Hershel Rhee might be little, but TV mom Lauren Cohan says series newcomer Kien Michael Spiller brings a big amount of good to The Walking Dead. Years after we last saw Littler Hershel (Peyton Lockridge) — he was a baby in the Season 9 episode "The Obliged," which aired in 2018 — Maggie (Cohan) and a now eight-year-old Hershel had their homecoming in Sunday's extended Season 10 premiere, "Home Sweet Home." Maggie's reunion with her old friends was spoiled by the sight of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who is walking around free after killing her son's father Glenn (Steven Yeun), but Cohan says Spiller's Hershel is a bright spot in the darkness still to come.
"He is so entertaining. He is just the best conversationalist. He has so many theories about what you would really do in this situation. It requires so few prompts for me. He's got a lot of ideas about everything. It's very entertaining," Cohan told Entertainment Weekly about her young co-star. "We have so much dead time between setups and stuff sometimes, and he's just really funny. He's just a really, really bright and funny kid."
Cohan added, "[Showrunner Angela Kang] wanted somebody that carried on this spirit of Glenn, and it was a bright spot for the characters on the show. And yeah, we have a lot of good to come with him. It's going to be fun."
Spiller's pint-sized survivor is already a hit with fans — his plucky attitude and baseball cap resembling his dad's look from the earliest seasons has earned him the affectionate moniker of a "Little Glenn" — and the actor has received a heap of praise from Kang, whose young son was the first baby to play Hershel in a fantasy sequence that appeared in Glenn's death episode back in Season 7.
"Little Hershel is freaking adorable. The young actor, he's great," Kang said during last month's Walking Dead Extended Season 10 Preview Special. "I think he's really this wonderful mix of the characters Maggie and Glenn. I feel like his vibe, it's a very Maggie-like vibe where still waters run deep and there's sort of like a zen seriousness to him. And yet there is this rascally side too that I think is very reminiscent of Glenn, and I think in that way, it's really lovely to have young Hershel finally be really part of our cast and able to interact with his mother in a different way."
Kang added, "I think people will enjoy him, hopefully, as much as we really love having him."