Steven Yeun Says The Walking Dead Did Not Prepare Him For the Pandemic

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have used zombies as a means to informing the public about disaster preparedness for years, The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun told late night icon Conan O'Brien tonight that he did not feel his time on the hit survival drama had prepared him to navigate the world of the COVID-19 pandemic. After spending six seasons fending off walkers and romancing Maggie (Lauren Cohan), one might think that Yeun would have taken some tips away from the expeirence -- but not so much, according to a new interview running tonight on the TBS series Conan.

Appearing on Conan in support of his new film Minari, Yeun broke down the ways in which life is not quite like The Walking Dead, even when it's scary. He didn't mention it, but we also assume that being a superhero in Invincible did little to prepare him for the experience.

"I'm one of the lucky ones; we have a house, I have a family, and it was all beautiful and we have all of those nice things," Yeun told O'Brien. "But what was crazy about the pandemic is that the battlefield is yourself, you know what I mean? You've got to find out about who you are during that time, and there's a lot of stuff to clean up in there."

Yeun said -- somewhat jokingly, somewhat not -- that he likely would have died if he didn't have his wife there to help keep things on track and help take care of him during the pandemic which has shaken the world over the course of the last 13 months.

"Everybody was in panic fight or flight, so it's like what did you choose? And I've kind of simulated that on The Walking Dead with what weapons do you choose or people that you hang out with or vehicles....I thought none of those things. I was like, what do I do? And all I said was 'we're all going to die.'"

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New episodes of Conan air on TBS weeknights at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The Walking Dead will return on August 22, 2021, with its eleventh and final episode on AMC.

Steven Yeun has been nominated for an Academy Award in his new film, Minari, in which he plays a Korean immigrant trying to realize his dream to succeed as a farmer. You can buy the film on digital video on demand services now.