Last week, Lauren Cohan watched The Walking Dead with the rest of the country, knowing that by the end of the hour the gang would once again bid farewell to a longtime member. And even though she knew it was coming, she says, “I was weeping like a baby — no pun intended.”
But this week the weeping takes a (momentary) backseat to panic as the gang must fight to keep Lori’s child alive in a world short on baby formula.
Cohan chatted with EW about the gang’s next big hurdle and more. (If you’re not caught up, SPOILERS follow.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Chat with me a bit about Maggie’s role now that she has Lori’s baby in her care.
LAUREN COHAN: Maggie definitely steps up, and she steps up in protecting Carl. Well, not so much protecting him but looking out for him — as does everyone. It’s interesting to see the parenting come into play because things are not going to be easy for Rick — statetheobvious.com. [Laughs] And it’s interesting because I think in one world you might see Maggie stuffed straight into a matriarchal position with the baby, but in this case, she’s so valuable in the field and in a solider position, it’s not that cut and dry. So the baby responsibility, there are some nice surprises as to how that all plays out. For me and for my character, this is only the beginning of a really wild road.
In this episode, you work a bit with Daryl (Norman Reedus) on the quest for formula. Tell me about playing that dynamic a bit.
It’s great. It’s always fun when you get to work with somebody new. Still on my list is Melissa [McBride]. Melissa and I haven’t had one-on-one stuff together, and she’s my hero on many levels. But Norman is an absolute legend. And to go on the motorcycle with Daryl Dixon… [Laughs] But it’s kind of a crazy thing; we’re on the most important mission in the world — it happens to only be for baby formula — but it really is the most important mission in the world. The baby becomes the messiah for the group and brings everybody together, and you do get to see a softer side to Daryl.
It’s interesting how there are still sparks of hope for the group — like the baby and, in some ways, the romance between Glenn and Maggie.
I love that, too. And it’s weird, I was thinking about the fact that we’re not really focused on the cure anymore because it’s not real…It’s [now] about how do you actually make good on this [challenge] and what is it that keeps us going. We have the encouragement of Hershel making it through; it’s encouragement that he didn’t die. I’m fascinated to see what message this season is actually going to deliver. I don’t have a picture of it yet. We haven’t finished shooting the season yet, so I’m curious about the overarching message I’m going to be left with and the questions I’m going to be left with.
What are you filming now?
We have one left. We have [episode] 16 to shoot.
Since you brought up Hershel, talk to me a bit about the group going forward. I mean, not only do they have a baby to lug around, but let’s not forget the man with one leg. How are they going to fight and protect everyone?
Well put, by the way. “A baby to lug around and a dude with one leg.” [Laughs]
Let’s not beat around the bush.
I love it. [Laughs] But basically they have to improvise. God, it’s so fun. And I can just speak about Scott [Wilson] really and what an amazing actor he is. He has to deal with a fluorescent green sock and florescent green Croc on his foot and then do everything else on top of that. But we make such a good story of this. There are so many great things that come out of him having one leg and great things you’ll see happening. It’s like always, we take on a lot and deal with it.
Lastly, preview a bit for me what we’re going to see from the group now that Rick is going nuts — and rightly so.
You’re going to be surprised. It’s mayhem; it really is. All of a sudden, everyone is a little untethered.
Are we going to see a new leader arise in his place? Or at least while he puts the pieces back together?
It’s hard to say. Actually, it’s not hard to say, I’m just not allowed to say. [Laughs] I’ll be honest. You don’t beat around the bush, so I won’t.
A new episode of The Walking Dead airs tonight on AMC.