Lauren Cohan ‘felt good to talk about Glenn’ in ‘Walking Dead’ finale

Lauren Cohan ‘felt good to talk about Glenn’ in ‘Walking Dead’ finale

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WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of The Walking Dead.

After Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finally gave a full-throated apology earlier in the episode for fatally bludgeoning Maggie’s husband, Glenn (Steven Yeun), with a barbed-wire-covered baseball bat, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) sat down next to her former tormentor to thank him. She had more to say, invoking Glenn’s names to explain her internal struggle to move on.

I can stop wondering if they’ll ever say them and if it will ever be possible to forgive you,” she said. “Because now I know, I can’t. Glenn was beautiful. I will never again love anyone as beautiful as Glenn. I will always remember his smile. His kindness. The way he made my feel. When I look at you, all that I see is the bat falling on his head and blood running down his face. I hear him calling out for me and I can hear you mocking me as he’s dying. I cannot forgive you. Even though I am so grateful that my son was saved by you. Even though I know you’re trying. I’m also trying. Because I don’t want you to hate me anymore. I don’t wish to hurt like that and I don’t want my son seeing that anyone has that kind of hold on me. Annie and you both want to stay. If I can’t see you on some days, if it’s difficult to work with you, or if I don’t want to move on, that’s my reason. Because my memories are all I have. And I don’t want Glenn to be remembered like that. ”

We spoke to Cohan about filming that big finale scene, the meaning of Maggie’s very last line of the series to Daryl and Carol (and if it ties in to her upcoming spin-off Dead City), and how close her character came to actually taking the shot on Pamela Milton.

Lauren Cohan in the series finale of ‘The Walking Dead’

Lauren Cohan in the series finale of ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How do you feel about how the story wrapped up here on this show after more than a decade?

LAUREN COHAN: It definitely left a lot open, which was obviously part of the plan. Overall, I felt that we spoke to all the things that have given us so many. Rosita’s storyline is very appealing to me. It was symbolic for Rosita to protect her daughter at any cost, and to make the sacrifice. The best thing about the finale was the opportunity for everyone to say a proper farewell. It was full of emotion.

Some of those goodbyes were also hellos because we know Maggie will continue to live with Negan. There was what seemed to be a resolution. Maggie wanted to be able to process her grief, so she opened the door. Part of that is talking to Negan about it instead of trying to avoid it.

Let’s get into this big talk Maggie gives to Negan about forgiving but having trouble forgetting, and before we get into all the emotions of it, just logistically speaking, that is a hefty piece of dialogue to handle. How was it to get all that down?

Oh yeah, that’s so funny. It didn’t feel like it was very long, which I think I find a good thing. It felt like there were things that had been needed between these two for a long while. It was very easy.

It was great to be able talk about Glenn. Even though it was not pleasant, it’s evidently been the engine of so much that’s been happening for years. I still remember the line “Glenn is beautiful.” That’s all I could remember saying. These three words remind us to be grateful for the person we have met and to keep our hearts open. It is brave to feel and remember when your heart is full. It was an act of bringing Negan back to life, which I find very special. It was a great experience to be able to witness that and do that.

Lauren Cohan and Kien Michael Spiller in the series finale of ‘The Walking Dead’

Lauren Cohan and Kien Michael Spiller in the series finale of ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

When Maggie’s talking about seeing Glenn’s face, do you as Lauren see Steven’s face when you say lines like that?

When I think of Glenn, when I picture Glenn’s face, sadly, I picture the horrible moment. That’s what I see. I see the show. I also see the best moments of the show. For example, when they find eachother again after Terminus, I tell him to not burn the picture. I then see him at the well and see the first time we met. I also see him on the porch. When I take the time to reflect on that moment, I fill in the gaps that didn’t happen but could have.

This is one of the most interesting aspects of playing a long-term character that I haven’t fully processed yet. It’s like, where is the line between what you see on film and what you can imagine? When you ask me if I picture Steven’s face I imagine what it is like to truly love something. It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff, knowing you’ll fall but hoping you’ll catch yourself. Although it sounds silly, it is what it means to love. The thing we all tell ourselves is that the thing we are afraid of in our lives, is to be vulnerable and open up to others. It may fail, you may lose the person, they may not reciprocate or all of these things. And this is the story of Maggie and Glenn finding true love and then losing it. That’s what we are all afraid of. Yet, it happens and we keep going. And Negan is there as this reminder, and not only a reminder but a thief of the memory. She must say it to stop that from happening.

Let me ask you a question: Is it bad that I kinda wanted Maggie to pull that trigger on Pamela when she had that shot?

It’s funny because it just seemed like it would happen. Gregory was hanged by her, but we have remained sane at these intersections. It was a very quiet moment for me as a viewer. It was just the moment that it doesn’t happen. That was a great thing. There’s so much happening in that episode. That was a part of forgiveness and release.

Your last line in the series is to Carol and Daryl there at the end where you say, “I want to talk about the future. There is so much to learn. It’s high time we did. Is that how you ended up in New York?

When we pick up in New York, it’s a few years later. I see a sort of renewal in the season of her going out and exploring in the same ways she has done it before. It’s all about communication and forging new roads with her family. Family includes Carol, Daryl, and everyone else. That is what it means to me.

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The Walking Dead

AMC’s zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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