‘The Walking Dead’: Steven Yeun Shoots Down the Possibility of Returning to the Show

Steven Yeun starred in The Walking Dead for six seasons, starting with the series premiere. He quickly established himself as one of the most relatable characters on the show, which turned him into a fan favorite, but he met his demise early in the seventh season. The series is still going strong, which gives fans hope his Glenn Rhee might come back, even in flashback form, but Yeun shot down the idea of him returning to his The Walking Dead role.

'The Walking Dead' actor Steven Yeun attends the 'Talking Dead Live' premiere on Oct. 23, 2016. Yeun played beloved character Glenn Rhee for six seasons, but he shot down the possibility of returning to 'The Walking Dead.'
‘The Walking Dead’ star Steven Yeun | John Sciulli/Getty Images for AMC

‘The Walking Dead’ gave Steven Yeun his first major role

Yeun had a thin resumé before starring in The Walking Dead. He acted in a few shorts, voiced two video game characters, and had a part in the feature film Jerry, but nothing comparable to the AMC show.

Despite his relative inexperience, Yeun proved to be one of the best actors on The Walking Dead.

The Korean actor played a complex character, and he convincingly brought Glenn to life. Yeun conveyed the kindness, humor, sarcasm, and rationality that morphed into toughness mixed with vulnerability as the show progressed. Yuen created a three-dimensional character with Glenn, which made his demise one of the saddest deaths ever on the show.

The Walking Dead fans want to see more of Glenn in any way possible, but Yeun shot down any rumors of his return to the show.

Yeun shoots down a possible return to ‘The Walking Dead’: “I cringe at the thought”

Yeun appeared on Conan O’Brien’s podcast as his latest project, the Jordan Peele movie Nope, hits theaters. He told the story of how he missed out on a starring role in a network pilot only to land his The Walking Dead part a few weeks later. 

The show put Yeun’s career on an upward trajectory, but he’s not eager to play Glenn Rhee again, as MSN reported.

“The voice in my head said, ‘If you do it again, you’re a hack. So, I [won’t] do it again. I cringe [at the thought].” 

Steven Yeun on his thoughts about returning to The Walking Dead

O’Brien asked Yeun how he felt when The Walking Dead killed off Glenn. Yeun didn’t go into great detail, but he told the host he knew his character might not last long based on Glenn’s fate in the comic books that inform the show.

“Sometimes you just accept what it is and you go with it. There’s no tension behind it,” Yeun said. “You’re like, ‘OK, I’m not gonna go kicking and screaming.’”

He has a large role in ‘Nope’ on the heels of an Oscar nomination

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‘The Walking Dead’: Producers Hint at the Return of a Beloved Character in Upcoming Movies

Yeun scored a 2021 Academy Award nomination for best actor for his starring role in Minari. He’s teaming up with Oscar winner Peele for his latest movie.

Yeun plays Ricky “Jupe” Park, an entrepreneur that lives in a rural California valley. OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) are siblings working for their family company, Haywood’s Hollywood Horses, on a remote ranch. However, an odd presence appears in the clouds that changes all their lives forever. 

After Nope, Yeun is slated to act in Bong Joon Ho’s Mickey7 alongside Robert Pattinson, Toni Collette, and Mark Ruffalo.

Nope is in theaters now, but it seems as if Yeun won’t appear in The Walking Dead anytime soon