Andrew Lincoln’s exit from ‘The Walking Dead’ has fans wondering how the show will go on without its frontman, Rick Grimes. However, Rick is not the only leading player leaving the long-running zombie drama. Lauren Cohan’s Maggie is also taking leave of the show. Maggie has been a huge part of the show since Rick and his group stumbled upon her farmhouse in Season 2 and has become a major part of the most recent seasons.
Cohan will appear in ABCs ‘Whiskey Cavalier’ next year, but the actress admits that she may return to ‘The Walking Dead’ in some capacity for Season 10, as she is excited at the new direction under showrunner Angela Kang. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cohen spoke about her departure from the show and the possibility of a return. Read on for her interview! ‘The Walking Dead’ airs every Sunday on AMC.
Cohan was asked what made her decide to leave the series to which she explained:
“So much of it is really simple because eight years is a long time to spend in one character. Eight years is a long time to spend in the emotional mash-up that Maggie’s in and that Lauren is in by virtue of osmosis. I honestly just was looking at this on a multitude of personal levels, and it just made the most sense for me to do this.
“I love Maggie and I’ll always love Maggie, and we had a really good time so far. And I do say so far, because the beautiful thing I get to experience right now — which I think is such a cherished thing for me in life — is to live in the not knowing, and to embrace it. And I just feel in life generally a sense of that more than I ever have on a personal level. So naturally that was going to bleed over into that, and just taking the information at hand and making a decision based upon the facts in front of me.”
Cohen’s departure is a bit unique as there is a possibility Maggie will return to the series. She was asked how that felt during filming:
“I think that we like finality, and it’s almost because of how much I like finality that I’m forcing myself not to have it and I’m forcing myself not to give it because it wouldn’t be sincere. Any kind of guarantee that I could give could not be sincere to the fans, to my Walking Dead family, to myself. And I just have to believe that that’s gonna lead me to a new, hopefully, spiritual breakthrough in how life can be. And it was like that on set. It was, “I love you guys, I’m gonna come visit.” But everyone’s really supportive.
“At Comic-Con as well, every fan was so excited to hear about my new endeavors and to watch the new show, and to watch my new movie [Mile 22]. I think my Walking Dead family is the same. Our crew and our cast, we’ve all been together through this whole process so we’re just there for each other’s highest and best, just like we were for Andy.
“Andy and I did our farewell dinner at the same time. It just sort of was what it was. The facts just sit there and we will just take it for what it is, and try to take it for what it is in the moment. I know I keep talking about this “in the moment” stuff, but it’s really been the theme of this year.”
Cohen also revealed that discussions have occurred with showrunner Angela Kang and chief content officer Scott Gimple about Maggie’s future if she was able to return in Season 10?
“Yeah, we have had creative story conversation about what could happen with the character, and that’s all I know.”
As for her overall feelings about her last episodes?
“I ironically got more excited about Maggie’s story these episodes than I have been about Maggie’s story in three or four years. And still I think it was the right decision because it feels really good for it to be so rich. I really just feel like we went on this awesome adventure for season 9, and that kind of fills me up. It also leaves her ever more interestingly open for more stories than she’s ever been. It’s cool because the show is so different this year, and the new characters coming on are so different, that that somehow makes that easier too.
One thing that’s special about this show is that it’s not really anybody’s show. Andy created the petri dish, and then we all grow to this place where the story is able to be handed over. And that’s a pretty special place for a television show to be, where I feel like we can confidently hand it over because it’s been so hammered in. The fabric of it is so tightly woven we can hand that over and somebody else is carrying it now for a while.”