‘The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun Addresses Negan’s Redemption

Former Walking Dead star Steven Yeun, who played Glenn, has no qualms with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finding redemption after his back-to-back executions of Glenn and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).

“What?!” Yeun said incredulously at Walker Stalker Con London when asked about Carl (Chandler Riggs) and now Judith’s (Cailey Fleming) friendship with Negan, who until recently served a near eight-year solitary jail term at Alexandria. “I don’t know, things change. People change. That’s life. But I’ll talk to them later.”

Though Yeun admitted he has no desire to ever return to The Walking Dead, calling that chapter of his life “finished,” the star mostly keeps abreast of developments through his former co-stars.

Asked what he thinks will happen when widow Maggie (Lauren Cohan) — who stepped away from Hilltop to help foster a new community with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) — returns to discover Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and interim leaders Jesus (Tom Payne) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) have been killed, Yeun predicted Maggie will handle it:

“I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t seen since the end of Season Seven,” Yen said. “Not because I don’t like the show, but because I get all the information from my friends who are on the show. So I have like early access. But I don’t know how she would respond. I imagine, she’s always been badass, so she’ll just step up to whatever challenge is in her way. So Maggie will be fine.”

Yeun was later posed a darker question: what would have happened if it were the pregnant Maggie on the end of Lucille, instead of Glenn?

“I think if Maggie would have died, especially with the unborn child, Glenn would have been broken. I think he would have broke,” Yeun said.

“Honestly, I don’t say this just to say this, I think it is a woman’s strength to persevere through those moments. Not to say all men couldn’t, but just to say, women are strong. And I feel like Maggie, against Glenn in that moment, is the better candidate to continue to thrive. And Glenn might have just broke right there, if I want to be real.”

Yeun declined to speak on Cohan’s pay dispute and her subsequent stepping away from The Walking Dead in favor of new show Whiskey Cavalier, but said his former co-star is “wonderful, she’s an incredible actor.”

“And she wore all that pain on herself. And that’s a very hard thing to do,” Yeun said. “But I’ve seen my own wife persevere through things that I look at like, ‘I would never be able to handle that.’ And she just does, and deals with it. Maybe Glenn’s better than that, but that’d be pretty rough to see your wife and unborn child [killed]. Yeah, I try not to imagine that.”

Maggie confronted Negan for the first time since Glenn’s death in episode 905, refusing to kill him despite his tearful begging to be freed of his misery. Six years later, Negan took a large step towards his redemption when he risked his life to save Judith during a dangerous snowstorm.

Showrunner Angela Kang told ComicBook.com Negan moving forward won’t lose his edge, but he will continue his journey as an anti-hero-turned-good guy:

“I do think the way that Negan is, and I think sort of is in the comic book, he’s like, ‘Hey, man, I’m a joiner,’” Kang said.

“He wants to be important to the situation, so this is very much inspired by what’s in the comic book. We’ve just pushed it further along in time, and I think it’s been interesting for us to play with a version of Negan, who... He’s still Negan. Negan always has an edge. That’s always my role for him. Negan can’t ever fully go soft because then that isn’t who he is. However, it’s interesting to see what are the steps that he takes to try to redeem himself? What are some of the other aspects of his character that we haven’t seen before?”

The Walking Dead Season Ten is due out this October on AMC.

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