Michonne asked Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) if they’d received return correspondence from Maggie, who keeps in touch via couriers.

“We’ll see what happens,” Cohan told EW of her hopeful Season Ten return, which the star has discussed at length with showrunner Angela Kang.

“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.”

“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,” Cohan said.

“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 [executive producer] Scott [Gimple]. 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.’”

Though shaky ratings leaves the future of Whiskey Cavalier up in the air, a slew of role offerings makes it unlikely Cohan returns to The Walking Dead as a main credits-billed series regular. But Kang and Gimple have built a story allowing for Maggie’s reintegration and Cohan remains committed to the role she first stepped into in 2011, meaning audiences assuredly haven’t seen the last of Cohan in the Walking Dead Universe.

The Walking Dead Season Ten is expected to enter into production in May ahead of an October debut on AMC.

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