Man, does it positively suck to be a character on The Walking Dead. The group didn’t even have time to react to Beth being killed and then Tyreese goes and gets himself offed as well. That trippy little sojourn to Shirewilt Estates means we have not had a chance to really check in with Maggie Greene to see how she is doing since the death of her sister. With that in mind, we decided to speak with the woman who plays Maggie, Lauren Cohan, to get some intel on what to expect when the things pick back up this Sunday.
EW: So the first question is the obvious one, which is: What’s the aftermath of the Beth tragedy for Maggie?
LAUREN COHAN: It’s terrible. I mean, the fact that we were just moments too late to save Beth—where everybody goes from that is pretty crazy. It’s definitely the lowest collectively than we have ever seen the entire group. For Maggie, you see her really without any hope, and you see her at a place where she is actually ready to give up. There have been other situations that she’s pulled herself out of and she has been motivated and motivated others, but she definitely at her wit’s end.
So it basically sets her on a path that we haven’t seen her on yet, and it’s not all bad, but it definitely begins in a really dark place, which has been unusual for Maggie. It seems like the greatest robbery is to see a character like Beth—who was just regaining strength and really becoming this heroine—to be ripped from the group and ripped away so quickly and painfully. It has given me so much perspective on what the family as a whole—the Greene family—has meant and will continue to be to the show, because just knowing who you are when you lose everything and how you continue, and who you become, and how you sort of carry on with the things that you love when the odds are against everything and everyone. The places that my character goes to are much more interesting when we get further into the season and I can actually talk about them. But right now I think it’s just going to be sort of an ultimate despair that we see for everybody at the loss of Beth. And it just gets worse. Everything just gets worse.
Beth is really the last link from her past, so what will this do to Glenn and Maggie? Sometimes something like this brings couples closer. Sometimes the trauma kind of tears them apart. What does this mean in terms of their relationship?
It’s really interesting for Glenn and Maggie because the only rifts we really saw was after the kidnapping by the Governor, and they learned from that and they continue to become this solidified couple. What I like about this situation is it shows a new depth to their relationship. I can’t imagine ever seeing a fall out for this couple. It’s just that the more terrible things that happen to the group, the closer they become. But it’s a very scary time for Glenn, because he really thinks that Maggie has lost what really is the core of her character—which is that hope and that prevailing sort of strength. Because when we come back, it’s not there, and I think that that’s scary for him.
I know there are a lot of new characters that we’re going to be meeting in this back half of the season. What is it like for you to constantly have to adjust to not just saying goodbye to your former cast mates, but also then having to adjust to a bunch of new faces and learn their rhythms and working with them?
It’s interesting, because it’s not just new people coming in. With every new person that comes in it’s also like a trifecta, because you have an environment that’s different and you have actors that are different and then you have these characters. But I have to say, it’s invigorating and we’re always super-excited and delighted by the people that are brought into the cast. There are a couple of new people that have really become mainstays in the show and it’s interesting. I mean, I think we’re really lucky to be able to do a long-running show that is evolving and transforming so regularly. To me, that’s invigorating because nothing will change. We lose people, but nothing changes for that core group—which I am not even a part of, that core group. I wasn’t a part of the original cast, but I think that it’s a really solid approach to both the show, and so it’s really fun to have new people come in and sort of join us on this crazy trail that we’re on.
What else can you tell us about what’s coming up and this new location that the group is eventually going to discover?
It’s an explosion. We have seen the group get to an absolute limit—they can’t go any further, the way that they’re going. So, this new place that they discover, it’s necessary and I think that that will be clear when we see quite how bad and how disintegrated they are. But it’s going to feel extremely different and not like any of the worlds that we’ve tried to inhabit before.
For more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.