‘Walking Dead’ Star Lauren Cohan Reveals Why It Took Her a Month To Get Back Into Character as Maggie

The Walking Dead announced Lauren Cohan would return for the show’s 11th season when she appeared at New York Comic-Con last week. Now she’s actually been back to the set, before production shut down due to the coronvirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even though she was only gone a season and a half, Cohan said she spent a month reacclimating to The Walking Dead.

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead through season 10.]

Walking Dead: Lauren Cohan
L-R: Kerry Cahill, Lauren Cohan | Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

During The Walking Dead’s San Diego Comic-Con@Home panel on July 24, Cohan spoke about her return to the series. Showrunner Angela Kang and costar Jeffrey Dean Morgan chimed in too. The Walking Dead airs its season 10 finale on Oct. 4 and has six more episodes to air in 2021 before season 11. 

Lauren Cohan is rejoining ‘The Walking Dead,’ not just guest starring

Maggie (Cohan) left The Walking Dead in season 9. She’s not just back for a very special episode. She’s returning for season 11.

“I think the most important thing, or maybe the most exciting thing is that she’s coming back,” Cohan said. “It’s not just a visit. It’s moving from pen pals to real life friends. Her and Carol (Melissa McBride) have been in communication but it’s good. She’s coming back.”

Lauren Cohan’s month-long ‘Walking Dead’ reunion

Cohan spent her break from The Walking Dead on the series Whisky Cavalier. When she returned, Cohan felt the set in Atlanta, GA was familiar.

“It just really feel like I never really left on pretty much every level,” Cohan said. 

The first month she spent in Atlanta wasn’t even acting on The Walking Dead. That helped her get ready to play Maggie again.

Lauren Cohan and Norman Reedus
Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan | Gene Page/AMC

RELATED: ‘The Walking Dead’ Star Michael Rooker Says The Cast Smells As Bad As They Look

“Then I was so lucky because I got to go beforehand, and I was shadowing one of our directors, Daisy [von Scherler] Meyer So I spent a whole month basically catching up with everyone. So when it came time to actually reinhabit Maggie and act, I was like cool. I’m not overwhelmed by all the crazy excitement of just seeing everyone.”

A lot has changed since Maggie left

When Maggie left, she thought she’d dealt with Negan (Morgan) after Negan killed her husband, Glenn (Steven Yeun). She might be surprised to meet the reformed Negan.

“Look, Negan killed Maggie’s husband and burnt down her house,” Kang said. “It’s not going to be an easy road I think for either of them. Negan’s been on this whole other journey while she’s been gone but it’s sort of like Maggie’s coming in and she hasn’t seen any of that. What she knows is she comes back and Hilltop is destroyed. The guy that she thought she left to rot in prison is out walking around with everyone else. These two have to figure out how to occupy the same space.”

Lauren Cohan: The Walking Dead
Lauren Cohan | Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

RELATED: ‘The Walking Dead’: Most Fans Abandoned the Show After Season 5 — Here’s Why

Morgan believes a reconciliation is possible.

“I mean, I saved a lot of her friends,” Morgan said. “I have saved a lot of her friends while she’s been away. Hopefully I’m hoping some people stick up for me a little bit with her.”

Maggie and Glenn’s baby is growing up

When Maggie left, her son Herschel was still a baby. In the time that has passed, Cohan expects to return with a more grown up Herschel. The Walking Dead has not cast Herschel yet.

I want to meet little Herschel. I’m so excited. It’s really nice because I hadn’t known Cailey [Fleming] before. Then spending time with her and watching he work, watching how this season has just been such a torch with how the writers have written young people and how we’ve gotten to see the world through all these younger people’s eyes. So I feel really excited because Cailey’s so good that whoever we find for Herschel and pairing them together is just going to result in some really illuminating conversations.

Lauren Cohan, The Walking Dead San Diego Comic-Con@Home panel, 7/24/2020